4 CEOs Share Their Secrets on How to Dominate Your Market How can you emerge from today's ever-constant competition?
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The marketplace is a volatile place. Like a field built on a fault line, it can crack at any moment. Sometimes, that results in economic anxiety, but at others, the cracks can reveal some stupendously profitable new market.
All we can do is study the trends and dive in when we find one. But, it doesn't just stop at finding the market -- that's just the first step. The hard part is figuring how to enter that market and dominate your competition.
How do we do this effectively? I consulted some industry leaders, experienced entrepreneurs and investors who know what it takes to develop a plan from scratch, enter a new market and take it over.
Here are their ideas on the topic.
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1. Have deep-rooted knowledge of your target audience.
Business follows people. The deeper your understanding of the people in your emerging market, the easier it becomes to serve them the right product.
For Boris Mordkovich, the founder of Evelo, an electric bike company, says, "Success in entering new markets and taking over comes when you spend heavily in getting to know your product's target audience, and aggressively serving them your products based on the customer information you have on them."
From Mordkovich's perspective, startups can't survive for long in new markets with aggressive competitors if they don't have an edge over the competitors in customer information.
"Not everyone is your target customer," he added. Previously, we were heavily targeting the 20s and 30s for our electric bikes. But fortunately, due to our heavy investment in knowing our target audience and how to serve them, we accidentally discovered that our main customers were on the older side: 50 or 60, baby boomers, recent retirees, and that singlehandedly helped us build on the market."
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2. Have a profound entry point strategy.
Creating your entry point strategy is where the magic happens. You need a concrete plan for your launch into a new market -- a unique entry into a niche sometimes spells doom to the company that doesn't strategize well.
For Jack Vogt, CEO at Credit Zipper, says, "If we don't have a concrete and astounding entry strategy into the new market, my team and I will put a hold on the launch. Your entry will become your culture. It's the way you enter that spells how your audience will see and perceive you. And this is hard to change. Any mistake from your brand during that fragile brand build-up stage can thwart your business progress in that new market."
It's a waste of resources to delve into a market you don't have an entry point strategy for. A thorough business analysis will constrain your decisions and make you plan your entry point strategy better.
3. Make partnerships a solid strategy.
Don't try to do it all yourself. If you have a weakness or need help, meet another brand with strength in that area and partner with them for a mutually benefiting business.
Rebecca Montrenes, CEO of Lanyards USA, says, "Partnerships are pretty awesome. We regularly partner with brands in new territories to reach far more than our capacity can reach as a company. Partnerships help us get deeper market penetrations which end up with the two companies making a profit as a result."
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4. Develop a strategy to own the market.
"We take over new markets by making sure we stretch ourselves to beat everyone in that market on products coverage or services coverage," says James Bradly of Dealslands. "I have found out that when a company becomes that big, they automatically become the face of the new market. And this position helps your brand pick up the signals of new markets and new trends within the main market before others discover them. That way, your brand is always investing before others and buying out promising competitors before they even become real traits."
Own the niche through sheer size. Even if this is the costliest of all the strategies mentioned, it works profoundly on new markets.