When it comes to leading the market by a far advantage we tend to relax and enjoy the ride. You deserved, you earned it, so what??? Relaxing could also bring some challenges:
Your prices increase
By doing that you upset some loyal customers. But, why not??? You are the market leader, there is no competition!!! Well, that smooth ride could be bumpy at some point and a competitor might come in and start causing some issues. When you are a monopoly with no competitors it is easy for a new entrant to literally take some big chunk of market share if you don’t continue to improve and support your customers. It is easier to take a big piece of a whole 2 pound cake without everyone noticing than small slice of a one bite cupcake. Pricing is the first thing a new entrant will work on with your customers.
Your R&D gets lazy
Without competition there is nothing to fight against but yourself. Wrong, if you focus on KPIs and competitor specs you are doing it wrong. You should understand your customer. Spend time with them, let them talk, learn, ask questions about workflow, how they actually use your products, how they order it, how they request service. There is more to your brand than just one product and you can always improve something. Invite your R&D team to visit customers, specially those complaining about something or having some kind of issues. Let them see and experience what the customers feel about their proudly developed products and services. Seeing is believing!!!
You get lazy
When you have a monopoly you must keep your eyes and ears open like never before. You need to hear what is going on in the market and what is about to come. Listen to rumors and prepare yourself for the worst. No matter the case, always expect the worse so you develop the right strategies for when the time comes.
- Work on your loyal customers, make sure they are happy. Nurture the relationship and discuss future products and projects you have in your road-map. This will bring them closer to you and strengthen that relationship. They will feel part of what is coming and will always consider you first
- Don’t forget your legacy installed base, they are the ones to be attacked first by your new competitor. Create and develop programs for them. By updating your legacy installed base you assure more time of your market share and lock your competitors out
- Lock your competitors out, no matter how hard it is. If you make the life of a new entrant harder you have a better chance to always stay on the top. Make sure to cover all possible leakages and contain them
- Invest time on new exciting things, and disseminate them fast. Make your customer do the job for you when a new entrant comes. Provide your customer with tools and arguments so they can question the new entrant. Lock them out!!!
If you want to ride that monopoly road even when a competitor comes in make sure you always remember the following:
- Keep your head up and pay attention to what is going on in the market. Don;t get caught by surprise!
- Get closer to your customers
- Don’t ever forget your legacy installed base
- Provide your customer with tools to defend your brand for you
- Lock your competitor out