Market Share Isn’t Quite as Important as You Think

“Market Share Isn’t Quite as Important as You Think”
by Michael Aaron Gallagher

Market share isn’t quite as important as you think it is. From the moment you start feeling the pressure of competition in business, you can’t help but notice that there’s a pie and your piece looks smaller than everyone else’s.

As a New Yorker, I live in one of the most economically depressed states in the country, with high unemployment, low occupancy rates, cities suffering from “brain drain,” and high property taxes, sales taxes, and income taxes. When I meet another marketing consultant, I can feel the tension in the room. They act defensively, like they are going to lose something if they aren’t careful. Are they worried about losing their clients? Do they feel threatened that there is someone else out there with new ideas?

I have actually been in job interviews, where I knew I wouldn’t get the job because the interviewer was worried about something. It didn’t matter that I showed them what I have done in the past for other companies, or that I had put together strategies to achieve their business goals. They didn’t want fresh new ideas. They didn’t even want tried and tested ideas. They wanted to remain the same. They didn’t want to bring someone on board who had the potential to take their job away from them and implement a new vision.

So why are people so afraid of losing market share? It’s because they aren’t innovative. They lack the insight to create new markets for their products and services. They see one pie. So they hold onto their piece, while more and more people come into their industry. Their piece gets smaller and smaller, and they get more and more afraid and defensive.

What should they do?

1. Recognize That Your Pie Isn’t the Only One Out There
2. Find Ways to Work with Others in Your Industry to Make a Bigger Piece
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Change or Competition – Both Are There to Make You Stronger

Market share doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter in most industries. And it especially doesn’t matter in economically depressed regions. People need to stop worrying about what they have left and start envisioning something bigger and better for themselves and everyone around them.

If you’re whining about your market share, you’re not evaluating the true cause of your concern. You aren’t creatively looking at your company, your products, or your potential revenue streams. Need an example?

One of the most inspirational business leaders of our time, Howard Schultz of Starbucks saw a market for espresso in Seattle. If he would have been like other business people, he would have complained about how difficult it was to survive in the coffee business and how little market share there was for espresso. Instead, he created the market for Starbucks coffee. He created global market share for his product.

If you want to be better in your industry you have to create market share for yourself. When I meet someone else who is in marketing, I look at it as an opportunity to grow. By working together (instead of being afraid of each other) you find ways to make more market share for everyone. There are thousands of businesses that need to be convinced that a little marketing make-over would help them talk to their customers better. In turn those companies are rewarded with more sales, and if they educate their customers about their products and they learn from the feedback they receive, they help their industry grow.

Don’t let the market researchers tell you that there’s only one pie. Go back to the kitchen and make another one.

“Market Share Isn’t Quite as Important as You Think”
Copyright © 2008 by Michael Aaron Gallagher

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