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The Market is soft and there is nothing we can do. Rubbish.

market down

Demand is down. The market is soft.  There is nothing we can do. But it will pick up. We just have to wait.

Heard this before?

Sure the market might pick up. But it might not. And while we are waiting, what are our competitors doing? Waiting as well? Or innovating.

Excellent article appeared in my inbox tonight from Strategy&. Here are some quotes:

“The trouble is, a weak market isn’t a valid excuse. Plenty of companies that achieve above-average shareholder returns compete in average or below-average industries. “
“How do the winners in low- growth industries do it? By taking market share from others. And not only do they take market share, but they take it profitably, often without reducing prices. When companies successfully get these two things going together—market share and profitability gains—they in effect create their own growth cycle, one that is independent of the industry cycle. A sort of disequilibrium takes hold, allowing the companies that created it to become dominant in their sectors. “

“The companies that create the conditions for it generally don’t follow a template, but discover a particular advantage they can use to tilt the market in their direction and keep it that way. These enterprises often become a source of fascination (and envy) among competitors because they offer proof that in busi- ness, true advantage can be created and sustained for years, or even for decades, when companies are especially shrewd—no matter the overall state of the industry. ”

“If the leading company uses its advantages smartly, other companies slip in both market share and profitability. And the effect is cumulative: The less successful companies’ weakening position leads to a reduction in investments, further hindering the quality of what these companies can offer to the market. Some of them don’t survive, allow ing the leader to grow yet more in influence and market power.”

It concludes as follows:

“What does all this mean, if you’re a CEO in a slow-growing industry? It means you shouldn’t go looking for a “better” industry, one that’s growing more rapidly than yours. Embrace your own segment. Counterintuitive as it sounds, the opportunity to get great returns for shareholders is probably better where you are than in a market that’s growing by double digits. You can make those better returns come to you by figuring out where you have an advantage, or might gain one, in terms of cost, service, selection, or a disruptive new product. Make an increase in market share your main measure of winning. And finally, once you’ve got the advantage, keep on doing what you need to do to extend it. The nature of any market is that the opportunity is finite. It’s you or them.”

It’s you or them. What’s it going to be?

Design solutions that shatter assumptions, delight customers, and define growth possibilities sustainably

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