Can you imagine a newspaper headline like that?
Might be a bit tricky.
Because, it’s not really possible for market share to maul someone, is it?
People sometimes act like it is though. They act like ‘market-share’ is some haunting thing that can destroy your company or brutalize your competition.
Well… it can and it can’t, what matters is, it’s kind of important.
When people think of market share, they usually think of having their business out-do the competition. They think of ‘claiming’ more of the market.
Well, it often seems mysterious, it seems ‘big’. Woooo, how do we claim more “market share?”
It can feel like a huge burden.
It can be a lot of work to ‘market’ yourself.
But it doesn’t have to be.
There are ‘wise ways’ to increase market share, do you know them? I mean really know them? Don’t worry…
By the end of this article… you will, and you’ll start to…
1. Look at things a different way
Most people see their industry and their market as a limited pie, to be divided up and fought over, and they see two ways of getting more.
- Stealing customers away from the competition
- Getting customers when they’re new (first-time buyers).
And that’s kind of true, but I see a root cause to those 2 things and that root cause is…
Because the only way to reliably ‘steal’ customers away or ‘attract’ new ones, is to be different.
You can’t control other people, and you can’t make them do what you want. All you can do is be more relevant, attractive, and noticeable than others.
You gotta be different.
You may have had people tell you to ‘be yourself’ or ‘stand-out’ and other cliched things that you probably have no clue on how to implement.
And that’s okay.
But the people who tell you to ‘be yourself’ are right — they just don’t have any clear steps for you. They’re saying that if you ‘be yourself’ and bring ‘personality’ to your business you will increase market share.
This is sometimes called “differentiation”, because suprise, surprise it’s all about being different.
In fact, there’s tons of terms you’ll hear related to this: “brand affinity”, “mind-share”, “differentiation strategy“, etc.
It’s simple though, no need to get too technical — the truth is, effective marketing is claiming positive attention in people’s minds, and those people make up your market.
There was a lady who’s sink was overflowing. She needed a plumber, so she went to Google and typed in “plumber fix sink.”
A few how-to results came up, a couple bland plumbers as well, but the fourth result caught her eye immediately.
“The Singing Plumber – Fixing A Sink” this article was so interesting to people, it had gained quite a number of hits since it was posted.
Her decison was practically made right there. As long as this site didn’t absolutely suck and turn her off, she was pretty much sold. She thought of herself as a fun person, and she should have a fun plumber.
A singing plumber? This was totally different and sounded fun.
Now, what she didn’t know, and might never know, was that The Singing Plumber was a bland, boring, struggling plumber for many years, until he brought his personality to things and differentiated himself.
Did the other Google search results get the powerful consideration The Singing Plumber did? Hardly. Not only that, anyone who would waste the singing plumber’s time would’ve seen the clear difference and not even clicked it.
The Singing Plumber’s clear difference were attracting 100% pure, hot, eager-to-buy ‘leads.’
2. I’m not kidding, be different!
This is me, talking more about point #1, ’cause it’s really important.
You cannot – I repeat – you cannot make reliable progress to increase market share unless you’re clearly (and increasingly) different.
And I’m not talking a little different, I’m taking noticeably different. Clearly different. Meaningfully different.
Your ‘differentness’ is absolutely begging to be communicated well.
Yep, your ‘differentness’ is like an awesome part of you, it needs to be communicated well.
Not hidden-on-your-about-page-different, but up-front, bold, and in-your-face-different.
It might show up in your logo, in your video, everywhere, it’s better to go overboard than to hold back.
And when I say be different, it doesn’t mean “Oh hey, I’ll be different by not using an offiicial website, that’s different, right?” (though I can imagine a way that could work.) The idea isn’t to just be stupid about it, the idea is to find things that are and have been personal to you for a while — your secret thoughts and desires.
See, everyone has secret thoughts and desires – stuff they’d like to do, but that they hide away – and these are usually the most interesting and ‘different’ things they have.
For example, for most of my life I wanted to direct my insight & wisdom towards topics that mattered, but the people around me always wanted shallow discussions with no vulnerability.
So I settled. I kept that part of my personality chilled out in the background, rarely bringing it up, and it made me bland. It made me talk and look and sound like everyone else.
My claim on the market was minimal, because the market’s attention was busy finding things that were different and interesting.
I kept failing in my businesses for a long time, until I started taking that secret desire, and putting it up front.
Ryze talks about things that matter: money, sex, and fame, and when I started being up front about that, people flock to me and I’m invited to write everywhere (thanks Danny!)
Want a very simple difference to start with? Stop hiding where you’re from. Every time I surf somewhere, I’m very interested to know where people are from — and you know what? They never say!
Rep your city hard. I love Toronto, I’m the first branded, positive badass from the T-Dot-Oh, and I’m proud of it.
This is an awesome difference to leverage. Use yours.
And I’m not perfect at it, but I love getting better at clarifying my brand and differentiating myself, and claiming the market’s attention, and I think you will too, after all it generates more profit 😉
3. Different = your brand = ‘you’
In case sections one and two didn’t make this insanely f*@#ing clear, being different is ultra-important.
Because difference is the foundation of your brand. It makes you worthwhile to people.
Is this easy? Sorta. You’re born different, and it’s easy to be natural and have it come out, but almost everyone’s been trained to hide their differences.
It’s physically pretty easy, depending on what size company you are, but it takes balls to claim market share. It takes confidence and boldness. It takes getting comfortable with things that seem scary.
Ask yourself honestly, is my company ‘variety’? Or is it “just another blog, another service, another store?”
Imagine you’re someone else for a moment. And imagine meeting your real self at a party.
Imagine watching yourself giving some personality-less speech about “what you do” and handing out personality-less business cards.
Do you see the recipient saving that card carefully? Or would they toss it in a pile of pocket lint? Do you see them checking out your site immediately, or would they get back to their family and forget about you?
‘Cause if they don’t *remember* you, your impact is dead on arrival.
Now, ask those same questions about The Singing Plumber. Do you think he’s remembered?
… exactly …
What I’m saying is, your differences are you. Your differences are your brand. Your differences are your market share.
Successful companies get this.
Coke and Pepsi are very different — not so much in taste of drink, they’re both dark carbonated sugar-beverages, and that’s fine. They’re ‘the same’ that way, but they have tons of key differences.
Their advertising, marketing, positioning, community involvement, emotional impact, and more are very different.
Pepsi uses celebrities of the moment, Coke uses brand-specific animated bears and legions of Coke fans in their videos. Pepsi doesn’t have a clear emotional stance, Coke stands clearly for fun & optimism.
When Playboy debuted, it was waaaay different than every other magazine out there. Some very clear differences. 😉
Some people like to compare Nicki Minaj to Lady Gaga, but really? Are they sooooo similar? Or do they claim different market share because of their differentiation?
Are you seeing the differences? Are you getting it? And do some of these brands have a stronger market share?
These brands injected deep personality.
They aligned with their strengths and their quirks, and that’s the key.
And remember different doesn’t always mean better — it just means different. The Singing Plumber didn’t have to be a better plumber, or cheaper plumber, he just had to differentiate himself.
Prioritize your differences
What I want you to do is take a break from worrying about money, take a break from worrying about the tons of info being fed to you daily, and focus on what I’m telling you here.
Prioritize your differences. Never let them fade into the background again. Wear ’em with pride and claim yourself some reliable market share, who love you for you, and who bring you up in conversation.
I could go on about personality, branding, and ‘being real’ for a long time, it’s a massively deep topic, but to jumpstart you, I’ll send you to Ryze’s How To Have Fun Finding Your Life Purpose (With Pretty Pictures) exercise, It’ll help you get clear on some of your differences. and give you an example of how to integrate them.
Rock on and ryze up.
P.S. Stay tuned for part 4 which helps you increase market size, and check out parts one and two. Tons of thanks to Mirasee for the chance to share with you guys valuable stuff to make you — and consequently the economy — richer.