It’s an intimidating question. How many CEOs of companies under $100 million can confidently say that they’re influencing the market?
There are only a few companies that influence any market; the rest of the companies are just followers.
The simplest way to influence a market is with a patent or legal barrier. The next best way is to create the market yourself.
But most mid-market CEOs don’t have a patent and are battling in an existing market that’s mature. And they’re being influenced by someone else.
If you’re one of them, the path to market influence starts with your company vision and purpose. Once that’s set, as long as it’s a purpose that is meaningful and impactful, you can achieve market influence by continually executing a well-constructed marketing and sales strategy, year-in and year-out, that supports your company vision and purpose.
Influencing Your Market Results from a Carefully-Crafted Strategy
This strategy is your company roadmap, and it contains the single most important set of decisions that will determine your ultimate lasting company value.
Your entire strategy starts with your competitive positioning:
- Competitive positioning delivers an objective look at how your offering fits within the marketplace, and within the context of the mind of the people that purchase it.
- This positioning is the foundation for your brand, and the two must be aligned to influence a market.
Your brand then delivers upon and enhances the customer experience that supports your purpose:
- Since your brand is your “representation” of this experience that you own in the market’s mind, it must be communicated throughout all of your distribution channels and supported by your pricing.
- All of your marketing and selling activities must bring it to life, from your offers to your creative to your sales activity to your customer interactions.
If your brand is consistent throughout every market touch point and supports your existing positioning, you’ll begin to influence your market.
Live and Breath Your Brand
This takes time – years to decades. Every person in your company facing the market must live and breathe it. It’s the only way to achieve market influence without a legal or legislative barrier to entry.
Do you have that roadmap in place?
Here’s how I approach implementing the strategy with the mid-market companies I work with.