If there’s one thing at which my Graphos team is exceptionally great, it’s turning clients into leaders within their industry. Not just through crafting world-class branding and marketing but equally by helping business owners unite their sales and marketing and deliver on their brand promise. Moreover, we create marketing that generates provable ROI, and the client actually owns the whole industry leadership package. Nobody else really does that.
We’ve done it many times. But don’t get me wrong: true market leadership is not a commodity you can buy from a marketing agency. It’s a mindset that must fully permeate your enterprise.
What does it take to dominate a highly competitive industry? It means thinking in a way other players have not. You’ve got to be committed to winning, and to owning your market on every level. More than anything, it’s about never being willing to settle for second place.
Dominating means embodying leadership, not merely leading in a few random metrics. It means looking like a leader, performing like a leader—and genuinely leading.
A fantastic client of mine sent me this quote from 3-time Super Bowl winning coach Vince Lombardi as we were working hard to get his website to #1 in Google (we succeeded):
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit... there is no room for second place.”
The entire text can be found here. It’s a highly worthwhile read, because in setting out to dominate, you must first understand what an all-encompassing, unyielding concept this is.
From the standpoint of marketing and branding, here are three things every dominant business does consistently well:
The majority of businesses in every sector (especially those who continuously troll the low to middle ground) completely fail at identifying standout benefits or qualities. Simply claiming to be “the best” doesn’t count. More likely it’s a strike against you in the eyes of skeptical prospects—which is most prospects. You must clearly articulate the unique benefit you offer, in a way that resonates in the context of your customers’ pain points. Customers need to see, feel and fully understand why you’re better by a country mile. The positioning for Ascension Chiropractic, a very successful Ottawa chiropractor, makes clear that many symptoms are the “tip of the iceberg” and that there is much more to the care Ascension provides.
Very few business leaders don’t look the part. If you operate out of a dim and cluttered shop, and print your business cards on the cheapest possible stock, there is no value in claiming to be number one in your field. You are already showing the world you’re less than exceptional. Great brands understand their image is visible proof. Customers always judge a book by its cover. If you’re looking to dominate, you simply must partner with a strong branding and marketing company. Even visionaries like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson sought talented branding partners who really understood their markets.
Once you’ve established and begun evangelizing your brand promise, never fall down on it. Create processes and systems to ensure you always deliver on your differentiating factors. Do your customers recognize and reinforce your claims in online reviews? If not, consider a reputation management program to be sure the world is getting a strong first impression. Not only do online reviews make a huge difference in lead generation, they are an important ranking factor in search and a major influence to any prospect assessing your brand—from investors to prospective employees. We’ve created substantial positive impacts for clients by implementing programs that foster authentic customer reviews.
Dominating an industry requires an entirely different mindset from merely surviving or achieving profitability. You must be convinced that second place is the first loser, and believe with conviction your offering is by any measure far superior to the competition. Then set out to prove it in everything you do, every time.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into what it takes to turn your brand into a market leader, I would be happy to offer a free initial consultation.
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