Published on March 8, 2017
The Real Truth About The First To Market Strategy
Being first does not necessarily ensure that you will dominate the market, but coming later does not guarantee success either. However, if you’re able to find a way of providing value with careful execution then being the first-to-market is a great company strategy for success. Timing is essential in the business world and releasing a valuable product before anyone else seems like the smartest way to secure your dominance in the marketplace. The key is to figure out the right time. Before you can do that, you’ll need to find the potential advantages and disadvantages associated with being the first to market.
Here are the clear-cut advantages:
Consumer Impact – First movers make a big impact in the minds of consumers, they set a standard for those behind them. Characteristics, delivery methods, price points and other business factors combine a certain level of expectation that you can define to strengthen your company brand.
Name Recognition – If you are the first to pioneer into a certain market, you will surely experience an exclusive sort of name recognition during the beginning stages of the product’s life. Your goal during this time should be to maintain a strong market presence; your name will continue to be identified with the product even after others have joined the market.
Lack of Competition – This is the obvious, and being the first in the mark allows you to have exclusive market rights. You’ll be able to leverage your temporary position as the main provider, and you can make significant gains in the short term, as well as plot a strategy to continue remaining competitive when the market gets crowded.
Netflix and Apple’s App Store are good examples of companies who carried out this strategy successfully. I know you are arguing these two right now, aren’t you?
Here are the disadvantages of being first to market:
Market Ignorance – when you create a new product, you are essentially creating a whole new market. As a first timer, the new market will be shouldered on your company. Your company will be expected to introduce the product and educate consumers about its value. This translates into a lot of time, effort and resources that your competitors don’t have to worry about.
Solution – collaborate and partner with expert in related area. Share the ideas and the costs. Gain new perspectives.
Product Development – First timers also absorb the cost of developing a product to the point of marketability. This might not be an issue for all companies, but for complex products, it’s going to require some serious consideration. Your goal should be to create a timeless market presence.
Solution – Keep marketing and build early adopters and buyers who are willing to work along with you as a benefit to them.
Cheap Knockoffs – If your product turns out to be a success, you can bet that someone else is going to try and steal it by offering an even cheaper alternative. You want to avoid being priced out by someone else who hasn’t invested anything in your product’s design or development.
Solution – Being First to Market is not a one time occurrence. Being First is something to continually strive for. Once your competition catches up with what they think you are doing, you are adding something else. Not only does this frustrate them to no end but it will cause you and your team to never coast.
The decision to take this road will guarantee you will always keep improving keep offering more, and keep you in front of everyone’s minds. You may make a TON of money, you may make impact in ways you never thought of. But one thing is for certain, you won’t be bored.