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Making Elbow Room In a Crowded Market

Let’s face it –the golden age of product introduction is over. The wheel has been invented and reinvented numerous times, sliced bread has been around for a few centuries now, and all the colors of the rainbow have been pimped out to the ninth degree. So, what do you do when the market is so saturated that you can no longer find a place to stand? You find a way to make it expand.

That’s what Method did. The home cleaning products company decided they weren’t selling soap, they were fighting the good fight against dirty. Now this may seem like a bunch of pomp and circumstance, but there is a lot of substance to their style. They see each bottle of their natural product as a little “green” soldier in the fight to change the world. They defined dirty as not just dirt, but the chemicals and other substances that other cleaning products leave behind, and the stinging eyes and headaches that come with them.  All of this is comes wrapped in a simple, well-designed package made from 100% recyclable and biodegradable material that delivers their message into the hearts and homes of consumers.

Salesforce.com took a similar road. They didn’t become another CRM software company, they aligned themselves with cloud technology. They are for “Success. Not software.”  The upstart company founded by former Cisco employees decided not to sell costly software like every other CRM company. Instead, they let companies take advantage of the power of cloud computing, accessing software as needed from the comfort of their favorite Internet browser. It’s a low risk, low cost model that gives companies what they need, when they need it, without making an investment in software that will be irrelevant in the next six months.

We live in an era of highly competitive, oversaturated markets, where everyone is fighting for their fair share. Well established, household names will always have one leg up on anyone trying to enter the market. The only way to get a piece of the pie is to expand the territory in which you can operate. As Adam Morgan said about challenger brands, when your competition has a spear that’s 8 feet long, the best strategy isn’t to fight with a spear that’s 4 feet long. You have to find a unique way to make a stand, and bring a gun to the knife fight.

Written by Ken Hammond on January 28, 2011

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Written by
Ken Hammond