Share of Which Market?

by Sat Duggal


In our quest for organic growth, we can often be our own worst enemy. In the development of a win share strategy one of the most obvious, critical but often neglected question is – what market are we trying to get an additional share of? When marketers or executives are asked this question their response is usually formed on the basis of their product or service category i.e. we are in the credit card market, the market for inventory finance or the market for car audio systems. Sometimes this is even taken to the next level by adding entry-level, mid-range, premium and super-premium labels before the product/service category.

This can be a real issue in the development of the strategy because it limits the ideas and solutions to the possibilities of today’s products and services. It is very difficult to craft unique innovations when you and your competitors are tweaking today’s products and services. It is very difficult to invent the next mini-van or iPod when you set off to win share in the mid-level family sedan or Walkman/Discman market.

Breakthrough innovations come from a fresh assumption-breaking definition of what market we belong in. The basis for the market definition should not be on what we sell but what the customer needs. The true basis of a market definition is our customers and how they meet their needs by considering various alternatives.



When defined correctly, the market can be approached from a fresh and unique perspective. It allows us to truly understand the needs and pain points from the customer’s point of view rather than from within the myopic (nod to Theodore Levitt) frame offered by our product/service category. It also helps us understand what the frame of reference is, according to the customer, and thereby identify competitors who would not otherwise be on our radar screen.

So before you start your journey in developing and implementing you win share strategy, grab a few colleagues, block out a few hours and try to understand the customer needs that you serve and the alternatives that your customers consider. You will find the investment of time and effort well worth your while downstream in the process.

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Keywords: Go-To-Market