Resources  >> How to Win in a Weak Market

About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  June 26, 2014

How to Win in a Weak Market

Do you think weak markets hurt everyone? Not according to this study of almost 7,000 global firms in 64 industries. The upshot: every industry — even the slow-growth, weak-market segments — can still have top performers.

The smoking-gun stat: Between 2003 and 2013, 30 percent of organizations with top shareholder returns were in slow-growth segments. How did they do it? They were winners in the competition game, taking market share from others without reducing prices. Let me repeat that: they got more business without reducing prices. Yes, in weak markets.

This study shows what I’ve ranted about for years: slow growth markets bring new challenges, but not a blanket excuse for low revenues. It is possible to grow our thought leadership in a marketplace where free stuff is rampant. If you slash prices in order to get sales, you get unprofitable sales. Period.

How do we win in weak markets? This study has the right answer: using our advantages in a strategic way. It’s not enough to know what you are good at. You have to use that advantage strategically. And that’s where many folks blow it. When you don’t effectively compare your advantage to the competition, you allow folks to undercut your price. If you don’t know if your competitors can match your best gifts, then how will you out-compete them? The standard answer: again, it’s price. Hence, the reduced profitability.

My point is two-fold: (1) it’s too easy to let weak markets dictate our fate. Let’s not assume that we can’t do better; and, (2) in weak markets, market strategy rules. Those who can deploy what they do best in the best way, win. It’s just that simple.

Since 1987, I’ve helped thought leaders and businesses compete in crowded markets. If I can help, let me know. You can do this.

 

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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.