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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.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  November 09, 2017

When Your Thought Leadership Is Threatened

thought leadership, competition

You’ve done the work. And it’s paid off. You are now the go-to resource in your space. You’re the frontrunner, the thought leader who can do no wrong.

Until … someone very prominent in another space encroaches on your territory. This oldie-but-goodie Strategy + Business article drills down on this dynamic and offers some ideas applicable to thought leaders. Move past the manufacturing focus; here are the best takeaways:

• Extend vs. expectations. The authors rightly note that disruptive new players just don’t extend the marketplace. They establish a “radically new position.” The result: They redefined buyer expectations. Your best next step: Determine the new point of comparison. And figure out how you can redefine their redefinition in that context.

• Leapfrog the threat. This is my dead-on favorite response. Here’s how it works for thought leaders: Combine what you do best with your new (and prominent) competitor’s offer. Your buyers get the best of both worlds: Your gifts in a “new” way. Example from the article: A cable company meets buyers’ new expectations for customized channels with their best gift of access everywhere.


Listen: How to deal with buyers’ new expectations


In the rowdy marketplace of ideas, competitors can come out of nowhere. And buyers can’t seem to get enough of bright shiny objects. If we stay calm and use what we do best in different ways, we can meet these challenges head-on with innovative solutions.


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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.