Do you Want to be a Market Leader?


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Sometimes it pays to be the last guy in…

What did I just say?

Don’t fret, I didn’t lose my mind or go off the deep end. I still believe that the best way to be a market leader is to plot your own course. But sometimes a successful course doesn’t follow traditional thinking.

Here’s a great example of a company doing just that. Vizio is well known to all of us. They produce those fabulous flat-panel TVs that made high quality viewing affordable for many of us. We can thank Visio’s “following” strategy for the decline in prices on flat panels.

Visio’s strategy is simple. Provide high-quality and innovative products that are affordable for the masses. That’s exactly what they did with televisions. They let other vendors create and define the market (and spend those marketing dollars), and then they entered the market with high quality, feature packed televisions – at a dramatically reduced price point. And that strategy worked. Vizio reported $2.5 billion in revenue for 2009, up from $142 million posted in 2005. Today they are the number one vendor in flat-panel televisions – with only 300 employees. Yep – you read that right.

This week Visio is announcing their new smart phone and tablet device. Once again they’ve let others create the market, and now they’re stepping in with innovative and well priced products. And this time they have an even bigger advantage – a loyal set of retailer and all those happy customers who bought their televisions.

Key to Visio’s innovation is to use the internet to connect Visio televisions, tablets and phones as a seamless set of devices. Check these ideas:

  • Consistency of use. Taking a lead from Apple’s playbook, users will access the new tablet and phone in exactly the same way they access their TV sets.
  • Seamless integration. Both the the tablet and phone feature HDMI, so you can display videos you shoot or collect on a larger TV screen. The phone and tablet will be usable as remote controls for other consumer-electronics devices, including all Vizio products.
  • Seamless Service All Viso products devices come with access to Vizio’s Via Plus Internet service. That gives users seamless access to services from Visio partners including Netflix downloads, Facebook and Twitter as well as the Android platform of applications.
  • Vizio on Demand. Now we’re really getting into some innovation. Imagine beginning a movie or game or anything on your tv – then swicthing to your tablet or phone and taking it on the road (or to bed) to finish. That’s what you get and- and I guarantee there’s more to come from this service!

Visio is a smart follower. They sit back and learn from their competitors and from their markets. then they create products that take advantage of all their competitors market creation dollars – while delivering solutions that meet and exceed the needs of customers.

That’s a pretty smart Zero Gravity strategy if you ask me! It’s surely a whole new way of thinking about being a follower – and a market leader.

BTW – Apple does the same thing quite often – just look at the iPod and the iPhone:)


Image courtesy of Free-Foto

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rebel Brown
Rebel Brown consistently challenges the status quo to deliver optimum solutions and high velocity growth for her clients. She combines the strategic expertise and tactical savvy of a global Corporate Strategy, Launch and Turnaround Expert, along with the leadership and motivational skills needed to get the job done.


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