To increase market share a business has to take customers from its competitors or attract new customers. Achieving this requires having a thorough understanding of both your customer base and that of rival businesses.

Having the answers to the following questions will help you build a comprehensive picture of your market and your competitors and put you in a stronger position to win a bigger market share.

  • Who are your existing customers? Are there any other groups that may require your product or service that you haven't targeted before? Can your product or service be used for other purposes that you had not previously thought of that could make it appealing to a wider market?
  • What are your competitors' strengths? Do you have these too? If not, why not - and should you have them?
  • Why do customers buy from your competitors? What advantages do you have over your rivals that may attract their customers? How can you communicate with your competitors' customers to get them to switch and buy from you instead?
  • What is your unique selling point?
  • Apart from obvious rivals, are there any other ones with customers you may appeal to?
  • Are there customers who have stopped buying from you? Do you know why? If not, you may want to ask them.
  • Will you need to change pricing, marketing, distribution, service levels? Could those changes upset current customers? Will your employees remain motivated?

Be Seen In Three Different Places

This well-known old marketing principle, still relevant today, states that you should be seen in three different places.  
The idea is that if potential customers see your name in three separate places, they are more likely to recognise your business. They are also more likely to remember you when they want your services. 
For example; you see that a new car XYZ 1 is released three times, once on a billboard, once online and once on television.  A few weeks later you are thinking about buying a new car and you think about XYZ 1 because you have seen it on numerous occasions and thus are aware of its existence.
Increasing your market share can be difficult when your competition is already highly visible in the market place. There are however, always places where competitors might not be seen; and sometimes the way that a small business can compete with a big one, is to find the places where the big one is not seen.
For example, your big competitors may be highly visible on the internet, on TV and in print media - but they might not be seen much in the local community (e.g. through schools, sporting clubs, etc).  They may be everywhere on prominent web sites, but perhaps not visible on specialist web sites.

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