Many business-to-business companies face a big challenge in crowded markets: When they can't differentiate in a very clear and obvious way that ties to business results, they find themselves competing on price, which leads to declining margins and slow or negative growth. This problem is even more pronounced for businesses that essentially sell expertise, because their primary source of value is through technology innovation and subject matter experts. These both get only more expensive with time, even as prices fall. The company gets squeezed in the middle as it watches margins evaporate. At best, lower margins prevent the company from investing in product innovation and growth. At worst, the company goes out of business.
What each company needs to do is aim to stand out as the recognized Go-To for its ability to solve a common, critical market problem in a very unique, exceptionally effective way. This sets the company apart and converts it from a commodity to a rare, sought-after resource for which customers are willing to pay a premium.
To help companies accomplish this, we developed the Apollo Method for Market Dominance™. It is a strategic marketing framework that guides companies through the four pillars of differentiation and provides a structured approach to the design and implementation of strategy, operations and marketing programs. You end up with a strategic architecture that makes you hard to imitate. It uses the Apollo space program as a metaphor, because many of the things NASA did to achieve John F. Kennedy's vision of dominance in space are the same things a company needs to do to win its own market space race.
Here is a quick overview of each of the four pillars. Contact us for more details and to explore how this might apply to your business. If you think you are already applying this approach, we can conduct an audit to identify areas of vulnerability.
Launch: Take intellectual “ownership” of an unsolved market problem, develop a seminal point of view, define a unique solution, and launch yourself into the market.
Ignite: Become identified with the problem and solution by continuously igniting excitement and buzz in the market through targeted promotional and thought leadership activity, starting with key influencers.
Navigate: Help clients navigate their way toward solving the problem with your offering and tailored services. This is all about selling and delivering on the promise. You also want to conduct community building activities that give market participants a place to gather and collaborate, with you at the center.Accelerate: Pick up speed as you further entrench yourself as the Go-To while continuously adapting your strategy to market trends and competitive forces.