The one question every market leader should ask

The one market leadership question

Two thoughts that I really like, brought together to create a powerful and competitive question.

The first was one introduced to me by Rob Smith many years back. I call it the –est test and it goes like this. There are a very small number of fully competitive positions in a sector and you need to own, and align yourself, to one:


Anything else is the middle ground.

Everyone I raise this with debates the number and raises other possibilities. But you get the idea. It’s superlative and competitive and combative. To me, this is the nub of brand positioning. Who are you going to be? And are you sure, are you really sure, you want to be that?

Second thought, introduced by Seth Godin in this post.  Out-. You win when you:


He gives others. To me, these stack up as the market leading opportunities. They signal how you intend to win.

I think this question brings the two together:

Who are you going to out-______ in order to be the ______-est in your sector?

What I really like about this is how scary it is on the one hand. And how specific it is on the other.

Note: A version of this post has been published elsewhere under the title How Will Your Brand Win?


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  2. Excellent perspective! Thanks for linking to our post, “3 Questions for Innovation” in your Other Perspectives section. Looking forward to reading more.

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