In luxury real estate marketing the top three players typically own the lion’s share of the business.  For those of you who are aiming for market leadership and are interested in overtaking the incumbent market leaders in your area or niche, here is your recipe for success. 

This phenomenon of three players dominating a marketplace is true not only in luxury real estate marketing, but in most product and services categories. In 2009 #1 Coca-Cola Co. enjoyed a 41.9% market share of the non-alcoholic beverage market. #2 PepsiCo commanded 29.9% and #3 Dr. Pepper Snapple owned 16.4%.  Together they comprised 88.2% of the entire soft drink marketplace worldwide.

In 1992, two South African gentlemen by the name of Sacks and Schlosberg paid $14.5 million for, Hansen Natural Corp, maker of wholesome beverages such as preservative-free natural sodas and low-carb peach smoothies. At that time Hansen was doing about $17 million a year in sales. By 2009 Hansen was transformed into the #6 position in the overall soft drink marketplace with $1.14 billion in revenue.  How did they do that? 

In 2002 they identified an uncontested market niche, a $2-3 billion dollar category that had only one major player. That niche was Energy Drinks, with extremely high levels of caffeine and sugar. The major player was Red Bull, an Australian company. Hansen named their energy drink, Monster Energy.  With the slogan, "Unleash the beast'', Monster was positioned as an edgy alternative to Red Bull. With scary packaging, plus a multitude of extreme-sports sponsorships, their strategy was also to offer double the quantity (16 ounces of virtually the identical recipe in Red Bull’s 8 ounce can) for the same price.

At first, Hansen Natural made a few missteps. Instead of creating a separate and unique brand (a mistake that many real estate agents and companies make when going after an additional niche in their marketplace), they named their energy drink Hansen’s Energy.

Only when they changed the “recipe” of their brand (not the ingredients of their energy drink) by creating a new name  and crafting a new package that expressed their unique brand personality (as well as the fundamental nature of the category itself), did they fully engage the minds of their target market: predominately 18-30 year old guys. This caused their sales to sky rocket. Essentially, Monster’s brand became a superior “spokesperson” for the category.  They were thus able to reach a broader spectrum of their target with the right message.  And, that is the recipe for overtaking the incumbent market leader.

Most luxury real estate marketing professionals, have the mistaken notion that personal branding is merely a matter of donning a new look, like going shopping for a new outfit and buying a new tricked-out website, like purchasing a new car.  While you will definitely outshine 60% of the agents whose websites are over 5 years old ( an NAR statistic) you will not accomplish the most important task at hand: developing and executing a brand strategy that catapults you to top-of-mind status as one of the top three agents in your marketplace.

In 2009 Hansen Natural Corp, now the energy drink category leader, grew 11.0% over 2008.  Red Bull grew only 1.2%.  Hansen shipped 29% more cases in 2009 than Red Bull.


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