Courtesy of Apple

We have identified the phenomenon of “complacency” as is one of the potential vulnerabilities of market leaders who have outdistanced their closest competitors by a considerable margin.  There is a tendency to coast on their momentum instead of continuously reinvest in staying sharp.  They tend to “rest on their laurels”, relying on the recognition of their previous achievements to stay on top. As a luxury real estate marketing professional, if you want to challenge the market leader this is an important symptom of vulnerability to be able to recognize and also be able to exploit.  

In Steven Covey’s mega-bestselling book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People he writes about the flip side of complacency which is  working too hard, for fear of losing ground to the competition, and not taking the time for self renewal or “sharpening the saw”.  In our strategic branding consulting practice and also as syndicated bloggers we are continuously interviewing top producing agents.  We notice that the market leaders who are workaholics are equally vulnerable to being challenged as the complacent ones.

When a new idea of doing business is introduced to the complacent market leader, the response is often “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it”?  When a new idea in proposed to a workaholic it is often rejected because they do not have the time to take a break from sawing in order to sharpen the saw.  In both cases there is a paucity of innovation, ingenuity and imagination at the top which makes them vulnerable to challengers who are eager and willing to “think outside the box.”

In our previous post we highlighted the brilliant success of Apple’s retail stores.  Clearly, Apple is an enlightened market leader that does not rest on its laurels.  It continuously stays sharply focused and is an uninterrupted font of innovation.   Within a year of the debut of the iPad, iPad 2 trumped its predecessor and preempted many of its would- be competitors by including superior features like two cameras and a skinnier profile.

The genius who is mainly credited for the success of the Apple stores is Ron Johnson, the Senior VP of Retail Operations, who recently was tapped for the CEO position of J.C Penny to restore its prominence as a market leader.  In an interview, Johnson said, “I’ve always dreamed of leading a major retail company as CEO. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help J.C. Penney re-imagine what I believe to be the single greatest opportunity in American retailing today, the Department Store.”

A true market leader is willing to continuously re-invent and re-imagine its business model.  Essentially, a great market leader never stops thinking like a challenger.

If you are a market leader and you find yourself getting complacent or becoming a workaholic these are warning signals that your health and the health of your luxury real estate marketing practice is in jeopardy.  You are definitely vulnerable to being caught off-guard by a challenger who is open to new ideas.

Read Part 1 of This Series

 Check out our popular Blog Series: So You Want to Be a Market Leader



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