Definition

market leadership

Market leadership is the position of a company with the largest market share or highest profitability margin in a given market for goods and services. Market share may be measured by either the volume of goods sold or the value of those goods.

Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, suggests the following for anyone who wishes to become a market leader:

  • Own and control the relevant technology in whatever market you are in, either through the use of patent or other proprietary protections.
  • Adopt and implement better technologies immediately, whenever they become available, regardless of whether or not any other organizations are currently using them.
  • Be the first to use a technology or create a category for a product. Then, make it an industry standard.

Market leadership is a particularly useful and relevant concept in the Internet age, where first-movers in new markets can quickly gain monopolies for services or products. Examples of digital market leadership include:

  • Microsoft's position of the operating system (Windows) and Web browser (Internet Explorer) markets.
  • Apple's share of portable media player sales (iPod).
  • Comcast's dominance in broadband Internet access (cable modems) in many areas of North America.
  • Friendster, followed by MySpace and now Facebook's position (social networking).

This was last updated in September 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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