Coca-Cola was quickly losing its market share to Pepsico. They were worried that Pepsi’s new advert campaign was starting to make their star product, Coke, seem a bit old-fashioned. So they conducted extensive market research that included a series of blind tests amongst thousands of people for a product called New Coke, that would be nearly as sweet as Pepsi, and hopefully regain back it’s lead in the market. From the research conducted, it appeared that most people liked the new product better than Pepsi, so they powers-that-be back at the headquarters assumed that meant people loved it better than the previous Coke.
On the 23rd of April 1985 Coca-Cola factories worldwide pulled the plug on the original Coke formula and began rolling out the “New Coke”.
It was a total disaster!
The customers resisted and boycotted the new drink. They felt betrayed. Within weeks, the Coca-Cola executives and top management got the message and quickly reverted back to the original formula.
Since then Coca-Cola has learnt a valuable lesson about getting side-tracked by the competition and losing sight of the BIG picture. So in the last 30 years rather than compete head-to-head with Pepsi over market share, they have asked a different question: how can we increase our wallet share of each customer?
Market share has to do with increasing your market share and getting more customers. Wallet share dwells more on the question of how much money is each customer spending on my products? It’s a whole new way of playing the game. One that requires critical thinking and innovation to create new services and products.
Coca-Cola did this by diversifying into different consumer groups within the same industry like Eva bottled water, Five Alive range and a dozen other new drinks. This ensures that whether a customer decides to have a cold fizzy soda drink like Coke, or opt for fruit flavoured juice like Five Alive or take the healthy alternative and buy table water- there’s always a choice of Coca-Cola products which they can choose from.
The question here is, how flexible are you in getting your customers to be able to choose your services and buy more from you each time?
A good bank must be able to provide a wide array of financial services in order to gain wallet share and avoid their customers from having several bank accounts to service different needs.
A decent hospital must be able to provide several health care services ranging from dental to skin care to maternity in order to make it an obvious choice for entire families and organizations not just the single individual.
A church might need to have a counseling department, healing department, prayer warrior department, intensive miracle department, printing department, musical department etc all in a bid to avoid worshipers trying out other churches for a different solution.
Consultants and self employed professionals should be able to see themselves as entrepreneurs and help their clients in several ways. They should have books, white papers, blogs, open seminars, one-on-one coaching, radio programs, strategic alliance agreements, BBM masterclasses, Facebook group sessions, in-house training workshops etc.
So my question today is, are you completely blinded by your need to beat the competition that you completely lose focus on what the customers really want? When you can switch from being competitor-focused to becoming more customer-focused then you’ll find new ways to increase on your wallet-share.
That way you don’t need to have a wide market share to be successful, rather by maximizing your existing market and expanding on your service offerings you can get the same results or outcome.
Just think about this. While you’re doing so, share a Coke with me or maybe not. Try water instead or zobo.
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