The commoditisation of your core market is inevitable and it's the single greatest danger your organisation will face. Left unchecked it will cause your revenues to flat line and send your margins into free fall, putting your business under greater and greater pressure.
The peer to peer nature of the internet has helped to dramatically accelerate the rate of innovation by providing more and more individuals and companies with faster and easier access to funding, expert resources and advanced manufacturing techniques and in the past new blockbuster product - or category killers, would emerge every ten to fifteen years, now it's every five to seven. Meanwhile imitators are cloning your blockbuster products and undercutting you on price in your key markets faster than ever before - what used to take five years now takes less than two but unfortunately it doesn't stop there - simple products, such as shoes and accessories with low levels of patent protection are now copied and manufactured en masse in factories in the Far East within hours of release. Given enough time everything will be commoditised - whether it's space travel or robotics, electricity or the car. Nothing escapes.
Differentiation through innovation is one answer to the paradox but the best way to dominate a market is to discover a new one but that is often easier said than done. New markets exist in the gaps between alternative markets and in the voids where we either know the future market exists but don't have the knowledge or technology to exploit it, for example Fusion or simply don't know it exists because we haven't discovered it yet.
At the 311 Institute our LoneStar methodology not only helps our clients identify and quantify the disruptive threats to their companies, giving them the opportunity to navigate through or around them but also allows us to systematically identify and explore new, uncontested mass markets.