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).