When managing a business you are facing many decisions on a daily basis. Some are routine decisions while some can be crucial for the survival of your business. Choosing the right strategy is one of the most important decisions you as a manager have to make and you have to make sure it is implemented correctly. You have many different strategies to choose from, but when it comes to innovations, you can choose to be a pioneer rather than a follower. If you are up for a challenge, aren’t afraid of taking risks and find pleasure in being the first, then the market pioneer strategy is the right choice for you.
Once you’ve decided to become a pioneer, you have to further refine your strategy and choose whether you want to focus on creating a new product or service, a new process, or a new market. The first two are considered as technological pioneering and are a great source of growth. Whichever option you choose for your innovation process have in mind that it’s usually the differentiation strategy which follows the pioneer strategy, whereas the followers opt for a lower-cost strategy.
The benefits of successfully implementing this strategy are great. Besides getting the reputation of a pioneer, you are in control of the new technology and the supply and distribution channels which lead to lowering the overall costs. You also have the possibility of creating a loyalty-strengthen relationship with your customers and, in most cases, have the biggest market share. Being a pioneer can bring you the leader position and provide you with a great defense mechanism from the competition. High profits are often linked to high barriers that you are able to create as a pioneer. The barriers can be in the form of controlling resources, technology, human capital and so on. The resource-based view of the firm provides you the advantage of exploiting and controlling valuable, scarce and hard to imitate resources.
Being a radical innovator and a pioneer also comes with first-mover disadvantages. It can cause a free-ride effect and provide your followers with free use of your achievement/innovation/ know-how/technology. This will make it easier for them to create their own version of your innovation, and make it more superior, affordable and more attractive for your customers. It is important to continuously work on improvement and make sure you are up-to-date with your customers’ needs and wants. Sometimes it is better to be open-minded for emerging technologies that your competition might be developing instead of solely and blindly focusing on your original innovation. That is the only way you can make sure not to be blind-sided and kicked out of the market/game.
Being a pioneer calls for a true innovator spirit and not many are up for the challenge. The uncertainty of your idea being developed and later on accepted is high and accompanied by a lot of risk along the way. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and start your innovation journey into the unknown. We at Innovation Cloud support great ideas and make sure to provide your business with all the necessary help in your innovation process and effort at becoming number one.