First Mover Advantage is the first entrant into a market that establishes itself as the benchmark for other competitors. While First Mover Advantage is not a guarantee of long-term success, companies that achieve it have the best chance to gain market share and establish a strong brand.
First movers can benefit from market domination for several years before their competitors catch up. When you are the first company to bring an innovation or product category to market, you get a head start on your competition. You may also receive buzz in media channels because you’re breaking new ground.
Being a First Mover Can Provide Significant Business Advantages to an Organization. Such As:
1. Cost Savings
Being the first entry into a market provides opportunities for organizations to establish themselves as an industry leader with lower costs than the established competition. This opportunity is primarily driven by research and development (R & R&D). Researching, developing, and building new products or services before competitors gain access to the same data reduces the time required to enter the market while maintaining an advantage over the competition do enter it.
2. Better Positioning for Successful Products or Services
An organization that is first in its market will be able to position its success on its product or service. They will establish themselves as an industry leader and build substantial brand equity.
3. Higher Revenues
One of the benefits of being a First Mover is the potential for higher revenues later in their market life. The research and development costs have already been paid for by entering the market first, opening up opportunities to generate additional income from existing products or services.
4. Better Positioning Against Competition
A First Mover will assess what competitors are doing to understand the best way to position their product or service against it when they enter the market. In addition, having done much of their pre-development before any other competitors come in will make it easier to establish a competitive advantage as there will be less potential for your competitors to copy your ideas.
5. Less Risk
Being a First Mover comes with significant risk. Still, it can also benefit you by enabling you to understand the market and establish yourself as an industry leader before anyone else enters the market space and establishes themselves as competition.
6. Faster Time To Market
Having done much of the research and development required before entering the market enables faster time to market because fewer resources are needed to enter the market. There is no requirement to jump over product development stages so organizations can enter quickly, which means they have more flexibility in establishing their business platforms, including pricing, distribution channels, marketing campaigns, etc. Once these are, it becomes easier for other competitors to enter.
7. Larger Market
There is a larger market for your product or service when you enter into it first because there is no competition to fight with over customers and suppliers. This does not mean that the potential opportunities are limitless. Once competitors start entering, they will be looking to grab some of the customers and suppliers established by their First Mover counterparts. However, the chances of success are still much better than if you enter later in the life of a market where fierce competition has limited growth significantly and changed buying habits (for example, in markets such as video cassette recorders and compact discs).
8. Better Positioning for Growth
A First Mover can establish itself as an industry leader before any other competitor enters the market; therefore, it is the only potential company that can grow in this market. Once competition enters the market, they will be looking to take away customers and suppliers, limiting the potential for growth of existing market leaders.
This is especially true if you are the first mover in a rapidly expanding industry or have a very low-cost structure compared to competitors. These organizations can enter quickly and establish themselves as an industry leader before other industry players establish themselves with high-cost facilities.
9. Greater Brand Equity
Being first in a market enables organizations to build strong brands identifiable across their needs. Customers will identify your product or service as being one that provides value, and this stems from being associated with successfully entering the market faster than anyone else.
Therefore, when you join their call, they will already be familiar with your brand and associate it with your success. Being a First Mover provides significant time for organizations to build strong brands before competitors enter because of the benefits outlined above.
10. Easier To Attract Employees
Employees are always looking for new opportunities, so being first in the industry enables organizations to attract them before competitors enter the market. There is nothing more potent than being number one when attracting employees, especially if there is very little differentiation between companies within your industry or no potential employers are well established in this market space.
Therefore, once you are number one, you can quickly establish yourself as a significant employer within this industry by offering the best opportunities and highest income potential.
Examples of Companies Who Were First Movers
Successful stories of companies who took advantage of the first-mover advantage are numerous. Research in Motion, Inc., the maker of Blackberry smartphones which have become a significant part of on-the-go communications for business professionals worldwide, is one example. Research in Motion had an indisputable first-mover advantage because it pioneered the now-ubiquitous concept of sending and receiving e-mails from handheld devices.
Research In Motion exploded from a market capitalization of less than $1 billion to nearly $76 billion as its Blackberry smartphone became almost indispensable to both corporations and consumers inside and outside their respective industries. RIM transformed itself into a company synonymous with being ‘pencil thin’ because it was the first to bring these products to market before competitors even knew what hit them.
Because they were well-established brand names, Research In Motion was able to command the highest price margins by continuing to define new applications for its many loyal customers who used them every day.
Conversely, several examples of companies failed to utilize their first-mover advantage. For example, Blockbuster Video perfectly illustrates why market timing is everything. It once dominated the video rental market with over 9,000 stores worldwide and 60 million members in 2004.
However, as soon as Netflix began offering low-cost online movie streaming services instead of physical DVDs through its innovative distribution model – it quickly grew from 100,000 subscribers in early 2002 to over 10 million less than seven years later – an increase of more than 1,100%!
Netflix had a competitive advantage from being a first mover because it could manage its content delivery and avoid the costly ‘middle man’ in its supply chain. Blockbuster could not make this transition fast enough to compete effectively with Netflix and subsequently lost significant market share.
These are just two examples of how companies can succeed or fail based on their ability to take advantage of the first-mover advantage. In reality, countless other cases still demonstrate how important it is for organizations to understand these opportunities before anyone else does, especially if they want to achieve sustainable success. You must capitalize on them before competitors do!
By now, it was evident that the First Mover Advantage has many benefits for organizations that utilize them properly, and we have only listed a few of them here.
If you want to succeed in your industry, consider leveraging this market penetration strategy before any competitors can enter your market space by being first!