A market is a system facilitating the exchange of goods, services, and information between its participants. This system is strongly influenced by market leaders, which can be a product, a brand, or a company with the highest percentage of total sales revenue. When there are market leaders, there are bound to be market followers, which use different follower strategies to win their share of the market. These strategies, along with examples of followers, will be reviewed in this paper.
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Currently, there are four main follower strategies, namely adapter, imitation, cloner, and counterfeiter. The adapter is a white-collared market strategy, generally used in automobile and technology industries, when a follower adapts the qualities but alters the style of the leader, e.g., Maruti 800, Alto, and Zen cars along with Dell and Sony Vaio laptops copying from their closest competition (Bhasin). In the strategy of imitation, an imitated product does not possess the service or promise of the original and is typically made of cheaper material, thus can be sold at a lower price. This category is well exemplified with imitation jewelry, timesjobs.com, and Videocon, Airtel, Reliance, and other imitators of the original Tata Sky DTH provider in India. Unlike imitators, which not only copy but maintain some own product qualities, cloners copy the original with very subtle changes, i.e., a differently spelled name of GUCCA and RADA instead of GUCCI and Rado. As for counterfeiting, it is a black-market follower strategy of selling originals, such as Reebok and Adidas shoes via piracy.
Summing up, all market followers copy the original to a different extent and can cause considerable profit losses to the market leaders. Adaptors and imitators possess some brand equity of their own and can overtake the market, the way Samsung surpassed Apple. While cloning is highly questionable, counterfeiting is entirely illegal. However, as long as the market exists, so will market followers with the difference of the strategies that they choose.
Bhasin, Hitesh. “Market Follower Startegies.” Marketing91, 2019. Web.