In today's fast moving globalized world, it doesn't take time for a good idea to spread or for a business model to be adopted by other players in the same segment. But if everyone get's access to the same idea, then how does anyone remain more competitive?
The key to this lies in innovation ! If you feel you are the market leader and you will always remain so, well you won't be ! There have been several companies which have dominated their individual product categories in earlier decades, and which have now ceased to exist. Equally there have been few which have continued to dominate.
The answer to this paradox lies in one simple strategy- Investing in innovation and research. If your own game plan is to remain static and maintain status quo, think again!!
Companies like Google & Facebook did not even exist a decade back. In fact the whole concept of social networking and search engines was not around. They innovated and created a new segment. And think about Apple, from a computer manufacturer it has become a technological giant. By making i-Phones, iPads and iPods, it created it's own market segment. Now people look at Apple for the next big trend. Who would have though that a day will come when we will have touch screen mobiles, and now almost every big brand is having it.
The greatest benefit this has led to for the companies is that they have become benchmarks for their industries. For example when you think of photocopier, you think of xerox. In fact in many countries, including India, most people are not even aware that the machine is a photocopier and not "Xerox".What it essentially does is that people start following you and then design their products. The result: They don't lead markets, they simply follow. Besides the knockoffs also eat up their share owing to price factors. So basically what it leads you to is defining market rules and doing business your own way! And that's Paradise.
So the key to business success is simple. Innovate !!
Food for thought : Would you set up an innovation team in your office despite the fact that there will be little result in the short run and add to costs?