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First to market, first to fail? real causes of enduring market leadership Essay Example

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First to Market, First to Fail? Real Causes

Some deeply embedded assumptions that are held by most executives who work in high-velocity settings can lead a company into traps. One of such assumption is the first-mover trap. Executives may think that being first to market or owning assets will create a sustainable position. However, in most industries the advantage seen by first-mover does not last. A good example is Nokia that had invested at a higher level technology and with its products bearing features currently being marketed by companies like Samsung and Apple. However, they failed to get better margins and growth in return. According to McGrath (2013) some of the major reasons for failure of first marketers are completion that emerge from places the first mover did not expect and still customers may not be excited about what a company offer making the stock undervalued until other competitors enters the market.

The idea can help in strategic marketing for companies. It is good to launch each feature at a time so as to apply new features continually and keep its concepts fresh in marketing. It will also limit the extent in which large competitors can soak the market by launching similar product lines (Laurie & Harreld, 2013). The idea is to kept customers close by having fresh ideas and ensuring that even if others imitate the features of the product, it will be dealt with each time. Additionally, it is good to understand the sales trends in its market. The vice versa is also true as for textiles, chemicals, aircraft engines and mining companies (McGrath, 2013). Competitors and consumers have become too much unpredictable while industries are too amorphous.


Laurie, D. L., & Harreld, J. B. (2013). Six ways to sink a growth initiative. Harvard Business Review91(7/8), 82-90.

McGrath, R. G. (2013). Transient advantage. Harvard business review91(6), 62-70.