Monopoly is controlling the market. When we think of the term or theory, once you get past passing Go and collecting your $200, we immediately think about industries like oil, metals or even software. Google has a monopoly over search, Facebook a monopoly over social and Netflix over streaming. While competitors exist, these companies are clearly in control of their respective markets.
But monopoly does not have to focus on markets. Instead shift your focus on the customer. How can your business, app or service be the monopoly for the market? You’re not fighting against the competition, you’re fighting for customers.
It starts by creating a routine.
Like waking up and brushing your teeth, you want to become part of your consumers lives. Routines take almost no thought or consideration.
When you get online there are probably a few websites outside of social networking that you visit depending on what your interests are. Why did you choose those when there are countless others with similar or better content?
There are a lot of ways to build routines. Of course these vary depending on what type of business you’re in.
If someone buys shoes online, Zappos wants to be your monopoly. You know that you have other options for shoes, but immediately you go to Zappos.
When I go online to collaborate with some of my virtual teams, I go to Basecamp. It loads every time I click that beautiful Google Chrome Pokeball. It’s part of my routine, my workflow, my lifestyle. Conversations, arguments, work lists, photos… everything is stored on Basecamp.
Basecamp has a monopoly on my data. They own all of it.
So how can you infuse a monopoly into your business?
- Create a routine or familar experience
- By being the only one in town
- Build something incredible
- Making it expensive / painful to switch
The Music Farm is the only venue in downtown Charleston. They have a monopoly on the local music scene because of their proximity to the College of Charleston.
I’m a member of Amazon Prime and it’s three clicks for me to buy something and have it automatically shipped free to my house. It would be so painful to try and find the same item somewhere else, put in my credit card, pay for shipping etc.
So instead of thinking we need to control X percent of the market, change that to we need to control 100% of our customers markets. If you find a way to do that, you’ll be infinitely more successful.