Richard Miniter skewers the sacred cow of market share and debunks the conventional wisdom that corporate profits rise as you grab more territory in the marketplace.
Market share is the fool’s gold of modern business. In reality, companies that maximize market share end up minimizing profits, while their smarter rivals earn higher returns. Three times out of four, on average, the most profitable firm is not the one with the largest slice of the market. Yet the myth of market share continues to hobble and kill great companies, while smaller competitors dig out real profits. Executives, entrepreneurs, investors, and regulators will learn why megamergers often fail, brand extensions wither, and stocks tumble. The Myth of Market Share also reveals a positive and proven strategy for transforming a company into a profit leader.
Richard Miniter recounts many cautionary tales of great companies that refused to change—and outlines the practical plans of those that changed and flourished. Managers and investors will profit from knowing why Dell prospers by treating market share as a benchmark, not as a goal. Executives and entrepreneurs can retool their strategies by examining the case studies in this book, including Ryanair, an upstart Irish air carrier that transformed itself into the world’s most profitable airline; International Paper, a manufacturing Goliath that tried to buy success; Boeing, the plane maker that pulled out of a steep dive by jettisoning its market share strategies; and DaimlerChrysler, the carmaker that stalled when it tried to be all things to all people.
By providing a road map for persuading doubtful colleagues and leading a company to profit leadership, The Myth of Market Share is an entertaining, historical review and leadership tutorial, delivering proven strategies for generating long-term profits and sustainable growth during these uncertain times.
Miniter, a former editor for The Wall Street Journal Europe, relishes in debunking the popular dot-com era myth that market share trumps old-fashioned profits. The author sees belief in market share as an unholy cult, and attacks the idea with his own religious zeal. His point: industry-dominating companies don't always have desirable rates of return for investors. In fact, massive size can often mean lousy performance. Savvy investors, of course, have long known about how unwieldy corporate giants can be. But it's a valid point, and this new addition to Crown's Business Briefings series certainly hammers away at it. For flavor, Miniter tosses in a variety of disastrous case studies (e.g., Chrysler, Boeing), and even reaches back to the Robber Barons for some historical heft. The hard-won lesson, in every case, is that size doesn't matter.