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Market Share

Guide to Understanding Market Share

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Market Share

How to Calculate Market Share (Step-by-Step)

The market share of a company illustrates its size relative to the rest of the industry it operates in and its competitive positioning.

The process of estimating a company’s market share can be useful for estimating the revenue opportunity within a specific market.

  • Low Percentage (%): There is likely more upside remaining in potential growth and scalability for the company.
  • High Percentage (%): The company is likely a market leader that might have to shift its priority to defending its existing share and profit margins from new entrants.

If established market-leading companies seek additional growth, the best course of action could be to implement one or more of the following strategies:

  • Entering New or Adjacent Markets
  • Introducing Products/Services into Mix
  • Growth through Acquisition

Market Share Formula

The formula for calculating the market share of a company divides a company’s sales by the total sales of all companies operating within the respective industry over a specified period.

Market Share = Company Sales ÷ Total Market Sales

What is Relative Market Share?

Another related metric is the “relative market share,” which is calculated by dividing a company’s market share by the market share belonging to its top competitor.

The metric can gauge how a company fares against the current market leader, i.e. the market leader’s market share is used as the benchmark.

The formula takes the market share of the company in question and divides it by the market share of its top competitor.

Relative Market Share = Market Share of Company ÷ Market Share of Top Competitor

Market Leadership vs. Profitability

Growing market share is directly tied to achieving scalability, which in turn improves profitability, i.e. economies of scale and network effects.

Market leadership and sustainable long-term profits go hand in hand, as both come from the same underlying drivers.

There is a clear connection between market share and profitability, as market leaders tend to be more profitable than those with low market shares.

Companies attempting to obtain more market share are, more often than not, spending cash at a rapid pace – whereas mature companies possess more established business models and operate with greater efficiency.

Often, companies with stable, long-term market leadership that have been able to maintain their position consistently are perceived to have an “economic moat.”

Top-Down Forecasting (TAM): Revenue Model

The current market share of a company and the market size are important pieces of top-down forecasting, which is an approach used to project sales using a company’s total addressable market (TAM) and a market share assumption.

If a company’s market share has been growing in recent years, its current and projected growth rate in all likelihood is outpacing that of its industry peers.

Conversely, if a company’s goal is to maintain its existing market share, it must continue to grow at the same rate as the total market.

How to Increase Market Share

The notion that offering the most innovative products and services mix can increase market share certainly has its merits.

Generally, capturing more of a market stems from delivering the most value and leading user experience available in the market.

But there are exceptions such as marketing-oriented industries where competition is based on reputation.

Still, creating value propositions that satisfy unmet customer needs is a reliable route toward obtaining market leadership.

Companies with differentiated, innovative offerings can grab a higher percentage of a market easier, as customers migrate from their competitors that might lack technical capabilities.

Market Position: Protection from External Threats

Customer retention is arguably more important than new customer acquisitions when it comes to protecting market leadership, especially over the long run.

Therefore, companies must strive to reduce customer churn, which is a function of understanding their customers’ specific needs – i.e. insights enabling companies to serve those customers better.

After building trust and loyalty with their customer base, companies can benefit from more reliable sales, as well as more organic growth and “word of mouth” marketing.

Companies must also continuously reinvest (e.g. capital expenditures, research & development) and be prepared to adjust to unexpected developments in the market.

Alternatively, another defensive tactic is to acquire high-growth companies, which nowadays are usually technology-oriented.

If market leaders become complacent and stop improving, it is only a matter of time before a different company disrupts the market to capitalize on the opportunity.

The downfall of Blockbuster (and the success of Netflix) is one frequently used case study of an incumbent refusing to adjust to changing consumer trends until it was too late.

Market Share Calculator – Excel Model Template

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Market Share Calculation Example

Suppose a company generated $10 million in sales during its latest fiscal year.

If we assume that the sum of the sales generated by all the companies in the industry amounted to $200 million across the same period, the company’s current market share is 5%.

  • Company Sales = $10 million
  • Total Market Sales = $200 million
  • Current Market Share = $10 million ÷ $200 million = 5%

And if our company’s top competitor brought in $40 million in sales over the same period, the relative market share is equal to 25%.

  • Top Competitor Sales = $40 million
  • Top Competitor Market Share = $40 million ÷ $200 million = 20%
  • Relative Market Share = 5% ÷ 20% = 25%

Market Share Calculator

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