“Thought leader” is not just another corporate buzzword. A thought leader’s advice is sought after and valued by anyone in the industry, especially by prospective clients. A thought leader’s perspective is wide and deep enough to anticipate industry trends and predict them before they happen. If you think about how companies at the top of their sectors got there, it’s because their clients thought of them as thought leaders in the field. In terms of actions, thought leaders back up their conjectures and hypotheses with tangible results. Seems like a tall order, doesn’t it?
Brands which position themselves as the leaders of an industry tend to be around for decades, or sometimes even centuries. Whether they knew it or not, the successful companies of today are those that have come across as industry thought leaders – through their ads, blogs, tutorials, videos, brochures, podcasts, interviews, and any other communication media that allows them to get across to their customers. If you are after success, you need to do the same – it’s as simple as that!
Examples of great thought leadership
The kind of innovation that Nike brings to all their products has transformed them from a brand to a lifestyle choice. More importantly, Nike broadcasts these innovations on all possible channels. Nike has never been afraid of exploring, which is another important trait of a thought leader. The company revolutionises the footwear industry on a regular basis, bringing out products that quickly become the go-to choice for shoe lovers.
IBM puts out interesting and innovative content about their research and breakthroughs in the industry. The company talks about insights, news and trends that have helped them solve real-life problems. For large companies, this makes IBM an attractive technology partner which can deliver results using their wide expertise in solving various problems.
Netflix transformed the movie industry in 1997 when movie-goers wanted to watch movies at their own leisure – users could mail a request to Netflix, upon which they were sent over a copy of the requested movie. Though the industry was transformed by technology and user expectations, Netflix was quick to adapt, introducing streaming services for online viewing. While Blockbuster had a similar business model in the late ’90s, it lost the race and went bankrupt due to its inability to innovate and keep up with changing times.
Even know, Netflix leads innovation by moving into production, producing movies and series and also being the first to introduce an interactive movie experience to every user. With its acclaimed movie ‘Bandersnatch’, Netflix allowed its users to don the actor’s hat and make choices for him. After Netflix’s success, several independent streaming services took off in an attempt to get where Netflix is currently placed. That’s perhaps the best indicator of an industry leader – the ability to spawn copycats!
The success of VaynerMedia can be largely attributed to its founder Gary Vaynerchuk’s digital marketing knowledge and ever-growing influence. He constantly updates his social media feed with tips and informative videos on how to capitalise on the changing landscape of digital marketing. He also takes time out to respond to comments and queries, coming across as someone who listens to his audience and doesn’t mind sharing his wealth of knowledge. This has given VaynerMedia the traction it needed to position itself as an industry leader – and access millions of dollars in revenue.
Another example of personal success leading to a company’s success is Berkshire Hathaway, founded by billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Stock prices of companies which are invested in by Warren Buffett increase by 3-5% just after the announcement that Warren Buffet has acquired its shares. Berkshire Hathaway built its client base by marketing the success of Warren Buffett – people know that their money is safe if Warren Buffet’s knowledge goes into the handling of it.
How can you become a thought leader?
Not all entrepreneurs have a personal brand of the stature of Warren Buffett or Vaynerchuk, or the established brand of IBM or Nike. And yet, in our own small ways, we are experts in our fields and we have a great deal of industry expertise to share with the world.
So how do we do it? By sharing our knowledge through:
Topical and timely blog posts
Updates on LinkedIn and other social media platforms
Seminars and training events
At Mot Juste, our team works with you to carefully study your industry and company to come up with thoughtful, informative, smart content on topics of all kinds, including highly technical subjects. Cloud computing, culture and arts, manufacturing, healthcare, lifestyle – we write articles on these topics and more to help build our clients’ body of work on the internet, building their reputation in very real ways. Based on your inputs, we ghostwrite on behalf of your management, support you in creating technical videos and podcasts, write case studies, web content, blog posts and so much more. To know more, get in touch with us now.