Riding the elephant – the relationship can cause challenges

Marketing, Positioning, Symbiotic relationship

As a small company when you get into a relationship with one large global OEM, you don’t have the wherewithal to invest in otherrelationships.

Also when you get into a relationship, and you can’t get into multiple relationships because of the size, you tend to get marked with that OEM. All your customers see you as a provider of services or products around that OEM.

I always love taking a position in the market. While you eliminate a lot of customers in the market, the customers who stick to you will always be the ones who are willing to do business with you because of your capabilities around that OEM.

That makes it easier to do business. It becomes easier to make money. But you need to keep a track of where the elephant is going.

I have faced situations where we had such a strong position in the market, that customers would line up for the services. However suddenly there was a new set of disruptors who entered the market and within maybe 3 years or so the OEM with whom we were aligned did not see a future and they dismantled the sales teams.

Suddenly the investments we made were worth nothing. That was the easy part. The tougher part was the fact that customers always thought of us as a specialist on that product line. So they were not willing to consider us for others in a similar line of business.

That is a very difficult situation to be in.

As we grew bigger we made it a point to look for OEM agnostic solutions as far as possible so that we could target a larger piece of the audience.

However for a small company my advice would still be to find the right elephant. Its always worth the risk. Once you grow big, then you could look at diversifying.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

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