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The key to surviving in a market is to have a competitive advantage, either in terms of Cost or in terms of Product Offering (Differentiation).  It is generally a trade-off between the two- if you want to be different, you have to include that extra cost and if you want to approach the market with a cost benefit, you have little to offer in terms of differentiation.

Your target market generally decides what kind of competitive advantage you should go for. A product catering to a price sensitive target market generally goes for a Cost advantage, offering customers the product at the minimum price possible.

However, for a brand that thrives on the concept of ‘innovation’, differentiation is the key to approach the market. The target market is happy to pay a premium just to be different, just to have that unique factor around them.

Case in point: Reliance 3G Tablet Vs  iPad

Reliance has recently launched a tablet at a price of Rs. 13K. Pundits believe it will give a hard blow to the iPad which comes at more than double the same amount.

But will it really, is the pertinent question?

Such an aggressive pricing will definitely lead to an expansion of the tablet market adding new customers to the hitherto unique product.

But technically speaking, Reliance’s target market and iPad’s target market do not overlap. True, both are selling similar products but they are not the same.  They are competitors in the strict sense of the term but it would be very difficult to convince an Apple-lover to go for a Reliance tablet.

With purchasing power on the rise in India, both will find their respective buyers. It will involve a little bit of market correction but ultimately the Indian market will offer a level playing field to both the volume seller as well as the value seller!

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