Unlock Future Markets: Decommoditizing for Tomorrow

Daniel Burrus
5 min readNov 2, 2023

In today’s economy, most organizations are locked in fierce competition with others in their industry. They compete for the same customer base, which results in them competing for rather slim profit margins. They battle for mere slivers of market share that could just as easily go to the next company in line in the blink of an eye.

But why is this? Why is competition so fierce, and why do profits seem to continuously decline?

Many organizations have had success in the past and have been riding on the back of that cash cow for far too long — so long, in fact, that the competition to copy your product or service and steal your margins may have come and gone already, leaving you in a plateau of stagnant sales and poor morale.

In the business world, when you create something successful, others will copy it. This keeps happening, and it will keep happening as long as people are around. When competitors make the same things you do, you lose customers and money.

With new businesses coming to the market every day; new, innovative products and services constantly making incremental to enormous impacts on customers and industries; and competition in the form of a high-velocity battle over commodities, you need to ask yourself, “Is it worth it to stay loyal to my tried-and-true cash cow, just to struggle over diminishing market share?”

The Way of the Future Is to Decommoditize

You will likely find that the answer to that aforementioned question is “no.”

The one thing that all continuously successful businesses have in common is their ability to decommoditize their product or service — to redefine something that either is a commodity or has become one in their industry as a result of their efforts. This can be approached in different ways, but largely, it has to do with altering your offerings in a way that appeals to either new markets or the same market but in an entirely different way.

Commodities evolve with time. Think of something that was a commodity decades ago that is no longer one today, Now…

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Daniel Burrus

#1 Bestselling Author, Global Futurist, Innovation Expert and Keynote Speaker. One of the World’s Leading Futurists on Global Trends and Innovation.