Standard Leader

A competitor, or one of several competitors, or products that set the standard for performance and price in an industry. More than half of a Standard Leader's unit volume is sold at the most common product price point in the market.
(See also Next Leader, Performance Leader, Price Leader)

Standard Leader: Standard Leaders set the benchmarks for performance and price in their industries. They are the reference points for both customers and all other competitors when using phrases such as "better than…" or "cheaper than…." They have the best known brand names. Standard Leaders include the major names in every industry. Examples include IBM in mainframe computing; Deere in agricultural equipment, Procter and Gamble in consumer packaged goods, McDonalds in quick service restaurants and Safeway in food retailing.

Standard Leader companies are the most common competitors in an industry. They come to dominate the market shares of their industries. In a recent study of nearly 400 large industries, we found that the median sized industry has twelve competitors. Most of those competitors are Standard Leaders in their industries. In the median industry of these 400 industries, the top four competitors command a combined eighty- percent of total industry sales.

Example 1:

Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) is the largest producer of aluminum sheet for autos, and is also an aerospace supplier.
(Year 1986-SIC 3365)

Explanation: Alcoa is a Standard Leader in the aluminum industry. It serves the major customers in its industry.

Example 2:

Butler Manufacturing is considered the pioneer of the metal-buildings industry, which emerged about 50 years ago. Butler has played a major role in construction of distribution centers for Wal-Mart
(Year 1994-SIC 3448)

Explanation: Butler Manufacturing is a Standard Leader in the metal building industry, selling to the industry's largest customers.

Example 3:

The industry leader, Genuine Parts, supplies solely replacement parts. But other major companies, like Dana Corporation, build both original and replacement parts for automakers.
(Year 1990-SIC 3265)

Explanation: Both Genuine Parts and Dana Corporation are Standard Leaders in the auto parts industry.

Example 4:

Toys 'R' Us persuades toy manufacturers to produce a unique model, which it then sells exclusively, such as the Harley-Davidson Barbie.
(Year 1997-SIC 5945)

Explanation: Toys 'R' Us is a Standard Leader in the toy retailing industry.

Example 5:

Kodak may be forced to cut its film prices, a move that could intensify a price war with Fugi. The CFO cites Kodak's loss of market share at 1-2%, but analysts place the market loss at 4-5%. Kodak is estimated to have 70-75% of the US film market.
(Year 1997 – SIC 3861)

Explanation: Kodak is the Standard Leader in the US film market.