How Box Won the Enterprise
A positioning masterclass on how Box won the enterprise segment despite facing fierce competition from Microsoft SharePoint and DropBox. (3 min read)
In the mid-late 2000s, a host of file-sharing software started popping up.
DropBox 📤 was perhaps the most well-known at the time, known for its ease of use and broad consumer appeal. Given this consumer focus, DropBox didn’t invest as heavily in enterprise features and standards demanded by IT departments in large companies.
Meanwhile, Microsoft SharePoint 📋 was the widely used file-sharing application in the enterprise. But despite the name recognition of Microsoft, SharePoint simply wasn’t as streamlined or intuitive as either Box or DropBox.
It was this gap in the enterprise segment that Box wanted to capitalise on. How could they win in this scenario? 🤔
It utilised a technique called Creating the Competition, as described by Geoffrey Moore in his book, Crossing the Chasm. You position your company using two competitors as beacons 💡so the market can easily locate your company’s unique value proposition.
Box used Sharepoint as a market alternative and DropBox as its product alternative.
The market alternative is a vendor your customer has been using for years, it solves the same use cases and takes up the same budget that you will go after. The product alternative is a competitor who has a similar tech offering as you do, but you can stand out from them by calling out a specific target market focus.
By calling out SharePoint as its market alternative, Box makes it clear that it solves the same problem, and the budget directed to SharePoint can now be allocated to Box because of its superior value proposition 🙌.
DropBox served as the product alternative, showcasing that Box too solved for radical ease of use in file-sharing, but Box could come out as superior for the needs of the IT departments by focusing on its heavy enterprise standards.
Box positioned itself as the best of both worlds: The ease of use of DropBox meets the enterprise security and controls of SharePoint.
Box still has to deliver on its promises, but it does not have to struggle to explain its value proposition to the enterprises.
That’s it for this Spotlight. Thanks for joining us!
And while you’re here, remember, there are only 3 rules to life:
Be kind to everyone you meet
Don’t take yourself too seriously
Drink lots of water
See you next week!