If you can portray a message to your marketplace with a level of authority, where you inform, interact and advise this helps to portray a perception in the minds of the receiver and the long term goal of becoming the market leader.
Here is the magic formula:
Level of trust + capability to fulfill what you say = community acceptance and advocacy
When a marketplace trusts an organisation and is supported by an ongoing dialogue as highlighted in other posts (such as regular newsletters and targeted direct marketing), this helps to define your place within your area of expertise.
Only today, has the information about the iPhone 5 started to build momentum for an autumn release. This showcases the power of Apple, in terms of when any information is leaked about a product, we all sit up and listen.
To be the thought leader, you bring all your communication tools together to spread your message in a variety of ways, namely the use of blogs to get your view across, the social media channels to tease and invite, the relationships with the press to inform (not self congratulate), to loving your immediate customers/community by treating as the VIPs with a small number of printed regular newsletters/magazines (not a ‘downloadable pdf’ or page on Mailchimp).
The success to being a thought leader is to cut a cake in half. The first half is to have a multi channel approach and the second half is when you engage with your audience, it is a two way communication where added value is key. What this leaves is a cake that people will go for time and time again, no matter how much icing is on the others.