Despite profound marketing efforts, sooner or later your product can start providing diminishing returns on the longer term. Your current markets become saturated, with cost becoming the most important differentiating factor. Developing new solutions might be expensive, complex and risky. So why not identify new applications and markets for your existing knowledge and solutions? This might lower the risk and lead to new successes in a faster way and at lower investment cost.
Discover new markets
Define the product DNA of your solution or technology. What are the specific properties? How do they relate to all possible functions your product offers? The next step is to identify which domains and markets require these functions.
If another solution is already available in these markets, analyze how your product or service delivers more value for your customers than the competition. Maybe your product delivers a better or more complete solution, maybe it is faster or easier, maybe it is less expensive, maybe it’s more convenient.
Also, try to get a complete view of your own business processes. Maybe adding or changing some features makes your product perfect for a completely new group of users, maybe tweaking the distribution channels makes your service or product visible for new customers, or perhaps you can use the waste from your production chain to make a valuable offer to previously unknown customers?
Explore adjacent opportunities
In a five-year study, researchers analyzed the growth and performance of 1,850 corporations. They found that the companies with the most sustained profitable growth had used a systematic, disciplined approach to expand from their core business into an adjacent space. Some companies expanded from one geographic market to another, while others applied an existing business model to adjacent segments. Keeping your finger on the pulse of a market will help you to maintain a proactive approach and profitably outgrow your rivals by finding ways to expand outside your core business.
Match technology intelligence with market insights
As we noted in innovation fact 9 (Learn to listen), it is important to start from a sound analysis. Our in-house developed datamining platform CRAiN™ analyses and structures comments on consumer forums to generate unbiased insights in the, often hidden, needs and desires of the specific target groups. It also digs deep into scientific papers and patent databases to discover new opportunities for existing products and used materials. Combining both technology and market insights makes it possible to identify solid new market opportunities for the near and longer term.