Your target market is smaller than you think!

Choosing target markets and market segmentation have always intrigued me.  Although there are many ways to think of it, I had an epiphany as I reread one of the classic strategy books over the weekend, the book is “The Discipline of Market Leaders” and is available at Amazon through this link. In the book the authors claim that to be a market leader you need to focus and organize around one of three distinct principles that customers value. Operational Excellence, BEST TOTAL PRICE.  You are middle of the market (or lower) at the best price with the least inconvenience. Low price, hassle free service, think Wal-Mart Product Leadership – BEST PRODUCTS. Offer products that push performance boundaries. Value Proposition is “we offer the best products, period!”  Continuous innovation, they will obsolete their own products.  Think Apple and Nike Customer Intimacy BEST TOTAL SOLUTION.  Delivering NOT what the market wants, but what individual customers want.  They do NOT pursue one time deals; they pursue long term, mutually profitable relationships. Selecting a Value Discipline in which to operate is a strategic goal, it is a central act that shapes every subsequent plan, in short it is strategy.  The authors argue that “If a company is going to achieve and sustain dominance, it must first decide where it will stake its claim in the marketplace and what kind of value it will offer its customers.”  The choice of a value discipline shapes the company’s subsequent plans and decisions, coloring the whole organization, from its culture to its public stance. To choose a value discipline is to define the very nature of a company. Examples:...