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Technology Manufacturer Success Story – Researching New Markets Led to Competitive Differentiation

The adage “look before you leap” certainly makes sense when it comes to new market expansion. That’s why early stage market research is a very worthwhile investment.

In addition to avoiding major pitfalls, exploring the current landscape is a smart way to uncover areas of greatest opportunity.

Here’s a perfect example…

Recently, we worked with a global manufacturer looking to expand their services. Specifically, they wanted to add an integrated solution for their core market.

This initiative made sense. Their reputation was stellar and their current product line was a natural fit for this market. But before moving forward, they took the time to conduct an in-depth market assessment. This gave them a first-hand look at customer expectations and the degree of satisfaction with current vendors.

Research revealed what was currently marketed as an ‘integrated solution’ wasn’t truly integrated in the minds of customers. While they offered quality design, equipment and installation, most vendors used third party components which they assumed no responsibility for.

Therefore, post-installation, ultimate accountability was non-existent. When something went wrong, customers didn’t know who to contact for help. This caused unnecessary downtime, confusion…and a lot of finger pointing.

This market desperately needed a vendor who would provide a consistent, single point of contact from conception and beyond.

Obtaining this vital information allowed our client to…

  • Pinpoint a critical market need they could effectively address
  • Establish a true point of difference from their competitors
  • Create a compelling message to communicate this difference to target customers

By understanding the bigger picture from the customers’ perspective, our client identified a great opportunity – one that competitors had missed because they were focused only on their specific link in the value chain.

About the Author

At Erickson Research, a Chicago market research consulting firm, I specialize in probing the minds of consumers and professionals -- revealing what truly matters to them...and why. Find me on LinkedIn.

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