How to grow and exploit a niche market?

In a previous post, we wrote about “how to create a niche market?” In the present post, we address the question: “once you find a niche; how can a company make sure it is ready to grow and expand along with it?”, and ideally turn into an international niche market leader (INML).

Spotting a niche does not automatically mean a company is headed for stellar growth: some niches grow slow, others grow fast, and some remain small forever.

In the event that a company “bumps into” a niche that has growth potential -and in order to be meaningful in the business it represents- the company in question needs to keep up with the pace of the market. This implies willingness and capacity to grow on its behalf.

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How to create a (niche) market from scratch?

This post provides insights on how we got the research line around «International Niche Market Leaders» (INMLs) off the ground. Essentially, it is a story of intrapreneurship, finding launching customers and of targeted (but no-budget) PR activities.

In order to give a new impulse to our “internationalization of business” (IB) activities, we decided to brush off an appealing, yet under-exploited, framework for analysis and apply it to the Basque landscape of enterprises: enter INMLs.

The way the work started out resembled very much how intrapreneurs go about. Start experimenting on a small scale, try to proof the concept and its “researchability” through interactions with likely instances, and without making too much noise about it (neither inside or outside the organization until the idea and research tools had “ripened”). Intrapreneurship initiatives require that the “hosting” organization tolerates new ideas and actions and we were lucky to find a fertile environment in Orkestra.

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How to recognize an International Niche Market Leader?

Prior to establishing whether an international niche market player holds a substantial market share in its product niche across the globe and is a top 3 player in it; getting on the tail of these companies may be hard. In fact, once you have spotted them, the question of “are they a global leader in their business according to e.g. market share standards?”, is a rather light exercise. The hard part is to actually find clues and traces of International Niche Market Leaders and to get a sense of whether you are actually confronted with (one of) them. (más…)

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