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Breaking into a market

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If you are a small business and are struggling to break into a market, you are not alone. It is scary to go up against some of the big competitors. Imagine if you wanted to make shoes and had to compete with companies like Nike, and Puma? The fact is, traditional marketing is not going to help you break into a market, you have to try something new. Here’s a few steps for breaking into a market:

Build on your past- If you have any kind of reputation or history, now is the time to cash in on it, and build on it. Remember, the idea is to build on it, not hold to tradition so tight and fast that you never innovate, or grow. You have to adapt to the new times, and the changes in the market, but don’t forget your past either.

Avoid going head-to-head with entrenched market leaders- Take them on laterally by finding a different way of getting into the market. You will never succeed if you try to take on the major competitors head on, they have bigger marketing budgets, and are more visible. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t enter the market, you just have to be somewhat creative about it. When PUMA tried to enter the sports and athletic shoes industry they found they did not have the budget for big athletes, and endorsements. However, they did not give up, they decided if they couldn’t enter the sport side of the shoes industry, they could enter style, comfort, and performance. They took a new twist on an old idea, and were able to regain a huge part of the market share.

Challenge insiders- If there are people already being market leaders, then challenge them. What are they not doing? Where can you step up your service or quality to beat theirs? Any of your competitor’s weaknesses are your opportunities, so take advantage of them.

Try diversifying things- You want to try something new, take some risks, but don’t go so far into the diversified side that you alienate consumers. Just remember that markets change, people change, times change, and your approach can change too. By adding some diversity, or taking a customized approach to your marketing, you may just beat the major competitors to the line, and appeal to a wider audience, gaining some market share along the way.

If you are the underdog, then play it up. People love to cheer for the underdog, they love to root for the little guy, so if that is what you are, don’t pretend you aren’t, instead play it up and get potential consumers on your side by tapping into the emotional response of helping out the little guy.

Stay authentic- No matter what you do, when trying to break into a market, you have to be authentic. Stay true to what you are, and what you believe in, even if your product or service changes, you need to stay true to your ideals, or you will lose loyal customers.

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Posted by DK
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