When emerging markets are rapidly capturing their market shares, penetrating the market slowly for local players of course possesses some threat. But the trick to encode the market lock is to figure out the uncontested market space. With intense competition amongst emerging brands overtaking one another, it is not easy to identify a strategy to tap into a growth opportunity.
The end of the 20th century is marked by the flourishing digital marketing business which marked the improvisation of internet power, the rise of tech savvy marketers & personalized digitalized movement. Over & above, the rise to market turmoil with shifting mind-sets & contradictions amongst business leaders who are targeting a liberalised market cross borders and cross culturally. Given the challenges in overseas competitive markets, mastering market strategies by identifying growth spots are not easy for any brand neither they are fully in place. Probably, these companies are not playing to win.
The differences in market strategies between home markets & developing countries are apparent in changing institutional context & infrastructure (quality of labour, product, & capital markets). With rising expectations & numerous variations in tastes, quality & preferences, not many companies can thrive to the international consumer experiences.
But Strong markets can do a lot more with tailored business model that can achieve a local domination over global market.
Think of Colgate, the no 1 Asian brand – how its proven branding strategy for global growth has transformed the global market.
So what was the profit formula? Let’s break it down.
This global product giant was ruling since decades and had been the first brand for generations, beating up the competitors and regaining its own market share. Colgate was challenged by many brands (Forhans, Cibaca) that were soon forgotten owing to Colgate’s continuous focus on oral health care. By 1980’s Colgate again got challenged by Close-Up with its thematic change of “high on freshness in mouth” attributed by the transparent look & the youth-centric approach. But this didn’t dampen Colgate’s spirit that captured 55% share of the toothpaste oral market, followed by Pepsodent & Close-up snipping at its heels at the onset.
By decoding the profit formula, we can deduce these into four segmentations for Colgate’s market growth approach:
Germ/tooth decay: Colgate holding the major share with overall share from (Colgate strong teeth ad), unlike Pepsodent Germicheck Variant.
Sensitivity: Sensodyne as the fastest growing segment
Gel based: Close-up with 60% market share
Whitening: Emphasis on Colgate Visible White
Gum: GSK’s Paradontax, an upcoming segment making its mark
Efforts invested rightly in identifying these categories slowly intensified their shares in market for these companies. So, what implications does it cite for other businesses for future brand strategy? This indicates-
Invest in niche market- Larger firms’ neglect the niche markets. If you can conquer the growing niche market segment, despite the risk of encroaching brand competitors, you risk less while chances of emerging as a long-term profitable brand are more! E.g. let’s say Colgate now attempting to establish the sensitivity approach, like Sensodyne.
No one size-fit approach- This involves adapting your product to the local taste. If your product can adapt to the special characteristics of customers, protecting your existing market share and capitalizing on them will further strengthen your brand position.
Identify the lucrative city clusters; instead of size- Not all market cities can generate a profitable demand of your product. It is important to infiltrate city clusters based on the right demography, geographic proximity, population, preferences etc. Local advocacy & consumer community base can be a goldmine, if you can rightly spot the local opportunities.
Identify performance gap- Is the product experience provided by your brand to the audience justified to their expectations? Is there an improvement gap? Is the experience with the product positive or negative? What experiences are customers sharing in social media? A check in the social media comments & posts will enlighten you with diverse perspectives they are holding about your product or services.
Define your customer first; then develop your offer
Identify your customer and group them into your specific market segment. Sort out your profitable customer as per their changing roles (economic buyers, technical buyers, end-users) and preferences. This will help you stay focussed on your objective of targeting your niche market.