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    What would help to position your company when you enter a mature market quite late and customers are not willing to discuss their perceptions in detail because your product is low end and has lots of competitors?

  1. Why in the world would you do that? The simple answer is cut your losses and go do something else. However it happens sometimes. Maybe the answer goes back to the simple statement you should always ask yourself, "Why should I buy your product?" If indeed you cannot provide a strong answer to that question you are not going to be able to position your company.
  2. I currently work for a large company that is entering the semiconductor equipment segment with what was a non-differentiated product with a lot of strong competition. We knew we would not become a major supplier but we wanted to establish a foothold in the market. We found customers in the segment we were addressing who would talk to us. We did find out what customers needed and wanted. Most was already provided adequately, but there were two areas that were not being adequately satisfied. We made sure we supplied answers to those needs and, in our case, capitalized on the branding of our parent company and we were successful in penetrating that segment. To be fair, I have to say that there was no dominant player in the segment. There were five players and each had less than 20% share. If there was a competitor who already had 60-80% share, the task may have been too tough. The answer was to find our meaningful core strengths and concentrate on differentiation, differentiation, differentiation.
  3. If you are entering a new market for you, look at your past successes in other segments, get testimonials, and use them accordingly. Let me give you an example. A very mature market is the socks market. Adidas and Reebock got in the socks market a few years ago. What did they know about making socks? Maybe nothing. But they convinced you by saying take a look at our shoes. If a company is good at steppers, it can play on the reputation that we must also be good at photoresist.
  4. There is always room for a new entrant in a market, even when it appears to be sewed up. Take a look at a company like Starbucks. The coffee business! Who would have thought it would have such large success selling coffee. Put on your marketing hat and think!!