Many companies write old markets off – relegating them to either cash cow or harvest status. How can you blame them? They keep investing and don’t see any return so the easy thing to do is to tell yourself that it’s a “mature market.” One where new product or service innovation just won’t provide the returns other opportunities will.
A recent WSJ article shows how 3M is challenging this in its new markets and is bringing technologies from its new markets to solve problems in its mature abrasives business. They’re finding that micro-replication technology from their reflective products allows them to create abrasives with uniform particle size. That maximizes cutting efficiency and reduces wear due to heat damage resulting in lower costs, and cycle times in their customers finishing operations.
Smart strategy on 3M’s part. Very different from what happened in the consumer floor cleaning market where the market leaders considered their own market mature only to see the Swiffer transform it with new technology.
Are you facing a mature market that might be ripe for a new approach?