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Pipeline Accelerator Blog

You Can Teach an Old Market New Tricks

you can still innovate new products in mature marketsSome companies find it easy to write mature 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.

Maybe that’s a mistake…

An interesting WSJ article shows how 3M challenged this paradigm by bringing technologies from its new markets to solve problems in its mature abrasives business.  They found that micro-replication technology from their reflective products allowed 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 solving a significant headache in their customer’s 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. Much more in line with the idea of constantly pushing into adjacent markets and technologies as we outlined here.

Are you facing a mature market that might be ripe for a new approach?

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