Entering a New Market? Let Research Be Your “Compass”

Breaking into a new market with different rules and competitors can be extremely profitable, or a complete disaster, if the company entering the market is not informed and prepared.  Chris Myers of Forbes sums it up well: “When teams try to apply their existing model to a new market, more often than not it ends in disaster. The reason, of course, is that each market is unique, nuanced and full of quirks.”

Myers gives entrepreneurs and businesses sound advice throughout his article, such as his suggestion to partner with an industry expert with special insight into the market. While the support of an expert is ideal, what can a business rely on if they are not yet at that stage, and still want a comprehensive understanding of the market?

One of AIM’s clients was in that position, with an ambitious goal: to bring one of their existing products into the worldwide boating industry, which was a completely new market for them.

Navigating Uncharted Waters

AIM’s client expressed interest in an estimation of the total size of the domestic and international boating markets, as well as assistance in gathering competitive marketing intelligence. AIM was happy to help, but there was one issue– AIM was starting with about as much knowledge of the boating industry as the client.

So what did AIM do in order to navigate a new industry?

AIM’s philosophy is – and always has been – that listening to people is one of the best methods for learning new information.

To learn more about the boating industry, AIM contacted and completed “blind” interviews with industry experts, government industry analysts and major private players in the market – those with the most knowledge of how the industry worked.

In addition to enhancing AIM’s knowledge of the market, this process revealed several secondary data sources needed to project the size of the market. Maritime data from Lloyd’s of London was found to be an excellent source of data for the number and types of boats and ships listed in the domestic and international marketplace.

The Benefits of Research

Once AIM knew who the market’s end users and influencers were it was possible to conduct primary research. Information was sought on the competition, including other companies’ product offerings, pricing structure and share of the market.

After AIM collected and analyzed the results, the client was presented with a detailed statistical report on market size by specific segments of the global boating industry. In addition, AIM prepared an overview of the major competitors—including their strengths, weaknesses, pricing strategies and estimated market share. AIM’s client was no longer entering a new market blind; research provided the tools they needed to navigate an unfamiliar industry successfully.


Interested in what AIM can do for your business? Give us a call at 847-358-8558 and let us know how we can help!