Market Diversification: What Value Do You Bring? Part 1

By Ken Walker, Senior Business Consultant, MAGNET

You’ve made “The Decision.”

No, I’m not talking about LeBron leaving Cleveland—I’m talking about the decision to move your company’s products and services into a new market.

Maybe it’s an allied market that uses the same type of products you produce.  Or maybe you’re selling the exact same product but to a different kind of customer, for example consumer instead of industrial.

You’ve decided that, for the strategic growth of your company, you are willing to make the investment necessary. You’ve researched this new market’s key customers and key competitors.  Your organization is primed, ready and willing to conquer this new territory.

However, before you go charging off, make sure the “new land” is receptive to your invading horde. In other words, in this new market, is anyone willing to buy what you are selling?

Consider: Why Might Customers Choose to Change?

When you decide to enter a new market, unless its an emerging technology market, it is very unlikely that you are the only supplier to the market. In most instances, existing suppliers will have been established for years. Even in markets where the barriers of entry are relatively low, it’s not easy to get customers to change without a compelling reason.

Here are some important reasons why a customer might be willing to change or add to their supplier base:

Not enough suppliers: Some industries have trouble maintaining a vibrant supply chain.  The aerospace industry is an example of this, particularly if they are bringing to market a new plane. If you can meet standards or requirements, like AS9100 certification, a me-too product just might be successful.

Dissatisfaction with current supplier: Poor quality.  Overpricing.  Late deliveries.  Poor service. These missteps can sink a supplier with any customer. For example, Motorola created the cell-phone market. But its lack of vision allowed new entrants to invade this exploding market space. The result: Motorola was marginalized in the market it created. Opportunities such as these can be exploited, allowing your company to be successful with a me-too product.

Supplier diversification: Sometimes customers just want to diversify their supply chain. If a customer is not comfortable having just one or two suppliers for a key component, they may be willing to slice up the pie and let you in.

Price: Customers are always looking for lower prices—and high value.  If you are willing to compete on price, you may be able to buy market entry in some cases—until someone else is willing to undercut you.  And there is always someone else.

Better value: In the end, customers are going to buy your products and services for the value they perceive. In most cases, believe it or not, this value goes beyond price. Yes, you have to be competitive, but if a lower price is all you have to bring, you won’t be at the table long. Someone will undercut you. Or you’ll find out that, in the long run, this market just isn’t worth your effort.

Define Your Company’s Value Proposition

So how do you define your value proposition for a new market or customer?

First, understand your own company’s core competencies. Understand what it is you do better than anyone else in your current industry.

Are you the low-cost manufacturer of widgets?  Do you provide just-in-time service?  Are you the technology leader?  Does your product provide better performance?  Lower cost of ownership? Easier to maintain?

Talk to a number of people in your organization to gain consensus on this important point.  You’ll find different departments may have different perceptions on the reason for your success in your current marketplace.

Once you really understand your company’s key value proposition attribute, translate it into why customers currently buy from you, why customers keep buying from you and why new customers would want to buy from you.

Here are some examples of major corporations, core competencies and how they translated them into value propositions:


  • Core Competency:  Manufacturer and Distributor of coatings and related products
  • Value Proposition:  Equipment, supplies and solutions to get the job done.

American Greetings

  • Core Competency:  Creating expressive ideas in words and images
  • Value Proposition:  Enhancing consumers relationships through social expression


  • Core Competency:  Applying technology to real world customer needs
  • Value Proposition:  Harnessing Innovation for your benefit

So what is your company’s core competency?   What’s your value proposition?

Once you know and understand these critical attributes, it’s time to effectively communicate them to the new market and go after those new customers.

We’ll cover that in Part 2. So subscribe to MAGNET’s blog to receive updates in your email. Feel free to comment below, or email me at I look forward to hearing from you!

Posted by MAGNET Ohio in General

Most Recent

Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations

December 13, 2017 by Gwido Dlugopolsky

One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes.  The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910).  It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or

Complete ANY Changeover in 10 Minutes or LESS

December 11, 2017 by Gwido Dlugopolsky

Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED           A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.

Coffee is STILL for Closers: 3 Things Needed to Close Any Sale

December 07, 2017 by Sam Wasylyshyn

The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for