I’ve seen many examples of products stretching their way across the Ansoff matrix into new customer groups or markets (market development strategy), but let me introduce you to one of my favourites.
But before I do, allow me to show you how Vaseline did a similar thing after years in the consumer perception as a petroleum jelly for… whatever.
Well, it decided to go head-on for sportsmen (especially endurance sports). Vaseline on your shorts or shirt really reduces rubbing and prevents blistering. It was an average success (but by the way their slogan was nice: “The difference between a sore loser and a comfortable winner”).
But I think this example provided by an MBA student tops the Vaseline example. Here we have an agricultural product designed for smearing on cows’ teats – or as it says on the pack in German “Udder-care”. Teats get sore, you know. But a couple of slappings of Haka and Ermintrude’s udders will be in tip-top condition again.
Well, farmers’ wives noticed it’s pretty good as a hand cream too. The company found out, and now it is actively marketed as a skincare product for us humans. I’ve tried it – and recommend it! It’s great.
Now, the question is: when the marketing or sales people at Haka were going through the product plans, did they enter into a long intellectual debate about the Ansoff matrix and product development strategies versus market development or diversification? Probably not. They got on with it. Just like Haribo did in extending its customer franchise from kids (Haribo macht Kinder froh) to adults (und Erwachsene ebenso).
And that’s the beauty with the market development strategy. Done well, you just extend the market WITHOUT changing the product. Just like Haka.