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When groups of consumers move from one type of product to another on a long-term basis, new business opportunities can result. Market switches create demands for new products and services.

Some Examples

The switch from traditional styles of children’s bicycles to BMX bikes provided an opportunity for a bicycle shop to establish a BMX racing club and racing track. This racing involvement helped the shop to capture a large share of the BMX market.

A business woman took advantage of the market switch from record albums to cassette tapes by packaging cassette recorder-head cleaning kit.

To take advantage of the market switch from large to small cars, a company designed and manufactured bicycle and ski racks designed for small cars.

An office machine repair service anticipated the market switch from typewriters to word processors and began to specialize in repairing word processing equipment.

How To Do It

Discover major changes in consumer buying habits by:

  • reading marketing research reports and trade association research forecasts;

  • observing current fads that could potentially turn into long-term changes;

  • observing new products that are growing in popularity;- and

  • analyzing changes in your own buying habits, especially when you stop purchasing an item that has become obsolete and begin to buy replacement items with entirely different characteristics.

Find products which are associated with a market switch by:

  • analyzing the advantage of new products to find those which are greatly superior and will likely replace more traditional items; and

  • looking for new technologies or new products based on new concepts which are revolutionary for an industry.

Look for a major product or service that is needed to meet changing consumer demand, but has not yet been provided, and find a way to provide it.

When the major product in the market switch already exists, look for related services or products that can be used in association with the major product.

Ensure that there is a demand for the product/service you would like to provide.

Key Questions

  1. Can I think of any market switches that have recently taken place?

  2. Can I think of any market switches that may be occurring now?

  3. How can I take advantage of these changes in consumer buying habits?

  4. Can I address a current market switch by providing the major product or service?

  5. Can I provide secondary products or services related to a new major product?

  6. Have potential customers indicated a need for the product/service I have introduced?

This Sales & Marketing article was written by on 2/28/2005

This article is used with the permission of Visit them online to learn business, read profiles of entrepreneurs, and participate in community forums.