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Strategic Approaches to Expanding Your Market

Jamie Danielle Munro
October 10th, 2012
One of the main roadblocks of innovation is becoming too comfortable within your industry, and not expanding your market by looking at trends from various sectors. Jeremy Gutsche, founder of Trend Hunter and an innovation expert, always emphasizes the importance of pushing oneself to look beyond the immediate market and question what's happening outside of a company's industry.

In his book Exploiting Chaos, Gutsche speaks of his interview with Marco Morrossini, who works as a designer for Ferrari. One of Morrossini's main points for trend spotting is about how he looks beyond the auto industry and spends his time designing fashion. "You need to be more open to the complete possibility of what could be," states Morrossini. If he did not look at the innovations within the fashion industry, Ferrari would not be the cutting edge company it is today. Expanding your market comes from examining industries that don't directly relate.

Target is one business that has done an excellent job in collaborating with companies outside of their industry to fuel innovation. The company teamed up with Kodak to create the Target Social Network Connectivity campaign, which saw kiosks set up around Target stores. These kiosks connected to Facebook, and allowed customers to print off Facebook photos from these booths. By collaborating with Kodak, Target was able to capture the attention of consumers in ways that were not as effective if done in solo. Expanding your market also comes from these collaborations, which helps support businesses when venturing into unknown territory.

Expanding your market means coming up with new strategies and ideas, two tasks which require thinking outside the box. What many companies fail at is where they look in terms of inspiration. Businesses are constantly tracking their competitors, always being aware of their next move. However, if companies spent more time looking beyond their immediate industries new ideas would emerge, and ones that aren't formed from preexisting models. According to Jeremy Gutsche, "before trend spotting, you must reset your expectations." This means pushing oneself to explore innovation, and using opposing markets to do so.

Trend Hunter's Marketing Trend Report dives into various campaigns that have managed to push these boundaries and hook consumers in the process. To facilitate this forward-thinking mentality, leaders in the workplace can benefit from setting aside time for employees to examine these outside industries.