Product growth into an adjacent market, needs power to fly

Using a firm’s technology savvy to enter a market next to its core market, is a high-risk strategy.

When helping clients to get a flailing, adjacent market push off the ground, I explore 2 common issues leading to low power.

  • Before making the push, has the client applied a thorough screen of what they need to bring to the party?
  • Do they understand what customers in the adjacent market really want

In the case example, the client began their push biased by prior opinions and attitudes. Understanding what the adjacent market really wanted, led to a positive outcome.

Case Example

The Case of a Botched Growth Attempt, and Its Recovery

Marlys, the new growth officer of her firm, is at her wit’s end. She inherited a botched attempt to grow by entering an adjacent market, electronic chips. Nevertheless, the attempt did validate the idea that her firm’s unique technological skills could modify proven products to meet the chip market needs.

Marlys hired me to find early adopters who will test her firm’s modified products. I had elicitation conversations with 30 people in the chip market. My analysis uncovered good options for a new attempt.

The option chosen by Marlys and her team used this conversation as a guide.

“George, we always want to test new products such as your client’s. Be aware that they must pass the final test. It’s one where we break into our plant’s production cycle. We do this test only at 18 months intervals. Our next test is coming up in 3 months. Your client should get in touch with me soon if they want their innovation included.”

     Quality manager — Analog Devices, Inc.


Marlys contacted the chip manufacturer. And, in 2 months, her team had their unique product ready for the final test. The product passed the test.