Many startups want to cast a wide net in the early days to reach as many potential customers as possible.
They believe that attracting a broader customer base will translate into a large sales volume, which hopefully becomes the catalyst they need for rapid growth.
So, naturally, there’s a temptation to try to sell to anyone who shows interest.
The very idea of narrowing down a niche market seems counterproductive to what the founder is trying to achieve.
They worry that niching means they’ll:
- Be pigeonholed from the outset
- Make fewer sales since the market size is smaller
- Attract more competition if their product is successful
- Be more vulnerable to market changes if all their “eggs are in one basket”
But the reality is, trying to cast a wide net in the beginning inadvertently leads to creating a customer experience that’s far too broad.
And by trying to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no one.
Sure, you’ll still make some sales.
But because your solution is trying to be everything to everyone, it simply can’t address the specific needs of your target market.
Which means there’s nothing to stimulate the amount of customer loyalty that will make or break your startup.
What’s more, trying to reach a broad range of customers will end up hurting your bottom line. You’ll need varied marketing strategies and channels to cater to different industries, company types, or demographics – and this all comes at a cost.
So, what’s the secret of generating both sales AND customer loyalty?
In the early days, when you’re still discovering how to find ideal customers, win fans, and create an end-to-end customer experience that delights, you need to segment your market to meet the needs of a very specific group of people.
This is called your beachhead market.
A beachhead strategy – named after a successful World War II military strategy used by the Allies – helps you start with the end in mind.
Here’s how it works.
A beachhead market is a niche market segment of ideal customers for your new product. Your beachhead might be based on a specific demographic or a subset of ideal customers.
Either way, these are customers who you know will delight in your offer and become raving fans.
You see, the ultimate goal of starting with a beachhead is to encourage this customer loyalty. Because this is what gives your product a competitive advantage before you set your sights on larger markets.
4 WAYS TO DEFINE YOUR BEACHHEAD MARKET:
- Look to similar existing markets to identify the type of customers who buy similar products.
- Base your market around a specific demographic segment, such as industry, company size, or revenue for B2B, or age, gender, education level, or other factors for B2C.
- Niche down by geographic location by either choosing particular postcodes or specific regions, such as coastal towns or cities.
- Identify a customer need and find the best way to fill the current gap in the market.
Beachhead thinking also involves asking yourself key questions about the fit of a particular market for your solution.
So consider how well-funded your target customer is and if you know where to find them.
How accessible are they?
Have you got experience in engaging with them?
How aware they are of their challenges that your product or offer solves?
The more deeply you can understand your ideal customer, the easier it becomes to give them a game-changing solution.
And remember, you can still sell outside your beachhead market.
But by being laser-focused in the early days, you’ll be able to develop a version that perfectly suits a very specific group of people – without having wasted unnecessary time or money or multiple different versions.
So, if you’ve got your sights set on hypergrowth, be sure to tighten that net before you cast it!
Because every unicorn out there started with a beachhead strategy.
If you haven’t yet segmented your ideal customers and need some help figuring out your beachhead market, fill out this short questionnaire and we’ll get in touch to help you with your next steps.
Whenever you’re ready, here’s how we can help you.
If you’ve got a startup idea, or you’ve already embarked on your journey – you might be facing one or both of these situations.
- You’re struggling while going it alone. Worse, you’re wading in the muddy waters of some not-so-great advice.
- Perhaps you’re trying to raise capital for your startup and you’re hitting a dead end. Raising capital is a notoriously difficult thing to do. Globally, only 0.74% of startups manage to raise capital at Seed stage. Despite this, 16% of startups we’ve worked with were able to raise capital at Seed stage.
If you’re ready to step up and get the help you need, our Startup Builder™ program was created especially for you.
The Startup Builder™ process is specifically designed to take you all the way from idea to global success – in a way that’s simple, sustainable, and scalable.
If you’re ready to grow your revenue, profit, and social impact faster without wasting time and money on the wrong things at the wrong time, click here to request your Startup Builder™ Strategy Session.
Did you find this article valuable?
Go here to sign up to receive future weekly editions in your inbox.
On LinkedIn? Click here and press “follow” to get notified of the startup insights I share.