With the specialty-market strategy the innovator must create
a small but profitable new market.
The final niche strategy is to establish a specialty-market niche big enough to be profitable but small enough not to make it worthwhile for potential competitors to invade it. For example, the most profitable financial product for twenty or more years, from 1919 until World War II and even a decade beyond, was the American Express Travelers Cheque a specialty-market niche. The Travelers Cheque was much safer than carrying a lot of cash and usable everywhere they were accepted, for instance, by every European hotel. Banks sold the Cheques and got a small fee for each transaction. This not only kept American Express from needing to market the Cheques, but it also discouraged the banks from launching a competing service. And American Express made oodles of money because Cheque owners would hold the Cheques for months, or even years, before cashing them, during which time American Express had the “float,” that is, the interest-free use of the money the Cheque holders had paid. Everyone in the financial industry knew how profitable the Travelers Cheques were. But the market then was so small that there was no point in any major bank trying to muscle its way into it.
ACTION POINT: Describe your own examples of the three ecological-niche innovation strategies: Tollbooth, Specialty Skill, and Specialty Market. Exploit one or more of these ecological strategies.
- for instance：たとえば