Exploit a high growth market segment, a chapter overview by Kate McKeon

When thinking of public companies that have reached over $1 Billion in revenue recently, it is not hard to think of Microsoft and Dell, but do you think about Claire’s?


Claire’s is a chain of cheap (and I do mean cheap) accessories aimed at females under 21. Think trinkets and baubles. Having needed accessories for various costumes, I am personally familiar with Claire’s. But would you expect what is essentially junk to be a billion dollar annual revenue company? Go to the mall to check out Claire’s on a Saturday afternoon . . . it’s more popular than most velvet roped clubs in NYC and LA on Saturday night.

It is specialty retailers that particularly shine in the list of "Blueprint" companies. Specialty retailers like Claire’s and Tractor Supply. Retailers in sometimes a mature industry like the auto industry: Autozone, Autonation and O’Reilly….

How do you capitalize on a high growth market segment, first be aware. You must be interacting with companies across many industries to notice a market segment that is growing wildly. Second, consider what part of that market you can own, carve your niche. Third, when possible, learn from and select talent from adjacent industries. Fifth Third Bank has shaken up the banking world by training its salesforce to use insurance sales strategies and tactics. Fourth, get close to your customer in all respects – listen.