Assessing the Lead Market Potential of Countries for Innovation Projects


This paper presents an approach to assessing the potential of countries to increase the likelihood that locally preferred innovation designs become successful in other countries, too. The concept suggests that for many innovations lead markets exist that initiate the international diffusion of a specific design of an innovation. Once a specific innovation design has been adopted by users in the lead market chances are that it subsequently becomes adopted by users in other countries as well. Lead markets can be utilised for the development of global innovation designs. By focusing on the design of the innovation which responds to the preferences within the lead market, a company can leverage the success experienced in the lead market for global market launch. In order to follow a lead market strategy of new product development, it is necessary to assess the lead market potential of countries before an innovation is developed and tested in the market. This paper presents an indicator-based methodology that approximates the lead market attributes of countries. This assessment methodology was applied to two innovation projects at the truck division of DaimlerChrysler AG. The method produces information that is of importance for the development phase and the market launch of globally standardised innovations. 

KeyWords: Innovation, Global Diffusion, Market Entry

Marian BEISE
Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration
Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: (81) 78 803 7036
Fax: (81) 78 803 7059

Thomas CLEFF
Pforzheim University of Applied Scienses,