Acquiring market flexibility via niche portfolios: The case of Fisher & Paykel Appliance Holdings Ltd

Robert Hamlin (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
James Henry (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Ron Cuthbert (School of Agriculture, Business & Technology, Olds College, Olds, Canada)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 14 September 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to establish that the instability of niche markets, and their predisposition to catastrophic collapse, makes market flexibility a prerequisite for long‐term survival among niche marketers. It describes the two ways by which a niche marketer can acquire this market flexibility and demonstrates the advantages of the second of these two approaches, i.e. the development of a portfolio of separated niches.

Design/methodology/approach

An in‐depth discussion of niche instability/implosion, and how niche market flexibility can be acquired to increase the survivability of such events, provides the context for a single in‐depth case study of a company employing a systematic niche market flexibility approach. A multi‐method approach was adopted drawing on both interviews and documentary evidence.

Findings

Planning for flexibility is essential for long‐term survival as a niche marketer. Two broad approaches to achieve this exist – i.e. contingency and portfolio planning – which are not mutually exclusive. The portfolio approach offers specific advantages and examples of its successful applications exist.

Research limitations/implications

This is a single case study.

Practical implications

The article has significant implications for practice, as fragmentation of markets and globalisation of production makes niche marketing desirable/essential for many players.

Originality/value

The area of planning for flexibility using a niche portfolio marketing strategy is under‐researched at present.

Keywords

Citation

Hamlin, R., Henry, J. and Cuthbert, R. (2012), "Acquiring market flexibility via niche portfolios: The case of Fisher & Paykel Appliance Holdings Ltd", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 46 No. 10, pp. 1302-1319. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090561211248044

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.