1. The beaches of Normandy, France were an ideal beachhead for the Allies because they were not an obvious choice to start the invasion, so they were less fortified by the German army. Once the beachhead of Normandy was secured, follow-on “markets” included other areas of France, followed by countries like Belgium and Luxembourg, and finally Germany.
  2. Socially active college undergraduates at Harvard University.
  3. Pinterest is an interesting case. They stumbled upon an “accidental beachhead” after some time of trying to find their way in any market. Before they knew it, a large proportion of their user base were women who used Pinterest’s boards to plan their weddings. While Pinterest would not necessarily describe this group as their first target market, this market provided the initial lift and development of the fundamental product that would allow Pinterest to conquer additional markets.
  4. Finance departments with complex calculations that required sensitivity analysis. In particular, the first spreadsheet program for the IBM PC, VisiCalc, was the “killer app” that solidified this beachhead.
  5. The Apple Macintosh is another case of an accidental beachhead. It took over a year after the computer’s release in 1984—where it appeared that the Macintosh never got real market traction and it seemed headed for the same fate as its predecessor, the infamous Apple Lisa—before desktop publishing (Aldus PageMaker to be precise) became available for it. Once PageMaker ...

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