The Role of the Core Market

Over the past few weeks, I’ve talked mainly about attracting new markets. We’ve discussed Christensen’s three tiers of non-consumers, and the logic behind their actions in the market. Tonight, we’ll continue this conversation with a discussion on the Core Market.

As I’ve outlined before, Christensen defines a market as two elements: the core and the expanded markets. The expanded market consists of the three tiers of non-consumers, which we’ve been discussing. The Core market on the other hand, is the regular customer. These are the people who actively buy product, and are interested in what’s being sold by the industry as a whole.

In short, these are the existing anime fans. These are the current bread and butter of the industry, who keep up with the news (to an extent), discuss the medium on message boards and social media, and are already excited about anime as a whole. These are the folks who pushed the Mikuru Beam to meme status, and made “Row Row Fight the Power” the unofficial anthem of certain corners of the internet.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUQ1Y8nPz0Q’]
Above: the anthem of certain parts of the web

The core is a fairly diverse group. Since it includes all customers, the core market ranges from individuals that crave “cold” titles like Genshiken and Nichijou, to the folks who line up to buy the latest volume of One Piece or Bleach on release. However, the core is a fickle mass – they have needs that must be met. Core customers know exactly what they want, and they often will get what they want, regardless of whether it’s available or not. They are impatient, they are demanding, and they are not afraid to pass up a show if it’s not to their standards. As Chad Kime of Geneon famously said, “give an anime fan a reason to not buy your product, and they will take it at the first opportunity.”

Regardless, the core consists of the most loyal of customers. Fickle nature aside, they will often stick with a company they trust through lean times, and contractionary periods. They can be counted on for repeat business, and for purchases of titles that may or may not perform well with the greater market. In this light, one could argue that the core is both a business’s greatest asset, and a perennial thorn in the side.

As the expanded market grows more established, it is gradually absorbed into the core, and their tastes become a part of the “new normal” for the core as a whole. And, as such, this group will need to be catered to, in order to prevent the loss of these members to the non-customer tiers. It’s a balancing act, especially when a business’s core ideals is to expand into new markets, in addition to making sure the core’s desires are met.

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

Anime Herald

Support Anime Herald

Anime Herald is brought to you through our Patrons and Ko-fi supporters. Consider backing us for as little as $1 a month to help us keep the site ad-free and pay a fair rate to our writers.

Patrons and backers can access several benefits, including Early Article Access, our members-only Discord, and the ability to suggest articles for our team to write on your behalf.

Latest Posts