What is the pencil market in country x?

Market sizing
New answer on Feb 11, 2020
2 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Feb 10, 2020

Hello everyone,

how would someone estimate this? Would like to hear the different ways to structure it .

My first question is to clarify if we are talking about drawing pencils or just graphite pencils.

I was thinking to segment it by age. As the younger part of the population are enrolled at school or universities so there is a higher use of these products. And as the age increase, the use of pencils becomes less frequent. Does this sound reasonable?

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 11, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Indeed, sounds reasonable!

This one is the classic "simple" market sizing exercise:

  1. Segment total population in age groups (in 10s)
  2. Estimate how many pencils/year are consumed by each of those groups:
    1. Particularly high in the 1st segments
    2. Almost null in the oldest groups
  3. If asked, calculate the entitlement of the market by calculating the total number of units per a price/unit (in this case, might be easier to think of price of per packs, such as 10 packs)

Hope it helps!



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Anonymous replied on Feb 11, 2020

I'd think about who uses pencils. If you start with age brackets, then schools is a good one, but think who else. Architects and engineers maybe? As well, use of pencils is generational - most people on here are young and write entirely with computers. My guess would be that older people are more analogue, and so use pencils more. What about people that haven't access to computers as well?

The danger with starting with age brackets is that everyone starts with age brackets, so what you need to do is show that you're thinking beyond the framework to be memorable.

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Clara gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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