A beachhead market is similar to a targeted strategic/priority market which gives companies a learning opportunity before entering a priority market (for a company’s international activities in a given part of the world). For a company to be successful internationally in the long term, it needs to understand the beachhead market and how to take advantage of it. Therefore, a beachhead market becomes a company’s main entry point for its global activities. A market segment with low economic and political barriers and facilitates easy migration to targeted markets subsequently is considered an ideal beach-head.
Examples of beachhead markets are Austria or Singapore for companies planning to enter Germany or Asian region respectively.
McCormick & Co. the U.S. based food products company chose McDonald’s (already its customer in the U.S.) as its beachhead when it entered China in the 90s. This beachhead strategy was successful.
For more on the beachhead concept: Geoffrey Moore’s work: Crossing the Chasm.