Product Positioning: How to Create a Space in Your Market
It’s a fact of life that your business will compete with many others over its lifespan. This is good because it encourages innovation and healthy brand development. Competition is an antidote for stagnation. However, your market can become too crowded, either due to too many businesses starting in rapid succession or because of the nature of the industry you chose.
If your brand is struggling to set itself apart in a crowded market, know there’s a way out. You can create a space in your market for your brand and unique product using smart analysis and creativity.
But when you want to create a space in your market, where do you begin? Our guide can help you identify new market space and how you can carve out a niche market where your brand can dominate. Let’s take a closer look at these ideas now.
Why Focus on New or “White” Space in the First Place?
In today’s competitive business environment, there’s practically no market for a brand that isn’t competitive. Brands are increasingly vying for the attention of target audiences. This can lead to thin profit margins and a stressful business environment.
Under these circumstances, some brands are able to thrive while others struggle. These brands compete by launching ahead of the curve and creating new market space where they can dominate. Even if it’s for a short time.
This phenomenon has been seen many times in economic history – one great example is Apple. Apple didn’t create new computers in the early 2000’s – it created a completely new product called mobile smartphones, generating an entire customer base that no one else had capitalized on yet.
By skillfully analyzing your market and creating new market space for your products or services, you can enjoy a head start over your competition and change the landscape of your industry niche. It’s one of the best ways to stay profitable in modern markets. And it’s one of the best ways for you to stay ahead of the pack.
Where to Find New Market Space?
Finding new market space can be unintuitive. But there are two straightforward methods of looking for potential market gaps or “white space”.
Space Within Industry (and Price Levels)
Look at your own industry and try to detect market space that already exists but that no one has yet tapped into. This is trickier than it sounds. But you can find an open space in the market by analyzing the fundamentals of your industry.
To start off, you can look at the average prices that people pay for products or services in your industry. Take designer jewelry: It’s a market inundated with low-cost options and expensive but gorgeous lines of earrings and necklaces.
You might discover that there’s an existing industry for customers without the cash to pay for top-dollar jewelry but who also want something of higher quality than zircon or similar stone jewelry.
Price levels are just one place to look. By examining consumer trends, expressed desires (through surveys or other market research data), and by staying abreast of industry technological developments, you could discover a niche market with customers waiting for a product like yours.
Space Between Industries
You can also look beyond your own industry and try to find the “space between”. The space between industries is often untapped in terms of commercial exploitation.
Grubhub is a great modern example. While it’s widely considered to be an issue for the restaurant industry overall, Grubhub has enjoyed great success by identifying market space between:
- people who want restaurant food
- people who want food delivered
For decades, the only option for many metropolitan consumers was pizza and Chinese food. But Grubhub, through forging commercial agreements with restaurants and fast-food chains throughout the foodservice industry, now provides delivery services to everyone. They also provide a plethora of food options.
Grubhub is a successful brand that has successfully merged the desire for delivery with high-quality restaurant food into a winning business model.
Similarly, you can try to find market space between your industry and another and capitalize on that gap.
Now that you know where to look for market space, let’s break down how exactly you can create that space with your brand and products.
Double Down on Your USP
Identifying your niche market is only the beginning of setting your brand apart. You’ll also need to identify your unique selling proposition or USP. Your USP can best be thought of as the single unique or identifying factor that distinguishes you most from your competitors. It may take some time to think of this if your industry is particularly crowded, but chances are that your business already has a USP, even if you aren’t aware of it.
By identifying your USP, you can more effectively identify market space where you can best capitalize on the USP for extra brand uniqueness and special value.
Prioritize What You Do Well
Along the same lines, don’t try to copy what other businesses in your industry do. Instead, identify your unique strengths and double down on them as much as possible.
For example, a hypothetical enterprise might produce designer handbags with private labeling for companies. Their handbags are well made and can be highly customized. In this scenario, the business should focus on customization and quality rather than speed or mass production.
Again, this fundamental principle ensures that the new market space you create is as beneficial to your business as possible. Competitors will quickly follow you into any new market space you carve out, so keeping your competitive advantage for as long as possible is key.
Find an Underserved Audience Niche
When you’re looking to create new market space, try to think about any underserved audience niches or demands that might already exist in your industry. You can look to history for a good example of this in the iPhone – Apple knew that people were underserved in the then-nonexistent industry of pocket computers and launched their mobile devices ahead of everyone else.
An underserved audience niche is often the best single indicator for potentially exploitable market space in your industry. That’s because it presumably comes with consumer demand baked in as a feature – you know that by taking advantage of that market space, you’ll be fulfilling one consumer demand or another and be able to take in some profits right off the bat.
Similarly, you can find success by trying to anticipate new demands. This involves staying abreast of technological developments in your industry.
For instance, software-as-a-service companies (SaaS) were ahead of the game when they realized that people would eventually demand access to their software from anywhere, especially businesspeople. Furthermore, they successfully anticipated that growing digital security concerns would necessitate frequent patches.
SaaS companies leveraged new cloud technology to anticipate consumer demands and now SaaS solutions are everywhere in the IT industry. Enterprises almost exclusively rely on SaaS solutions for both their security needs and their primary business software.
Anticipate the demands that consumers don’t yet know that they have in your industry, and you’ll likely find open market space primed for your brand.
There’s one more option for finding a space in your market. You can offer your products and services at lower costs than your competitors. This is a tried-and-true tactic, but be careful not to compromise on quality. There’s a fine line to walk between offering cheaper products than your competitors and offering junk that quickly tarnishes your brand reputation.
Working with a smart product design agency such as Harper+Scott can help you avoid this potential downfall. But additional market research will ensure that there is existing market space in terms of consumer price points before pivoting to a lower-cost business model.
It’s important for new businesses to understand how and why to create new market space if they want to remain viable and profitable in the future. The economic environment is only going to become more competitive, particularly as economic concerns cause people to save their money and only spend it on the best choice for their needs.
Fortunately, you can both rely on the above tips and Harper+Scott if you want to create stellar new products for a new market space ASAP.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today – we’ll be happy to discuss your brand and how we can help you create products perfectly tailored for your market space.