"How do I find gaps in the market?" is a question I get asked more than anything else.
It can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but it's very possible if you know the right strategies.
I've seen it time and time again where entrepreneurs spend months researching, trying to find gaps in the market, and they just end up wasting valuable resources.
You can't afford to do that but you also can't afford to copy your competitors.
So let's dive into how you can find gaps in the market and achieve better business success in 2024.
What is a Gap in the Market?
A gap in the market is an unmet consumer need that has not yet been solved by existing competitors, products, or services.
In order to find potential market gaps you need three key things:
- Validated research
- Creative strategy
Why You Need to Find Gaps in the Market in 2024
Identifying potential gaps is not just a short-term strategy to hit revenue targets; it's an essential step towards building a brand and long-term business growth.
Dyson did this when they identified that consumers wanted professionally-styled hair at home without the heat damage, so that’s exactly what they designed.
6 Strategies to Find Gaps in the Market in 2024
Identifying potential market gaps requires a deep understanding of your industry, customer pain points, and desires.
This includes researching behaviour, monitoring shifts in economic forces like recessions or pandemics, and staying on top of industry developments.
All of these can reveal consumer needs waiting to be met with innovative solutions.
1. Evaluating Competitors' Offerings
A keen eye on competitors can reveal untapped opportunities for successful product differentiation within established markets.
This involves more than just looking at their products or services but also understanding what they are missing that you could provide better or differently to fill those gaps.
2. Adapting Existing Products or Services
Beyond competition, there's value in revisiting your own offerings too. Adapting your products may lead directly into unexplored territories where new niche ideas await discovery.
Taking feedback from customers seriously can often be instrumental as well. They're the ones using these products daily and might have insights about improvements we've never considered before.
In essence, identifying gaps is about finding innovative solutions to unsolved problems by adapting to changing customer needs and industry norms. This proactive approach paves the way for viable business opportunities leading ultimately to long-term business success.
3. Solving Unmet Needs
Finding solutions to unmet needs is a strategy that has proven effective time and again.
The coronavirus pandemic showed businesses adapting in very innovative ways. A great example is Partner In Wine, who invented an insulated bottle to help keep alcohol cold on the go - perfect for social distancing parties!
4. Narrowing Down Your Target Market
In the business world, people often make the mistake of thinking too broadly when considering their target markets. However, pinpointing niche ideas can prove more effective when spotting potential customers, especially for small businesses. The narrower your focus, the better chance you have at crafting solutions tailored specifically towards this group’s unsolved problems.
In the business world, understanding your target market is key to finding innovative solutions and establishing a successful product. To do this effectively, it's crucial to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
5. Conduct Quantitative and Qualitative Market Research
Any viable business model uses a healthy mix of both quantitative and qualitative research.
Quantitative research focuses on numerical data that can be statistically analysed. Tools such as surveys or questionnaires are commonly used here.
Qualitative research focuses more on consumer feelings and behaviours. Methods such as interviews and observational studies work great here and allow you deeper insight into people's attitudes, beliefs and desires.
We have an in-depth post that teaches you all about how to conduct effective market research.
6. Using Environmental Changes and Industry Shifts
Economic forces often present opportunities for small business owners willing to adapt.
In times of economic downturn or global events like a pandemic, customer needs shift rapidly - revealing new gaps in the market. The coronavirus pandemic showed businesses adapting like never before.
Can You Find Gaps in the Market On Your Own?
Whilst you can find gaps in the market by yourself using your industry knowledge and experience, it's usually pretty tricky to look at your own situation without any bias.
A fresh outside perspective might be exactly what you need to spot trends and shifts in consumer behaviour.
Brand Strategy Agency vs. Research Agency
When looking for outside help you might first consider a market research agency, and they can certainly help.
The problem is that they provide you with a lot of data with no real guidance on how to use it.
A brand strategy agency, however, will give you only the main insights you need as well as a strategy on how to implement them in your business plan.
Case Studies: How Other Brands Find Gaps in the Market
Most of the giant brands of today once started as small ideas.
Let's look at a few of them for inspiration:
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club identified an unsolved problem within men's grooming - overpriced razors.
Their subscription-based model disrupted established markets by providing affordable and convenient shaving products directly to customers' doors.
Airbnb spotted a potential gap for budget-friendly accommodation options during popular events when hotels were often fully booked or too expensive.
This simple idea transformed into a global platform that connects homeowners willing to rent their spaces with travellers seeking unique lodging experiences.
So, What Market Gaps Exist Right Now?
As you can see, uncovering gaps in the market is essential for creating new business opportunities.
To find gaps in the market, you need time, research and an understanding of the unmet needs of your potential customers.
In this article, you have learned how to:
- Evaluate competitors' offerings and adapt existing products or services to uncover gaps.
- Utilise strategies like empathising with consumers and different research methods.
- Search for outside help to get a fresh perspective on your brand and market as a whole.
Once you find a gap in the market, profiting from it requires a well-designed strategy that aligns with your business plan and adapts to your business model.
If you're ready to find gaps in the market and take your brand from good to great, contact us at Ventur Agency. We specialise in helping brands find gaps in the market without trial and error.