Regardless of your company size it’s important to constantly evaluate your market segments in relation to your competitors.
Identifying segments that either your competitors have missed or are untapped opportunities for you is challenging and requires a wholistic approach that uses both right-brain and left-brain thinking.
To do this, it’s best to gather a team of employees who work in different departments with different expertise and conduct a few exercises. Below are three team exercises that might help your business identify new market segments.
Get your team to think of the various uses of your product and write them down on a white board. Once they come up with an initial list, branch out into even more specific uses and brainstorm every possible scenario one could use your product, even if it seems absurd. Remind everyone that they aren’t looking for viable segments at this point, just fun ideas.
If you keep doing this and further soliciting ideas, you will eventually come up with some niche segments. Now it’s just a matter of conducting research to see if those segments are A) already customers of your competitors and B) part of an available market. An available market simply means that you can realistically compete to get those customers. Do you have the right resources, expertise and location to go after that segment? If not, scrap that segment and move onto the next.
Value Proposition Analysis
Determine who your competitor’s customers are and create customer profiles according to demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral characteristics. Then write down your competitor’s value proposition according to cost, service and technology. Now look at your value proposition according to the same categories. Does either company’s value proposition address the needs of the niche segments identified in the Mind Map exercise? If not, you have a viable segment to target.
Big Wig Matching
Get everyone to shout out big brands that are familiar to everyone. Brainstorm words and attributes associated with each brand. Now get the team to say which brand they feel is closely associated with your company, products and services and then do the same for your competitors. Are you positioned where you’d like to be? Or are your competitors associated with brands that you want to be associated with? If so, do an analysis of their customers and target those segments in your campaigns.