The worst way to identify a market opportunity… and what to do about it

When you are bringing a new idea to market it can be tempting to copy everyone else, from your marketing to your product category.

This might work out for you but ultimately is probably a mistake.

If you copy everyone else you end up with a ‘me too’ product or service which is ultimately undifferentiated from the market and only has small iterative differences from other products or services.

You also have to spend a lot of money trying to rise up above all the other offerings from other companies to gain market share.

The alternative is to look for opportunities to develop new markets and new categories.

Think of Apple launching the iPhone they developed a whole new market both for smart phones and shortly after for app stores.

Both of these things were what is defined as ‘Blue Oceans’ where there is vast opportunities for companies and the cost of competition is initially low.

With the Apple example the created the smart phone market but very quickly became crowded and they had to keep iterating and launching new things to build the company they have today.

This theory can equally apply to your product offerings as well as your marketing.

To take one example of promotion of your product or services – if you want to chase after Facebook or Google ads the cost is likely very high to acquire customers as everyone competes over the same users.

The alternative is to look for other ways of gaining attention and trust from your target customers where there is limited completion and the cost of acquisition is ultimately low until others copy you and start using those channels identified.

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