three Ideas for Succeeding in a Saturated Market
There was a time when entering a saturated market likely meant disaster for a new, unknown brand. But that is no longer the case today. The Internet has enabled new companies to enter the market successfully, and it has also enabled them to be successful – even when competing against large, established brands.
However, this doesn’t mean that your company takes it for granted. There is a certain finesse to being successful in a saturated market. Here are some tips.
Be loyal to your brand
Your mission, values, brand voice, brand personality, customer service – when you find yourself in a saturated market, these are the things that set you apart from your competitors. You may be selling the same or a similar product as your competitors, but you are not selling it in exactly the same way.
Find out what makes your company different. Do you donate a percentage of sales to a charity? Do you have a very entertaining Instagram presence?
Find the niche in the market.
While your market may be saturated, there is almost always a void that needs to be filled – you just have to find it.
For most companies, this means assessing your own strengths first. What can you do especially good? Do you have a logistical background that enables you to execute orders quickly and accurately? Do you have contacts in another country that would make it easy for you to expand into this region? Can your web designer also create an app that optimizes the buying process for your customers?
Identifying the skills or advantages that you have can help you see how they can be used to fill an existing void.
For example, consider Cheetah Digital, a loyalty suite for marketers. There are now many customer loyalty tools available, and many offer the same tools – data collection, email campaigns, and customer journey design. However, Cheetah Digital fills a void by offering all of these services in a la carte packages as well as a loyalty program that allows brands to get even more value from these services.
Now some companies can first identify the void and then find a way to fill it. For example, this approach can work for serial entrepreneurs who have experience starting and running a business. For most brands, however, it makes a lot more sense to work the other way around.
Anticipate changes in your industry.
Industries are constantly changing and evolving, be it due to laws, changes in customer behavior or new technologies.
Most businesses will be content to comfortably stay where they are: in the present, doing things the way they always have. But some will always be on the lookout for what is to come.
By anticipating trends, keeping an eye on new technologies that are evolving, and generally thinking about how your industry will perform in the next year or five, you can get your brand to the forefront of your industry.
One example is the restaurant technology company OneDine. OneDine developed its app-based ordering system for restaurants a few years ago because they saw the industry moving there. They were way ahead of the entire restaurant industry and grew steadily in the first few years. Then came 2020 and suddenly every restaurant needed a way for customers to order and pay for their food online.
Well, OneDine obviously didn’t foresee the pandemic, but they could see customer behavior change and they hopped on the trend before almost everyone else. And while it is true that if you anticipate trends like this some customers will not be ready to come with you, some will – and when the others finally catch up, you will be ready and waiting to serve them.
Success in a saturated market is quite possible. All you need to do is know your brand, look for nooks in the market, and keep an eye on the horizon.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.