Finding a gap in the marketplace is one of the most important things a brand can do to establish itself and standout from the competition, because you definitely won’t standout if you’re just doing the same as everyone else. This is sometimes known as the brand’s differentiation or USP. These terms however can cause confusion, as many people think they need to find some sort of revolutionary new idea that transforms the marketplace. However those kind of ideas are few and far between and are mostly found in technology driven areas, if you have one, then great. But really you only need to find some small area or approach that your competition are not doing well and become known for that. For example, say you run a coffee shop and you identified that most of your customers were busy commuters, what about if they could text their order ahead and it was waiting for them when they arrived? It doesn’t even have to be something new, just something you do better than anyone else. What could you do to make your customer’s lives easier and better. Talking to your existing customers can uncover a wealth of useful information, what are their pain points, how can you address them to make their lives better?
Try to think laterally, could you take an idea from a different market sector and be the first to apply it in your sector? Uber transformed the taxi world, in part by using technology that allows you to track where your taxi is at anytime and how long it will be, could you do this for a completely different sector, what about if you were able to track your plumber and knew when he was on his way to you?
So when you come look at your product or service, remember the gaps in the market are there, you just have to find them.