In a market with hundreds (maybe thousands) of competitors, it becomes more challenging for businesses to make a mark that’ll impact the core audience they’re aiming for. This is why it’s so important for a business to develop a strategy that will give them an edge over the rest.
Saturated markets can still be profitable, but only if the company makes its value proposition known to the target audience in such a striking way that it deeply resonates with them. To offer insight on how to do that, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council look at a few strategies businesses can adopt to stand out in a crowded market and how each tip helps make the company more visible to the consumer.
1. Humanize Your Company
Nobody wants to do business with a corporation; they want to do business with real humans who care. In today’s social media age, it is easier than ever to set yourself apart from the competition with marketing that shows that the people behind the scenes are real people who care. The late Tony Hsieh, former CEO of Zappos, was a great example of someone who built a company that stood out in a saturated market. There are millions of places to buy shoes, but people prefer to buy them from real people. Zappos is incredibly customer service-focused and markets the people who work there as heroes. Tony Hsieh instantly became a larger-than-life figure whose impact was much greater than shoes. Humanize your team and attract market share! – Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences
2. Provide The Most Value
Whoever offers the most value wins. Fortunately, there are many ways to increase the value your product or service brings to customers. For one, you can just do more of what you already do for the same price. Better service can be going the extra mile to solve another problem for your customer. It could be a better product too. Bringing value could also mean niching down to serve a subset of the saturated market if you notice the submarket is underserved and competition is near nonexistent. If you do it right, you’ll one day grow to take over a bigger piece of the market. You can niche down from the perspective of your talents and resources as well. Do more of what you do best. You can also partner with other businesses with products and services that can bring value. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
3. Stay True To Your Message
Working in media in Hollywood, I couldn’t have picked a more saturated market! For me, it’s always been about staying true to our message as a content website and PR agency. Knowing the types of stories that are in line with our vision and the clients that fit our agency is paramount. It’s good to be aware of competition, but you can easily get discouraged and have your brand diluted if you focus on what others are doing and try to replicate. That said, you can’t operate in a bubble. Know your market, utilize what makes sense and do what you do best. – Jennifer Buonantony, Press Pass LA and PPLA Social + PR
4. Address Unmet Customer Needs
Saturated industries are often dominated by large and slow-moving players and can create outsized opportunities for disruption. To break out, you need to determine what the customer wants but isn’t getting from existing options. Build the best possible solution for that and build an exciting and authentic brand around it. What creates breakout companies is when the solution matches what the customer is looking for and is an order of magnitude better than existing options. It’s not easy to do, so it needs to be your sole and ever-present focus. Oftentimes the solution will be a secret hidden in plain sight, something that’s meaningfully better but that others don’t see. – Carlo Cisco, SELECT
5. Have An Authentic Mission And Purpose
From where I sit in California, I can occasionally look no further than out my window to see that the world is on fire. Unfortunately, many social and environmental issues can be tied back to the obsession many businesses have for growth, scalability and expansion. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of this, demanding businesses operate more ethically, equitably and sustainably. If your business sits within a very saturated market, having an authentic and strong mission and purpose as a company can be the deciding factor. When it comes down to it, if your product is just as good and your prices are within a similar range, your character can go a long way in attracting not just more customers, but better customers as well—ones that align with your values. – Matthew Manos, verynice
6. Share Your Expertise
People want to work with companies they trust, and sharing your industry knowledge with your audience is one way of building that trust. We work with a lot of clients who have overcome their competitors by producing fantastic content that truly educates and engages their target audience. They are able to establish a long-term relationship by nurturing them with content, rather than just selling to them all the time with ads. – Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.
7. Avoid Being All Things To All People
Don’t try to be all things to all people in order to capture your “share” of the market. Here are three ways to approach this. First, define your customer segment specifically and set your strategy to support them fanatically. Second, redefine your competitive landscape. Consider broadening out your service offering to “decommoditize your commodity.” Third, allocate labor to lower cost markets that will free up resources to spend toward marketing and branding. In other words, there is no single bullet here for overcoming competition in a saturated market. Rather, it is a deliberate set of moves to help you define your own sandbox. – Russell Benaroya, Stride Services
8. Be The First To Maximize On New Sales Channels And Social Media
We have operated in a saturated market—the beauty industry—for close to a decade. Two things have helped us stay ahead of the competition and have really worked: being the first to maximize on new sales channels as well as social media platforms. For example, we started selling skincare and beauty products on Amazon back in 2012 when there was very little competition because we saw how it solved a problem in the market. For social channels, one recent example is that we have spent a lot of time on the new Clubhouse app and have built a club with over 30,000 people in it. – Daniel Robbins, IBH Media, Bintana Sa Paraiso, His skincare