Some people think it’s best to avoid a saturated market. They feel the market is too crowded with competitors and will be difficult, if not impossible, for them to penetrate. But I take the opposite view.
Testing an unproven market can become expensive, time-consuming, and risky. On the other hand, in a saturated market, there are clear signals about where opportunities lie.
However, most people don't read those signals properly.
When a market is saturated, many competitors sell similar products and services. That tells you the market has many eager buyers. Otherwise, it wouldn't be sustainable for so many players to be in it.
And that’s fantastic. It says the whole industry is aware that a great opportunity exists.
Challenges of a Saturated Market
So, why are people afraid of saturated markets?
The presence of many competitors means many businesses are vying for the attention of these hungry buyers. The market has a lot of noise. You’ll feel pressured to spend more in marketing, when in fact, your real challenge is just to do effective marketing and come up with unique sales strategies.
Competitors will also try to undercut each other by driving prices down. Your challenge is to resist the temptation to commodify your own product by competing on cost and winning customers by being the cheapest option. Your challenge is to offer something so valuable that people will pay what you’re charging.
Which brings us to the final challenge of succeeding in a saturated market: creating a great product. A saturated market keeps everyone on their toes to always keep improving; otherwise, their products would soon become obsolete. The challenge for you is to keep listening to your customers and let them guide you in iterating and making your product better.
Big Opportunities in a Saturated Market
There are at least 3 ways you can stand out in a saturated market:
Different approaches and styles resonate with different people. When you have a distinct style, voice, or brand personality, you’ll appeal to specific types of buyers. This also includes your values, your mission, and your vision-;what you stand for.
That’s enough reason for people to buy from you instead of a competitor, even though you may be the more expensive option.
So, be true to yourself. Communicate your brand personality in everything you do, and use it as a beacon to attract buyers.
In a big market, you can stand out by serving a specific slice or niche. Look for a sub-group whose particular needs aren’t being met. For example, fitness is a saturated market, but there are sub-niches that are probably being ignored, such as fitness for postpartum women, fitness for underweight teenage boys, fitness for Baby Boomers with chronic diseases, etc..
These potential customers are probably buying what’s out there, simply because they haven’t found a better alternative. But when they see an offering that’s created especially for them, they’ll happily buy it instead.
Finally, you can stand out by addressing a gap in the market. If you look around the industry and see that all buyers’ needs are being met and they’re achieving the transformation they’re after, then you might not need to get in there create and something new.
But sometimes you look at the landscape and see a gap. You notice things that should be offered but are not available or not being provided in an effective way. That’s a great signal to you that, not only is there a demand in the marketplace, but that demand is not being met, despite the offerings out there. You need to create something to fill that gap.
Go ahead, step in and fill that gap and lead people to the outcomes they want.
Don't worry about saturated markets. Worry about what you can contribute to that saturated market that everyone else is missing.