Entering a market that is crowded with competitors is not necessarily a bad thing. If you look on the bright side, a saturated market means that there is a demand from your target audience, which you can capitalise on. To add, you will have the opportunity to provide the market with other viable options. Find out what iflix, Ingogo, Airfrov, PropSocial and Tribe Hired do to overcome the odds.
Entering A Saturated Market
Before tapping into a saturated market, it is important to understand what you are getting yourself into and recognise the factors that will impact your business. It will help you in holding your ground in a crowded market.
Agreeing to this notion is Magdelin Tan, General Manager of PropSocial, Malaysia. Optimistically she says: “The presence of other industry players proves that there is a market for it, so it will also be easier to gain acceptance by majority of users as they are already familiar with the product / service offered. They may also be more open to a better or improved concept of the existing product/ service.”
However, Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of iflix Malaysia thinks that there is no such thing as a saturated market. “With the rapid pace of technological advancements, deregulation, and changing consumer preferences and behaviours, market definitions and boundaries are no longer static. Markets can be redefined as new consumer segments emerge, new ways of consumption are taking shape – new markets are created.”
This is almost similar to what Todd Shipp, Ingogo’s Head of Marketing from Australia and Tribe Hired’s Founder and COO, Ajay Sangwan from Malaysia, thought about the subject matter. They feel that a saturated market means there is an enormous opportunity to carve out a segment of a very large market and own it.
Meanwhile, Singapore based startup – Airfrov’s Marketing Manager, Mercedes Chua, shares the company’s personal point of view. The company prefers to see a problem as an advantage. She says: “As a peer-to-peer platform for overseas shopping, the concept of Airfrov is fresh yet intriguing to many…. The concept of dealing with another user, instead of the business owner, is not entirely new to shoppers. Tapping into a saturated market means that seasoned online shoppers are aware of both the benefits and downside of dealing with other users. With that, Airfrov identified the fear and uncertainty of dealing with strangers, and turned it into our advantage.”
While talking about the pros of saturated market, Shipp also shares what businesses shouldn’t do when capturing market share from the competitors. He outlines:
- Don’t compete on price as this is only a short term competitive solution that can be easily matched.
- Don’t try and create a one size fits all model. Provide options and allow customers to upgrade themselves as they become more confident with your brand.
- Don’t create barriers to purchase by overcomplicating the buying process. Capture information throughout the lifecycle rather than all upfront.
Without a doubt that penetrating a saturated market can be daunting and seem to be unattainable. If you want to make a mark, you have to put in more work. Here are some tips to make your service/ product stands out.
How To Stand Out In A Saturated Market
#1 Be Different
How can you stand out from a saturated market, if you can’t differentiate your business with your competitors? As what the former Coca-Cola’s Marketing Executive, Sergio Zyman said: “You can’t sell sameness”. Just because people have been doing something the same way for decades, doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way of doing it.
For example Azran says: “Traditional view of the subscription television market in Malaysia may appear saturated. There is already one dominant player who already serves two-thirds of all households. Several sub-scale players have tried to enter this market and all have failed to make any dent – but all were using these traditional broadcast means.
“However, we saw an opportunity to create a new market by delivering premium television content not through traditional channels, but as a video-on-demand service, using cloud-based technology that eliminates the need to set up broadcast centres…. This enables us to deliver content at one-tenth of the cost of traditional distribution, which stimulate a whole new market at much lower price points with a better offering i.e. no advertising, more content selection, and easy-to-use download features.”
#2 Find Your Niche
Instead of saying everyone is your customer, why not focus on a specific target audience with specific needs? When it comes to penetrating a saturated market, a good niche helps even the playing field.
Sangwan shares Tribe Hired’s experience: “At TribeHired, we created a niche service that has unequivocal values for its users. So competition never bothered us. We, at TribeHired will keep on innovating to a point that it becomes almost daunting for competitors to keep up or copy.
#3 Be A Problem Solver
Sometimes, a business does not need to be disruptive to be successful. You just have to a look at the things that needs to be fixed. Your product/service may be similar, except for a few factors.
Tan shares that filling in a gap in the market by addressing problems faced by consumers that is not being answered or attended to by current industry players can help you capture the market share.
Meanwhile, Chua says: “We learn from customer feedback and data, and move quick to change our product/service to meet the underlying demands and pain points of users.”
In unison, Shipp says : “My team (Ingogo) work hard to constantly evolve our brand. Therefore, it is imperative that we are constantly listening and asking for feedback from all stakeholders to ensure we better understand the ever changing dynamics of the industry. How we choose to leverage this insight is critical, as this guides the introduction of new features that not only improve the customer experience, but also highlight the deficiencies of our competitors.”
As you can provide an increasingly better service or product as per your client/customer’s needs, the chance is that you will get more repeat business.
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#4 Deliver Value Added Service
One of the way to stand out is to have a unique selling point that gets people talking, which strongly differentiates you from your competitors.
Chua divulges Airfrov’s own fair share in capturing the market: “Many of our users follow Airfrov for the latest news on overseas products. More than just a marketplace, we provide shoppers with a discovery platform, constantly surprising them with novelty items they never knew about. With this, we are working hard to build trust and brand identity among our users to keep them coming back.”
So, there you go – strategies to keep your business apart from the competitive market. Although these tips will not guarantee a success, we hope that they’ll give you ideas on how to approach a saturated market.