Mind the Gap: Aim for a Market Position No One Has Claimed

Mind the Gap: Aim for a Market Position No One Has Claimed

It’s hard to get into a seat that’s already filled.

I mean, sure, you could grab the person sitting there by the collar, wrestle them to their feet, throw their coat on the floor and take their place.

But, you know, they might put up a fight. And then you might end up on the floor.

It’s a lot easier to just choose a seat that’s unoccupied.

Positioning is much the same way.

You could go after a position as the most experienced company in your niche, or the most affordable, or the one with the widest variety.

But if that position is already filled by an established competitor, you’re going to have to wrestle them out of the seat to take it.

It’s easier — and more effective — to find a gap you can make your own.

Find your gap

Your ideal brand position lies in the sweet spot where what you do intersects with what your audience cares about AND what your competition ignores.

Let’s take video recording apps as an example.

There are more than a few. And most offer a pretty similar experience.

So when Loom chose its brand position, it focused on a specific audience. Distributed workforces needed a simple means of asynchronous communication. It was a pain point the audience was experiencing and other video apps weren’t addressing.

As of this writing, Loom’s homepage says: “Easily record and share AI-powered video messages with your teammates and customers to supercharge productivity.

By mentioning “teammates and customers” and naming “productivity” as the outcome, Loom stepped confidently into the gap. It positioned itself as the video recording app for work teams.

Is that the only thing you could use it for? Of course not.

Could other apps do the same thing? Sure they could.

But Loom’s in the seat now. It’s what its audience thinks of when they think of work video. It’s even replacing the word “video” in conversations. (“I’ll send you a quick Loom.”)

Ask the right questions

When looking for a gap you can fill, ask:

  • What is really important to my ideal customers? Can I fill those needs?
  • What are things that matter to customers but no one in my niche talks about?
  • Do my unique attributes match up to any of these customer desires?
  • Does this positioning align with my brand values and business goals?
  • What might be the short-term and long-term consequences of positioning myself this way?

This isn’t a quick exercise, and it’s usually harder than it sounds. But by planting your flag in a market position, you can become so entrenched in customers’ minds that another brand would have to grab you by the collar and wrestle you to take your place.

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