Finding the gap in the market

A gap in the market can be found by, for example; to be creative or to cleverly combine different types of knowledge.

New ideas

Generating new ideas is the basis of finding a gap in the market . A gap in the market can be found by, for example; to be creative or to cleverly combine different types of knowledge. We speak of a new idea when a company creates opportunities to make additional sales or profit. A new idea does not always have to result in a new product or service, it can also lead to the optimization of existing products or services. New ideas can arise by performing a process analysis . This analysis examines the way in which customers interact with the product. This analysis looks at the customer's consumption chain. This chain consists of three links:

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  • The way in which a customer purchases the product.

  • The way in which one side uses the product.

  • The way in which one side disposes of the product.


The consumption chain can be examined in three ways. The emphasis of these three analyzes is on the customer experience.


(a) The actual consumption chain

This analysis examines the actual behavior of the customer. This concerns; how the customer buys the product (e.g. when he buys the product and where he does it); how the customer uses the product; and how he disposes of the product. Insight into the actual behavior of the customer helps to generate new ideas .


(b) The ideal consumption chain

This analysis analyzes the ideal method by which customers buy and use the product. If business is carried out according to the ideal method, additional turnover or profit is created for the entrepreneur.


(c) Problems within the consumption chain

This analysis examines whether problems exist for the customer within the consumption chain. A problem -finding method can be used to investigate where the customer's problems are in the chain. The company can then respond to this.


There are several methods that can speed up the idea generation process. They are described below.


Methods that can be carried out by the company itself:

  • Brainstorming ; coming up with new ideas without being limited by objections or negative feedback.

  • Using the Delphi method . In this method, group members take turns completing or amending a plan in writing until agreement is reached.

  • Creating a modified attribute list. A product can be broken down into all kinds of properties (attributes). Subsequently, all attributes are filled in or designed in a different way.

  • Performing a morphological analysis; in this study, a problem is broken down into as many sub-questions as possible. Different answers are found to these sub-questions. By randomly connecting these answers, new ideas can arise.

  • By placing a product or service in a new context , new ideas can arise.

  • Using the why-question method. In this method, all kinds of presuppositions are questioned. This creates space for new ideas.

  • Creating new product combinations that generate new ideas.


Methods involving third parties:

  • Expert Opinion; an expert is brought in to help come up with a new idea. He can also be called in to verify the feasibility of an idea.

  • Conducting group discussions with customers, employees and experts to thoroughly analyze their opinions, motives and needs.

  • Conducting interviews with people involved in the production chain.

C.2 Selecting new ideas.

An entrepreneur will then have to make a selection to determine which new ideas are fruitful to bring to market. On average, out of 3000 ideas, only one idea emerges that is fruitful. This selection process generally consists of five phases and five decision points. They are described below.


  • Phase 1 : Developing new ideas.

  • Decision point 1: Ideas are selected with a view to whether they fit within the company's defined strategy, objectives and resources.

  • Phase 2: Developing a concept and testing it. In this phase, a concept of the idea is developed and presented to potential customers.

  • Decision point 2: Ideas are selected with a view to whether they still fit within the company's stated strategy, objectives and resources.

  • Phase 3: Writing a business plan.

  • Decision moment 3: Based on all kinds of economic selection criteria, it is decided whether or not to continue developing the product. Various investment selection methods can be used for this purpose.

  • Phase 4: Realizing the plans in a concrete product and testing it on a test market. In this phase it is crucial that the product can actually be produced. In this phase, the development costs are considerably higher than in the previous phases.

  • Decision moment 4: Based on the results of the test market, it is decided whether or not to market the product.

  • Phase 5: Full market introduction. The largest investment is made in this phase.

  • Decision moment 5: After the full introduction to the market, the entrepreneur evaluates whether the product is able to achieve the desired objectives. It may be that a product is not successful.

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