Opportunity Gap Exploitation

by Paul Simister on August 8, 2011

The phrase opportunity gap exploitation is one I’ve borrowed from Dan Kennedy and it refers to one of the ways to find your unique selling proposition or, if you want to get fancier, your differentiated value proposition.

A great example is Dominos USP – fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes – guaranteed.

It is a classic example of a positioning statement although it stopped being unique when Dominos grew so quickly and competitors started copying the idea.

The opportunity gap is based on looking at what competitors do badly and which irritates customers or even stops them from buying – and then designing a business and offer to take the problem away.

Domino’s didn’t invent home delivery of pizza but they did put an end to the problem of ringing up, ordering it and waiting…

and waiting…

and then when it was finally delivered, finding that the pizza was cold.

How do you use the idea of opportunity gap exploitation to build a business?

It goes back to my differentiation process.

You need to know what your competitors are offering.

You need to know what your customers want… and what they don’t want.

And you need a clear understanding of what you can promise and deliver consistently through capabilities your business has or can quickly and reliably deliver.

The Domino’s guarantee – you get the pizza in 30 minutes or it’s free – meant that they couldn’t afford to make a promise in their marketing which they couldn’t deliver. this isn’t a bad case of shallow differentiation or selling the sizzle not the steak.

Domino’s would have gone bust if they’d had to give away many free pizzas and you can bet with a USP like this, the customers were watching the clock.

What Opportunity Gaps Exist In Your Market?

Can you take this opportunity gap idea and find a gap in your market to exploit?

It’s not the only way to differentiate your business but working from customer frustrations and competitors’ weaknesses is a pretty good place to start to create a business concept which will succeed.

Domino’s used it to build their brand and although it’s not used any more, I bet it’s still how many people think of Domino’s.

Even if competitors copy, once one company has claimed such a strong positioning for hot, fresh pizza FAST, it’s very difficult to beat when you’re tired and hungry and you want to get something to eat.

Paul Simister is the business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of the ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.

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