How your company can survive in a saturated market

Many companies operate in saturated markets: Competition is high, customer acquisition and retention are a challenge. Nevertheless, it is possible to survive and build a sustainable business even in saturated markets.

The following tips show how this can be achieved:

Differentiation: the strategic cornerstone in saturated markets

The common strategy to survive in a saturated market is to differentiate from competitors. Only if you differentiate your company from others will you stand out from the crowd and gain an advantage. Differentiation is versatile. In the following, you will learn about the different ways of differentiation.

Occupy niches in saturated markets

If a market is large, there is a possibility that you as a company can occupy a very specific niche in that market. A market niche can be, for example, that you as a service provider concentrate on a very specific target group:


  • Advertising agency focuses on event organisers
  • Translator works exclusively for banks
  • Tax consultant advises only restaurants

But then a market niche can also be created by focusing on a specific topic:

  • Law firm dealing exclusively with copyright law
  • Clothing shop that only offers second-hand wedding dresses
  • A food retailer who only offers products that have been produced in the region

However, it is important in the niche strategy that the niche is large enough for you to survive economically. To find this out, you can do market research, for example.

Offer excellent service and product quality

If you offer an excellent product or service quality in a saturated market, word will get around. A good reputation usually also leads to more business and is a way of differentiating yourself from the average competitor.

Identify potential at an early stage and create innovations

Every market is evolving – even seemingly traditional sectors. If you can lead the way through innovation, you will have the new market to yourself, at least for a while. You can identify potential markets by listening to your customers’ needs, but also by proactively researching the future.

Enter into partnerships

Together you are stronger. This also applies in business life. One strategy in a saturated market, may be that you enter into a partnership with another company so that you can differentiate yourself. This partnership should be a win-win situation for all parties involved and the goal should always be to become more competitive.

Here are some examples to illustrate this

  • A hotel enters into a partnership with a hairdresser, who offers a hairdresser’s room service to guests. The hotel can offer the guests an additional attractive service, earns money from the service and the hairdresser also gets more business.
  • A magazine in the travel sector enters into a cooperation with a publishing house specialising in books with travel reports. From now on, the travel magazine offers its readers a few pages of excerpts from the publisher’s books every month. The magazine receives new free and interesting content. The book publisher benefits from advertising for the books and can increase sales.
  • A divorce lawyer and an estate agent join forces. The divorce lawyer now offers his clients the service of also arranging the sale of the property, so that everything goes even more smoothly and an optimal selling price for the property is achieved. The estate agent benefits from additional business.

Create strong sympathy for the brand

If you have established a strong and likeable brand in a saturated market with which customers identify, this will be helpful. On the one hand, you will create strong customer loyalty. Furthermore, likeable brands have an easier time convincing a new customer and also benefit from more referrals.

But how exactly can you build up sympathy for a brand? Here are a few examples of how you can do this:

  • Offer an excellent service
  • Make sure that customers feel comfortable
  • Stand for something that customers fully identify with
  • Be fair and courteous
  • Avoid that your brand is associated with negative things.

Effective business processes

When a market is saturated, this usually also means that there is strong price pressure. This is where you as a company can gain an advantage by optimising your business processes and procedures. You can achieve the same performance with less labour input. However, effectiveness can also mean that you are faster than the competition in terms of service delivery and you can use this to differentiate yourself.

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Christian Wagner
Founder RiskPlayWin | Owner & Founder of the digital marketing agency

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