Underserved vs. overserved customers: Comparing the different market opportunities

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What are underserved customers?

When considering new market opportunities, targeting currently underserved customers immediately comes to mind. These customers have additional demands not met by current products or services.

Underserved customers may for example be a segment of the market that has relatively unique needs. They may be using an existing set of products more because it is the only option that they have, rather than it fully meets their needs. By identifying the needs of this market segment not currently being met, you can develop a product that better meets their needs.

What are overserved customers?

While underserved customers are those where existing products don’t fully meet their needs, overserved customers are buying a product that is in many ways too good for what they require. Perhaps this segment of the market requires some of the benefits provided by the good – which is why they are currently purchasing it – but many of the features included vastly exceeds what is required.

While targeting underserved customers involves identifying new features that can be added, targeting over-served customers involves identifying features that can be removed from the offerings (and in turn allowing the costs of selling the goods to be reduced).

Final thoughts: The importance of identifying a specific market segment

Whether you are targeting overserved or underserved customers, the key thing is to develop a clear understanding of the needs of the market segment that you are targeting. Once you have identified a market segment with needs not currently being met, you can then develop a product that more closely aligns with the needs of this market segment.