Under-served vs. over-served customers: Comparing the different market opportunities

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What are under-served customers?

When considering new market opportunities, targeting currently under-served customers immediately comes to mind. This segment is the grouping of customers have additional demands not met by current products or services.

Under served customers may for example be a segment of the market that have 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 that are not currently being met, you can develop a product that better meets their needs.

What are under-served customers?

While under-served customers are those where existing products don’t fully meet their needs, over-served 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 exceed what is required.

While targeting under-served 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 over-served or under-served customers, the key thing is to develop a clear understanding of what the needs are of the segment of the market that you are targeting. Identifying a segment of the market whose needs are not currently being met can be the basis of developing a product that more closely aligns with the needs of a segment of the market.