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5 places to find new market opportunities in the CPG world

Constantly looking for new market opportunities is imperative for any brand, but this is especially true for those in the CPG sector, where market share is so tight. 

New opportunities can lead to growth, audience diversification, and global reach. The more open you are to these opportunities, the more people will view your brand as innovative and able to meet their ever-evolving needs. 

Top brands like PepsiCo, General Mills, and Unilever are giants in the space because they’ve learned to capitalize on opportunities they uncover, at every turn. If you type in any of these brand names into Google, next to the word “launches”, you will see a long list of press releases that talk about something new that brand is doing or has created. “Evolve or die” is a motto they all live by and one that every CGP brand should live by to stay relevant and profitable. 

So in the spirit of this motto, here are the 5 best places for CPG brands to find new market opportunities:

1. Trends 

Trends are everywhere! They’re in the recipes we choose to make, and the new makeup looks we try. They’re in the workouts were do, and the new diets we adopt. There is always something new “trending”, and the brands who are the first to jump on those trends, or start the trends, reap the benefits. 

A beauty trend we saw this year was around naming makeup looks after food. There was “latte makeup”, which was a brown eyeshadow makeup look, and “expresso makeup” which was a darker smokey eye and brown lip gloss look, and then there was even a “strawberry makeup” style which involved lots of blush and faux freckles. 


Everday Strawberry Makeup 🍓💋

♬ Echos in My Mind (Lofi) - Muspace Lofi

Lots of beauty brands have taken notice and followed suit. For example, Beauty/Skincare brand Rhode created a line of lipgloss tints named after Rasberry, Jelly, and Espresso. Skincare brand Glow Recipe created a line of moisturizers named after different fruits, like their “Watermelon Glow toner”.

Audiense blog - Glow Recipe web

A lot of these beauty trends, and most trends in general, stem from social media. Consumers will see their favourite influencers creating or mimicking a trending makeup look and want to try it out for themselves. This is why Social Intelligence is imperative for spotting trends as they first emerge. These tools can surface the top posts your audience likes, helping you discover the trends within them, that they love themselves. This is important because it’s not your brand's job to hop on to every single trend, but it is your job to pay attention to the ones your audience cares about most. 

Trends alone are a great way to identify new market opportunities -  find out which ones matter to your audience most. 

2. Niche audiences

A niche audience is defined as a group of people who share specific and unique characteristics, needs, and interests, that differentiate them from the rest of the world. They are smaller groups when compared to mass markets of consumers, but they are valuable to brands just the same. Arguably they can be more important because they are very loyal to the brands that cater to their niche interests. 

Some examples of niche groups we are all aware of are groups like vegans, rock climbers, eco-conscious shoppers, pet owners, sneakerheads, and “tiny-home” owners.

But when you can discover a new niche of consumers, that niche can present you with a valuable market opportunity. 

Take for example the brand Drybar, which sells haircare products that help customers create the “perfect blowout” look, they also own salons that offer blowout services. 

The company was first founded by hairstylist Alli Webb who noticed that a lot of women would come into her salon solely to get blowouts. So she saw the demand for a salon that would focus exclusively on this service but at a more reasonable price than traditional salons. She had seen for herself this niche of women who loved the blowout service. 

Audiense blog - Drybar

Once your brand is aware of niches that exist, either within your own current audience or outside of it, you can cater to that niche. Drybar now has a massive cult following of women who visit their salons weekly for a blowout, and who love the hair products they sell. The company itself is now worth over $250 million, showing you just how valuable catering to one niche of customers can be. ´

3. Evolution of consumer preferences 

Your consumer preferences are forever changing, and they expect you to keep up with those changes. If you aren’t open to listening to what those new preferences are, you are likely to lose out on these customers, to your competitors who are. 

So how will you know when their preferences change? The great thing is, they’ll probably tell you! Many people take it to social to announce their lifestyle or interest change. Maybe they’ve committed to losing weight and are now adopting a keto diet, social media is where a lot of people make these types of announcements. Maybe your audience likes more and more posts that talk about “clean makeup” because they no longer want to use products with harmful chemicals in them. Or perhaps your audience has taken up running - they might then change their status to let their followers know.

All of this data is available and can be analyzed using Social Intelligence. Easily surface your audience’s bio keywords, top interests, and top social posts they are liking, to indicate how their interests change over time. 

Audiense blog - Audiense Insights dashboard

As you can see in the report above, Nestlé’s audience of “Family Bloggers” is currently liking and sharing certain recipes, that indicate to Nestlé what they are eating and making for their families right now - a valuable insight for a CPG food brand considering what to create next for their customers. 

But an insight like this is not static, it will likely change in the coming months. This same Nestlé audience could go from sharing meat-based recipes to vegan-inspired substitutes, so it’s important that brands are constantly refreshing the data. 

A great example of brands adapting to new customer changes is the wave of brands that have come out with lines of non-alcoholic drinks. They realized that their consumers went from regularly drinking alcoholic beverages to wanting more non-alcoholic options. In fact, this industry is now worth over 11 billion dollars. It’s not just “alcoholics” looking for this option either, it is consumers who are doing “dry” months where they give up alcohol for thirty days, it's pregnant moms who don’t want to feel left out at social events - the list goes on a on. 

Your brand needs to evolve just as your consumer’s interests do. Find out what your customer preferences are currently, to find new market opportunities and ways to continue to surprise and delight them. 

4. Untapped consumer geographies 

If your brand's products are only available in one country or one continent, there's a chance that you could be missing out on a valuable market opportunity. But how do you know for sure?

The process of gauging geographical interest in your brand doesn’t have to be complicated. Maybe you notice there are more people from a certain country coming to your website to look at your products, or maybe you realize that a percentage of your followers on social media are in areas where you don’t yet have a storefront. Other good indicators could be what your competitors are doing - like if they’ve moved to a new location that wasn’t on your brand's radar. 

The easiest way though, to understand consumer interest on a geographic level, is to use a tool like SOPRISM

Audiense blog - SOPRISM

Maps like the one above can help identify a strong audience interest in a new location. This insight poses an exciting new market opportunity, one that's backed by data. 

5. Hidden consumer segments 

Every brand out there right now, likely has a consumer segment that they’re entirely unaware of. This can happen when you don’t regularly segment your consumer base, so you aren’t aware of any new consumer groups that pop up. 

This type of new audience adoption is the case for many CPG and retail brands - who go out to create a product with one niche consumer in mind, but then gain traction with new consumer segments. 

Take for example the electrolyte drink brand Pedialyte. They first created this drink for newborns to help them replace the nutrients they lose when they get sick. Pedialyte then became very popular among a consumer segment of adults who drank it whenever they were hungover. When Pedialyte discovered this new market opportunity, they changed up their marketing strategy and targeted this group of adults with personalized ads. The ads featured hungover adults instead of babies and talked about how its product can “save the day” after a long night out of partying. This personalized strategy proved successful and doubled Pedalyte's growth for that year. 

Whether it’s creating a net-new product, finding a new niche of consumers, or expanding geographically, your brand needs to keep evolving and growing if it wants to compete. 

Luckily tools like Audiense, SOPRISM, and Affinio are there to guide which trends and consumer segments pose the greatest opportunities for your brand. 

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