For those not familiar with term, I'm not talking about evaluating shrubbery, but rather assessing the landscape of a particular market, industry, category or consumer group. Here are a couple questions that Landscape Assessment addresses:
- What are the consumer, market & industry trends, current competitive environment, market size & growth, etc. that make up a given category/industry?
- What impact will those factors have on my new or current business?
Assessing the landscape is often done to identify whitespace opportunities for innovation as well.
- What is the current market structure, based on competition, consumer needs, benefit spaces, etc.?
- Where are the untapped opportunities for new customers/new growth?
Here are a few mini case studies from my experience to illustrate how Landscape Assessment could help you:
Expanding an established category: a personal needs category wanted to expand beyond their core business, but needed to understand the market dynamics and trends in the new space to confirm the opportunity and help develop a pipeline of innovation. I conducted a comprehensive trends and landscape assessment across products and services, which included: demographic trends, consumer attitudes & behaviors, cultural norms, and competitive benchmarking. Management was inspired by the sizable unmet needs in the new space and committed the investment needed to start development.
Launching a new vertical: an accessories manufacturer wanted to create a new premium line of products with a different consumer target, price point, and distribution channel, but didn't have any internal expertise on this new section of the industry. I led an extensive market landscape with secondary research (e.g. internet/desk research, syndicated reports, etc.), which, combined with the insights from a custom quantitative study, gave them the direction they needed for both the immediate launch and future strategy in a highly time and cost-efficient way.
Identifying sources of future innovation: a global energy company wanted an approach to identify potential sources of new inventions and ideas for an internal innovation incubator program. This was a unique challenge, but I was able to use my experience in the startup space to compile a list of resources for finding entrepreneurs and innovators with a potentially applicable invention or idea. I also conducted deep searches of social media and networking sites to identify specific high-potential clubs, groups, pages, networks, forums, etc. to connect with industry-relevant individual inventors/startups.