The emergence of a new market
Targeting a very specifically described niche market is one of the key requirements of launching a successful new product or service. To be able to do so, you need to gain a thorough demographic and psychological understanding of your target customer. You need to know their demographic characteristics, their media habits, what content they find interesting, their hobbies, their pains related to your product, in which context your product or service will be relevant for them, how they solve this pain or need now, and many other aspects.
Normally niche markets are either created by visionary entrepreneurs who are able to see a group of consumers with underserved needs, or by smart incumbents who are able to configure existing products or services in such a way (i.e. make them cheaper, faster, accessible for consumers) that they become interesting for a new group of people.
Today we might be witnessing something unprecedented: an external factor, the COVID-19 crisis, leading to the emergence of a totally new market with a clearly defined customer group: ‘the immunes’.
At the moment of writing this article, data suggests that there is a group of 895.000 people who contracted the COVID-19 virus and fully recovered. The actual number is probably way higher, given that testing capabilities are not sufficient everywhere, and will keep on growing on a daily basis.
Even though it has not been scientifically proven yet that recovering from COVID-19 leads to immunity from a new infection; it is a very likely assumption given that this is the ‘normal’ consequence of beating a viral infection.
This could mean that while almost all countries are in some kind of a lockdown, there is a growing group of consumers who are immune to a new COVID-19 infection and who can’t wait to go back to normal life.
When diagnosed properly, the immunes can go shopping again, can go to restaurants, could go to events with a large number of other immunes, go to festivals, theatres, and spend their money in shops and malls.
Countries such as Chile are actively looking at implementing a ‘Corona Certificate’ for citizens who’ve beaten the virus. While acknowledging that it is a controversial methodology, it is very interesting to think about the potential implications of such a model.
The opportunities for your business models
Think about it: there is a fast-growing group of ‘immunes’ out there who are literally waiting to start their lives again. There is a realistic possibility that the Immunes, after receiving a medical certificate, will be exempt from all forms of quarantines and restrictions.
And that is exactly where opportunities arise. Currently, there are no products, services or markets targeted specifically at this new group of consumers: the Immunes.
Therefore, this is the moment to start thinking about what opportunities this new target group can create for your business. Can you tweak your existing business model, products or services in such a way that they become accessible and relevant for the Immunes? Can you use the Immunes as a sort of intermediate channel to sell your product to your original target customer who might still be in lock-down? Or even better, can you use the core competencies of your company to come up with completely new products and services that are directly targeted at the Immunes?
These questions have no easy answer. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! The Talent Institute has over 5 years of hands-on experience in helping market-leading companies validating and building winning new products and services. Hit me up if you want to share some experiences, share your challenges, or if you want to discuss the ideas mentioned in this article.