For many companies the aim is to find a gap in the market: find an area that can be dominated, somewhere with few if any competitors. Obviously if you can find a niche where you are the only player, then that is fantastic. Even better if you can find a space where you arrive second in to an established market where competition is low. But in endurance sports, which is such a well established market, there appear to be very few, if any, areas which do not already have many others fighting for market share.

Look up

Perhaps the answer is to look up at the rarefied atmosphere above, where things are done ‘better’ rather than faster, cheaper or in bigger numbers. Obviously it is difficult getting up to the Land of Better, but you can be absolutely sure that there are less people there. And there is always space, because as soon as your competitors catch up, they create the floor from which you can climb again.

Busy at the bottom

In contrast, at the bottom the market is crowded. The perception is that there are more customers there and it is somehow easier to get to the bottom. But there is a lower limit – manufacturing costs, staff costs, transportation costs cannot be forced down indefinitely and once the absolute bottom is reached the market gets very, very crowded very fast.

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift. Steve Prefontaine

So when we hear that someone is aiming for a gap in the market – the space where they do or make things better than the rest – we do a little jig of happiness. Because that is truly where the gaps are. And once you decide that you are aiming for the top, everything needs to be better: your website, customer service, social media and so on. After all, it is tough getting to the top, but almost certainly worth it.


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