Best Practices

Driving Brand Growth via Opportunity Scoring: How to Effectively Identify Gaps That Can Lead to Impactful New Ideas and Innovations


It’s been said that if you’re not moving forward, you’re left behind. For brands in complex categories that are fragmented by multiple competitors, staying ahead of the curve with new ideas is particularly challenging. Proactive strategies like mapping the customer journey, strengthening satisfaction and loyalty, and constructing segment-specific marketing approaches are all viable ways to help brands succeed.

Sometimes, however, the most powerful path to success is forged by identifying gaps in the market that can be addressed by next gen products and/or meaningful enhancements to existing offerings.

The big question then becomes “How do you determine where these gaps exist?”

The goal is simple. You want to highlight those areas that remain unowned by the competition and focus your efforts on helping your brand claim and capture those spaces. Opportunity Scoring is the key to achieving this goal.

Why Opportunity Scoring?

Opportunity Scoring is designed to identify completely new market opportunities that may be beyond a customer’s ability to envision and articulate. Think of something you didn’t know you needed until you had it!

By identifying these opportunities, it helps you improve existing products and services in ways that are meaningful to your target audience and will grow share for your brand. Opportunity Scoring works by asking your target audience members to focus on three core criteria:

1. Current challenges (pain points) experienced with a product or service

2. The satisfaction they have with current workarounds or other ways to overcome the challenge

3. The frequency with which they experience that challenge

If a challenge is experienced frequently and/or there is currently no satisfactory way to work around or solve that challenge, this presents a latent need and a good opportunity for your brand to meet a gap in the marketplace.

By taking this approach, you avoid the pitfall of people not being able to articulate what the next generation of a product or service should be. Rather, they focus on what they know and experience today.

This is done by examining a broad range of needs and challenges that your customers face. This list can be compiled via internal working groups and qualitative research among your target. Ultimately, it should include a mix of challenges that can be met near-term and long-term. It should also include things that are outside of your ability to address with current resources.

Creating the Opportunity Score

Using an algorithm that factors in ratings based around the three criteria outlined above (magnitude of the challenge/need, satisfaction with current options, and the frequency of the challenge), an Opportunity Score is developed for each item you test. From this, a prioritization is developed that allows you to…

  • Identify those latent needs that, when solved, have the most potential to delight and attract customers
  • Build a product roadmap around these needs that accounts for internal data such as ease of development, manufacturing and distribution
  • Determine which initiatives you should focus on in the near vs. long-term
  • Highlight points of differentiation for your brand

What’s Next?

Following up with qualitative and quantitative assessments of purchase pathways and new product/service concepts will allow you to put your product roadmap into action. This will lead to a next generation product or service that meets needs by addressing major pain points, is feasible for you to create/deliver, and is motivating to your target. The result is forward movement in the market that keeps your brand on a trajectory of growth.

Please contact us if you’d like to learn more about Opportunity Scoring and how it can work for your brand.

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