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White space strategy

White space strategy is part of company’s diversification strategy and helps uncover unmet customer needs. White spaces are typically enabled by shifts in either customer demand or by technological advancements


investment opportunities in our target sectors to 2030.

Sectors offering white space opportunities

Energy transition ● Future mobility ● Industry 4.0 ● Sustainable manufacturing ● Smart quality control and monitoring ● Sustainable food ● and more...

What is a white space strategy?

White space strategy is part of a diversification strategy, which targets an opportunity that didn’t previously exist, and is enabled by new innovative use cases. Because of this, white space strategies are often driven by a combination of technological breakthroughs and unmet market demands. It is in contrast to other types of Diversification Strategy, where the business builds on top of either existing market or offering. A common example of white space strategies in action are mobile phone applications (apps), which scarcely existed before smartphones. After the emergence of the iPhone, the market ballooned to a figure of more than $100 billion in 10 years. Widespread smartphone use created new unmet desires for inventors. Smartphone apps were able to solve many problems for users, ranging from navigation, to filing taxes from your couch.

What are the risks of entering a white space market?

White space is the riskiest form of diversification strategy and owe its name to the lack of sizable, established competition. There may be small players who are pioneering the space, but large competition is absent. M&A is a common path for companies looking to enter a new market. By acquiring the most promising pioneer in the space, acquirers can potentially cash in on the new innovation area. But with this comes risks: how to analyse the competencies of the target company operating in a technology area outside the acquirer's scope. For this, see our Technology Scouting section.

Exploring white spaces is also risky for companies operating outside their in-house capabilities and comfort zone. This risk can be reduced, however, by working with external innovation consulting firms who have deep knowledge of the new area. Such firms have access to subject experts and often can make the difference between success and failure, see CamIn’s Expert Consulting Model.

Identifying new business opportunities is the goal of most inventors, entrepreneurs and companies. We share our views on white space strategy and provide you with a white space analysis framework.

Investment opportunities in diagnostics and therapeutics to 2030


Opportunities in industry energy transition to 2030


The app market value 10 years after the iPhone's launch

How to carry out a white space analysis

White space analysis involves two main steps: analysing possible white spaces to identify areas with high-growth potential and identifying the best path to market entry and expansion. At CamIn, we believe in asking a series of detailed questions to perform a white space analysis. Leaders need to be able to ask a range of questions. These include identifying market demands, such as what demands for new products/services exist or will be emerging in the near future, both in your current market or any new market segments that you plan to enter? Other questions to consider are: which emerging technologies can contribute to addressing consumers demands? And what new products/services could they enable? Leaders must also ask themselves which market segments have the highest growth potential and what products/services have the highest probability of satisfying market demands? The areas where they overlap are the most attractive white spaces.

Identifying future white space opportunities

The acceleration of innovation driven by technology is fuelling growth in white space opportunities. But white spaces need more than just technology alone to succeed. We have selected emerging white space opportunities across 14 sectors. From Industry 4.0 to circular economy, we believe these areas offer the chance to capitalise on demands recently enabled by innovation. They include: Energy transition, Future mobility, Sustainable manufacturing, Smart quality control and monitoring, Sustainable food, Sharing economy, Environmental sustainability, Customer experience, Patient care, Diagnostics and therapeutics, Future of connectivity and Digital services. Want to see white space strategy in action? See our case studies below.

Holistic white space strategy framework

Identifying white space business opportunities involves a systematic approach to uncover untapped areas for innovation and growth:

Activity Action
Understand new customer segments Gather feedback from prospective customers that you would like to target. These could be customers that have interacted with your brand. Understand their pain points, preferences, and unmet needs. Use surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc. to gain insights into their experiences and customer journey.
Understand latest innovation trends and forecast Conduct technology landscapes and forecasts related to the space to understand what newest innovation is emerging. Make sure to include scientific literature, patents, and expert interviews in order not to miss any game-changing technologies.
Identify and evaluate innovation use cases The most challenging aspect is to be able to identify which newest innovation can make an impact for which customer need, how, and whether the customers would want it vs the current substitutes. Another challenging step is to be able to determine when this newest innovation will be realistically feasible for you to base a new product or service on, ranging from quick-wins to 10+ years.
Conceptualise your new offering Based on your capabilities and newest innovation, determine what new products or services you could provide to your new prospective customers. Clearly narrate what your new offering would do, what value it would add, and how is it different from the current substitutes.
Develop a business case

This step is very complex, as it is very multi-dimensional. You need to determine with a great certainty the following aspects:

  • Market desirability: Make sure this offering is desirable by the market segment, it is better than the current alternatives, solves a large enough issue for a large enough market, and customers' switching barriers are low.
  • Product feasibility: Make sure the underlying technology is sound and suitable for the target market, will not become obsolete within a short period of time, and there is already proof that such offering can be developed.
  • Business viability: Make sure you as a business have the right capabilities to develop and offer such product or service, the required CAPEX and OPEX are within your operating limits, and this direction has high synergy with your overall strategy.

In the final recommendation quantify the potential impact of each white space opportunity and prioritise each of them on a roadmap.

Steps after white space strategy In line with a lean start-up approach, aim to get to the minimum viable product (MVP) stage as fast as possible by acquiring the missing capabilities. See our Product Innovation Roadmap and Technology Scouting guides.