What can a brand do to differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace such as the sports accessory space. Would it be the brand story and brand attributes that are the winning ingredients to win in this hyper competitive market or would it have to be innovation.
The sports space is certainly crowded, but the size of the market creates plenty of opportunity. This is not a zero sum game.
The key to differentiation in a crowded space, is focusing on what it is that makes your product/brand unique? Do you have a story that is compelling? Has your product increased strength by X%, or saved lives, or fill a specific need within an interesting space.
Some great new products to review, that have entered into the space recently would be:
What you'll see, is that they have crafted their brand message to get to the core of the user experience. Find your story - one that resonates with your target users. Then tell it loudly!
+1 Laura. Storytelling is key.
Keep in mind that a good story needs to be tailored to your audience, so understanding who you're selling to is really important. I find archetypes, or storytelling patterns, super helpful, too.
You also need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. You can't afford to be generic. Authors use a process called 'character profiling' to develop robust voices, and this technique works really well for developing your brand's voice as well.
I recently gave a presentation about these two techniques. Here are the slides if you want to learn more: http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/bijou628/engineering-effective-communications
If you have any questions, here's my link for a free call. I'd be happy to chat with you. https://clarity.fm/andreagoulet/howdy
This is certainly a tough category. Understanding that your story must be compelling, innovation should tie into it.
Why did you develop the product? What was your need? Where did you see the gap in the marketplace? How did you do this? And on and on....
The upside of this market is that although crowded, there is an audience for a story that resonates, touching the heart and body of your target market. Getting them this information in the way they want to hear it will be key to success.
Question: are you focusing on online sales or in-store? All of this will need to be addressed as the story is developed.