White space project opportunities

Back in 2009 we published an article about white space projects. White space projects are new project concepts that fill either a yet unmet market need or an underserved market. White space projects don’t fit within an existing model. They can be a hybrid from different categories in one industry or combine aspects from different industries. Sometimes they create an entirely new industry.

One good example of white space is the Apple Store, the most successful retail concept in the world in terms of sales per square foot. It combined retailing with education in a third-place space where a like community comes together. Rather than having a staff that is focused on selling stuff, the store is focused on trying to make people’s lives better and building relationships. Apple made the store a unique experience that enriches people’s lives, not a place like other stores that just sell stuff.

Most white space market opportunities are created by consumer shifts, be they demographic, psychographic, cultural, ideological or aspirational. Consumer wants, needs and priorities are in a constant state of flux. Sometimes a very small niche market that is too small to support the rollout of a narrowly targeted location-based concept can grow to the needed critical mass to support a totally new concept. An example of this is play cafes that target at-home moms with preschool children. Sometimes the white space was always there, but unrecognized. Then a light bulb goes off in someone’s head and she chases after the opportunity. The fairly recent concept of “dinner and a movie” venues are an example of this.

The recession accelerated shifts that have been underway for many years to consumers’ values and their leisure time and disposable income expenditures. The growth of the digital economy is also having a significant impact on location-based leisure and entertainment. Many location-based entertainment models from the past decade are no longer sustainable. As a result of the rapidly changing consumer and entertainment landscape, we will be seeing many white space entertainment concepts emerge over the next few years.

Our company is excited about the many clients we are working with to develop their white space projects. Our current white space projects include:

  • A intimate combination live performance and interactive dining experience based on the fast emerging popularity of planned spontaneity
  • An agritainment concept that combines u-pick with participatory farm-to-table dining
  • TechShop, a membership-based workshop that provides members with access to tools and equipment, instruction, and a community of creative and supportive people so they can build the things they have always wanted to make.
  • An agritourism concept that combines live performance and dining
  • A retail hobby concept that incorporates enrichment workshops, edutainment and a third-place for the hobby community.
  • A combination predominately membership ladies club and children’s edutainment and enrichment center in Cairo, Egypt
  • KidZania, an international concept coming to the U.S. to fill a U.S. white space for indoor children’s entertainment