The most common market type is a monopolistic competition where companies are successful in creating their own sub-market by selling similar but differentiated products. The differentiation can be rooted in the quality of service, materials, manufacturing, ethical business practices, and more. Apparel brands are a great example of monopolistic competition such as GAP, Levis, and J.Crew.
Another common type of market is an oligopoly where few companies control the market. The prime example would be the consumer telecom market where a handful of businesses including AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint have close to 100% market share. Oligopolies can be fiercely competitive as well as consumer hostile.
Market research is a thorough multi-step process that allows businesses to gather adequate data and information to identify opportunities and challenges. It enables brands to create effective market segmentation, product positioning, and product differentiation strategies that will help them excel in the market.
This is the phase where researchers collect firsthand data and information related to the market and its target customer base. Primary research involves direct methods of data collection including interviews, surveys, focus groups, and polls. It allows you to identify the pain points of your customers as well as potential opportunities.
This involves collecting data and information from other publicly available resources including market studies, trend reports, statistical analysis, industry content, and competition's financial reports. Sources of data can be public and commercial. This helps businesses in identifying their competition and their strengths and weaknesses.