What Businesses can you Ride in the Mature Sectors

As much as they say, even in the red oceans you can innovate and undertake. And that’s what this report is about, to explain how to create a different business model in mature sectors.

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What is considered a mature sector?

In general, it is accepted with a long journey, with highly tested business models and with competitors established in the market. Apparently, it is difficult to undertake in them because all the possibilities have already been tested. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Daniel Soriano, director of IE’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, acknowledges, “mature sectors have many possibilities for innovation because they have been doing things traditionally, with traditional technology and treating the customer in a traditional way. So any change or disruption in those areas leads to a new business model. ” In the words of Antonio González Barros, president and founder of Intercom, “taking a traditional business and turning it around or introducing a new ingredient is one of the greatest business opportunities that exist.” There are two levers on which you can act:

  • The client context. “It’s about analyzing your economic, social, political, vital context of your client because it changes,” insists Soriano. This context includes new tastes and needs, a different economic capacity, new social trends, such as share or crowd, ecological concerns…
  • The value process of your company and your sector. Analyze very well how it can help you to detect which are the different points of friction to detect where inefficiencies are occurring. “The technologies are helping to fragment that value chain and allowing undertaking on each of the legs. Before the internet and the smartphone, for example, real estate agencies offered the full service: advice, advertising, call management, visits, negotiation, contracting. Now the new technologies allow to suppress some of the areas or to develop businesses centered in each one of those phases “, insists González Barros.

All this without forgetting that in this path towards innovation in mature sectors act two opposing forces, as Lucas Cervera, professor of Leanstartup in EOI and owner of NVotes, remembers, “on the one hand, it is not easy to think outside the box in the sectors that you dominate. It is not uncommon for great ideas to come from people from outside the sector because those inside are conditioned by the “has always been done.” But, on the other, it is important to know the sector well because it is the only way to know where you can break up or where you can improve efficiency. ” To convince you that not everything is invented, we show you some techniques and examples that show that in all mature sectors you can start and turn them around.


  • Change of schedules. Adapt to your clients’ schedules. In the current times in which the everywhere, everytime, everyplace prevails, it does not make sense to have a consulting or consulting company with restricted hours or, at least, that do not adapt to your client’s professional schedule. There are automation tools that allow you to have active chábots 24 hours for the most common issues and consider extending hours in the afternoon or early morning to adapt to your customers’ schedule. Why not be the afterwork consultancy?
  • Anticipates regulations. Although the consulting sector is one of the most mature, you can always innovate by anticipating the regulations that will come. If you are able to keep up to date on European or EU legislation, it is very possible that you can predict where the needs of the companies will go. It is a little, for example, what has just happened with the new Law on Data Protection.
  • Look at the technologies. The technologies change at a dizzying pace causing new legal, training, management problems that have to be solved by professionals, if you are able to predict where they will go you will have a lot of livestock to specialize in those niches: geolocation, blockchain, IA …
  • Find niches. One way to innovate is to specialize in areas normally far from the sector, as they have done in Valhalla, focused on strategic consultancy for higher education institutions (universities, business-university agreements, digital transformation, collaborations…


  • Segment. If you look at consumers well, you can find that segment to which you can go. In recent years we have seen travel agencies specializing in senior (silvers), in singles, in uncles with nephews (the famous Dioks), in Dinks (Double income, no kids), LGTB, dogfriendly…
  • Specialize. As you can bet on different customer segments, you can specialize in very specific niches of consumption: naturists, gourmet, gamers, moviegoers…
  • Import from other sectors. Tracking in other sectors and importing it to yours is one of the most useful techniques to innovate in a mature sector. This is what Pangea has done for example, by importing the tactics of the category killers, Decathlon, Ikea or Leroy Merlin to their establishments in Madrid and Barcelona: many square meters, multiple offerings, personalized advice.
  • Track. Often innovation can come from observing your own market to detect how you can take advantage of technologies or models that already exist to give the sector a twist. This is the case of Waynabox, which has taken its “traditional” experience boxes to the highest level, offering “surprise” boxes, where the traveler does not know their destination until the day of the trip.


  • Reposition the product. That’s what has happened in recent times with some product, such as hamburgers that have been elevated to the premium category, from chains such as Vienna, Hamburger Nostra or Goiko Grill. Proof of the success of this type of initiatives is that this last one has been recently acquired by the investor fund of Louis Vuitton for, it is rumored, some 150 million euros.
  • Take advantage of trends. Functional, organic, foody, healthy, vegui, probiotic … Going back to what we were talking about at the beginning, constantly analyzing the context of the client, we can anticipate where consumer trends are going to go. And in a sector such as restoration, it is a key step because it can open a world of opportunities. There are more and more healthy restaurants and chains, for example. If you join the delivery trend, as Dietbon has done, or fast food, such as Honest Green or Do Eat, innovation is assured.
  • Surprise. Surprise and experience is an important channel of innovation. A chain that is doing it very actively is that of Barceló hotels. At Barceló Bilbao Nervión, for example, they offer a gastronomic experience through pacharán (ice cream, infusion, mojito …) and Barceló Emperatriz de Madrid replace the classic minibar with a beauty minibar, with masks and other products from beauty, to put two cases.


  • Change the paradigm. It is one of the best ways to innovate in a mature sector, change the concept. It’s like the example that Cervera gives us: Opendoor. Instead of selling your home, they price it and, if you accept, they buy it. “It’s creative destruction. You enter your website, enter the details of your house and in 24 hours they give you a price. If you agree, they send the expert and they pay you. Then they reform the house and sell it with guarantees. The visits are managed remotely through a smartblock system, which allows you to open the door with a code. “
  • Suppresses, modifies, minimizes… At the end it is about applying the traditional technique of SCAMPER, to put in value any of those verbs (replace, change, expand, magnify, propose for other uses, eliminate or reuse) in a mature sector. In the case of the real estate sector, we have seen how models have triumphed by applying one of these tactics: Housfy, for example, reduces commissions as much as possible; Spotahome, replaces visits with videos …
  • The prefabricated luxury. In the world of construction, the great innovations come now from the proposals of prefabricated units. The range of offers is increasingly broad, ranging from containers or wagons, to designer design options, such as those proposed by Revolution Precrafted that offer prefabricated units designed by such prestigious architects as Jean Nouvel or Zaha Hadid, among others.


  • Optimize routes. Ontruck already does it, with the trucks, and they do it also from Goi, with the cars. It is about optimizing the loading of vehicles to transport goods. Technology allows it and the tendency of the share and the crowd power it.
  • Apps. With the ecommerce boom, the courier companies have understood that their customers are both the companies and the end user because they can choose with a single click of the click which company takes their order. So the best way to innovate in this sector is taking advantage of all the options offered by ICT to improve the experience of purchase. An app that allows you to geolocate the nearest messenger, pay via mail or app, select the time and place of delivery…


  • – The new in mobility. Although we already see cars, motorcycles and shared bikes, new business models can still be developed in this field. The latest ideas bet on improving existing options, as is the case of Wible, which offers the classic city carpool, but extending its field beyond the central almond and allowing parking the private vehicle in its facilities.
  • Shared Renting. It is a way to innovate in a classic sector such as renting. It is proposed, for example, by the company Amovens. Under the idea of ​​mobility as a service, the heart of your business is renting for individuals, but it brings the novelty of allowing the user to sublease their car when they do not use it on their own platform.
  • Decompose to the dealer. In the automotive world we have seen how models are winning by betting on this variant. Clicars or Trive, for example, focus on buying / selling remotely, both new and second-hand cars, adding to the classic newspaper or internet advertisement, the option of physically testing it. Carnovo is committed to price comparison. Valuecar has focused on the valuation part., in the repair part …
  • Driving schools with air fare. Tracing in another sector was like the founder of Hoy-Voy gave with the key to innovate in the driving school. Introduced the method of payment of airlines to their sector, so you can choose the most uncomfortable but cheaper class, or pay more for the best hour class.


  • Neobanks and Challenger Banks. In the first case, they are associated to the financial entities and act as an app and in the second they replace them completely and they are 100% digital. They represent the first wave of Fintech and we already see many consolidated brands, such as BNext, N26, Monzo, Revolut, 2Gether …
  • Fintech B2B. Once again the technologies to fragment a traditional model, as proposed by González Barros. In the case of finance, the Fintech have demonstrated their great utility to simplify and streamline financial services for individuals. Now the key is to innovate in the B2B, where the volumes of capital that move are higher. It’s about seeing which services can improve the value chain, it’s a little what the Kantox guys have done with currency management.
  • Banking software. Any software that improves some of the daily financial activities makes sense. We have seen this in the success of applications such as Fintonic, which helps manage expenses, or mobile payment apps.
  • Total accessibility. The digital irruption in the world of insurance has given rise to the irruption of the insurtech, which seek to facilitate and provide transparency and simplicity with insurance procedures. Coverfy, for example, is one of the first apps that allows managing all insurance from the mobile.


  • Maximum verticalization. That is what has allowed them to develop the sports boom such as boxing, where we have seen different interesting experiences such as Morales Box, Boxing Boutique, Brooklin Fitboxing …
  • Augmented and virtual reality. These two technologies can become indispensable allies to undertake in the world of education and sports. Madipixel, for example, offers the user the possibility of getting into known tables to identify each and every one of the details. This same technology applied to other disciplines can become a good strategy to innovate.


  • Return to the tailor made. Sometimes to innovate in mature sectors, it is necessary to make a return to the traditional, as is the case of tailoring. Proposals such as Tailor On Road, Tailor & Co or Bere Casillas, for example, claim them.
  • Comfortable accessories. First it was the sunglasses that knew how to commodify those of Hawkers. And from there the current has been extended to all kinds of accessories and items, such as socks (Jimmy Lion, Happy Sock) or underpants (The Cool Cactus).
  • Find your profile. Proof that, despite what may seem, it is still possible to innovate in the textile sector is that in the last ten years have appeared and have consolidated brands as powerful as El Ganso or Scalpers. The key, focus on a type of customer and a type of clothing very determined and work hard the brand.


  • Organoleptic stores. The organoleptic concept refers to something that enters the senses and more and more brands and signatures that create authentic sensory experiences in their establishments.
  • Flag ship / megastores. The, literally, flagships are quite an innovation in the world of commerce. Large spaces that become emblematic places of brands. In Madrid we have seen it with the flagship of Primark in Gran Vía, for example. But, although it is common in the textile world, it is not exclusive to the sector. It is the concept, for example, of Pangea and his megastores in Madrid and Barcelona.
  • Pop up stores. In contrast to the previous trend, the reverse trend is also an innovation: pop up stores, small points of sale that are normally temporary and which are usually made in portable spaces or at specific events. They serve as brand presentation, but also as a sales channel.


  • Betting on tradition. As in the textile sector, the return to the traditional and artisan can be the formula to innovate and undertake in a sector as mature as that of the tahonas. This is what they did for example in Turris bakeries and their specialty in bread with sourdough. They have seven establishments in Catalonia.
  • From the countryside to the city. Casa Ametller has triumphed in the world of distribution betting on a model “from the countryside to the city”. They began by distributing only products that they themselves produced on their own farms and that they cooked in their own facilities. With this proposal they grew so much that today they have reached 94 stores and 1,650 workers.
  • Complete cycle. If before we talked about the possibilities offered by technology to fragment the value chain in sectors where the full service was offered (real estate, dealers), in the agri-food sector, traditionally fragmented (producer, processor / processor, salesperson), a form of To innovate and to undertake is just the opposite: to carry out the cycle. This is what they offer for example in Dehesa Milagros: they sow, collect, transform and sell directly.