Market Opportunity Canvas

Built on the work by Rowan Gibson and his book the Four Lenses on Innovation, the Market Opportunity Canvas helps identify new markets, come up with new market ideas and brainstorm around new market opportunities.

3 Outcomes
from Using
the Market Opportunity Canvas

Come from anywhere

We believe new market opportunities can come from anywhere. Use the Canvas to explore new avenues for identifying market opportunities. They can come from new technology shifts, trends or even megatrends, arising unmet customer needs or internal ideas.

Explore diverse perspectives

Bring these diverse views into your discussion (Renowned innovation expert Rowan Gibson would call these lenses. We strongly recommend his book on the topic, The Four Lenses of Innovation).

Identify and act

Your biggest outcome should come from your ability to identify and act on the new market opportunities that emerge from your work. Don’t think of this as a successful innovation tool in itself. Think of the Canvas as a treasure map to help you search for and find new sources of revenue and massive future growth areas.

This was a very useful session for us.

Innovation Manager

Nordic Bank

Use Case: Real Estate, Utility + Bank

A partnership, with a real estate development company, a utility and a bank, wanted to explore how they might partner up for new business development projects. In the opening workshop, they got introduced to the Market Opportunity Canvas. It turned out to be a perfect tool for them to explore new, potential growth opportunities.

Working in mixed groups, on the wall, the three partners came up with nearly 40 new collaboration ideas that could fit within the strategic scope they had. Organizing these into five distinct themes, allowed the group visualize five major domains they had developed, but more importantly, the input was no longer owned by any one organization as “theirs”. Instead, the group had really merged their thinking up to the point it was almost impossible to separate who had come up with what.

This laid the foundation for a really strong collaboration, allowing the group to deliver a high-impact project back to management, customers and end-users.

How to Use it

Print It, Stick it to the Wall

The Market Opportunity Canvas is perfect for A1 or A0 format. Print it or order it from
Let the facilitator set the scene, then have the group(s) go to work directly one the Canvas.

Use Stattys, Combine Text & Visuals

Have participants write on Stattys, ideally combined with simple (or even advanced) visual images. This will clarify message and improve understanding.

Look for Emerging Intersections

The power of the Canvas lies in emerging overlapping or intersecting themes. If you can identify topics that arise from multiple sections (out of the four; Ideas, Tech, Trends, Customer Needs), you are likely to have a strong market opportunity on your hands.


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