Brands TAM Analysis SAM Analysis Market Sizing

Making Sense of Market Sizing Data and Implications


Understanding the market landscape is crucial for any business aiming to grow. Market sizing analysis provides invaluable data that can guide strategic decisions, prioritize initiatives, and track an organization’s performance. Whether you're entering a new market or expanding within an existing one, knowing your key market sizing metrics is essential. This post will delve into some of the most common and informative metrics and explain how brand managers can use them to build and strengthen their brands.


Metrics and Implications for Different Market Sizing Analyses


There are several approaches to market sizing, including top-down, bottom-up, and value theory analysis. Each method provides a different perspective but should ultimately yield the same essential metrics: TAM, SAM, SOM, Growth Rate, Market Share, and Market Penetration Rate. Understanding and leveraging these metrics can help brand managers make informed decisions and drive their brands toward success.


Total Addressable Market (TAM)


Definition: TAM is the total number of customers and, often, the revenue opportunity available if you achieve 100% market share in your target market.


Usage for Brand Managers

Strategic Planning: Helps understand the maximum market potential, providing a high-level view of the opportunity landscape. By knowing the TAM, brand managers can assess whether the overall market size justifies the investment needed to enter or expand within it. Investors and stakeholders often look at TAM to understand the growth potential and scalability of the business. 


Goal Setting: Offers a benchmark for setting long-term growth goals and aligning resources to achieve them. Knowing the upper-end of your company’s growth potential allows for the creation of realistic goals. By setting realistic and ambitious targets based on TAM, brand managers can drive their teams towards achieving significant milestones.


Example: For a company producing plant-based milk substitutes, the TAM may include the entire market for milk substitutes. This broad metric helps the company assess the overall demand and potential for growth within this sector. Understanding the TAM enables the company to plan for large-scale production and marketing efforts, ensuring they are well-positioned to capture a substantial portion of the market. By including brand-adjacent products, brand managers can decide whether it’s worth repositioning the product to fill developing consumer interests in the larger milk substitute market. 


Serviceable Available Market (SAM)


Definition: SAM is the portion of the TAM that your products and services can realistically serve.


Usage for Brand Managers:

Product Development: Guides the design and features of new products to meet the specific needs of the target market. By understanding SAM, brand managers can tailor their offerings to better match consumer preferences and requirements.


Market Prioritization: Helps in focusing efforts on the most accessible and profitable market segments. This ensures that marketing and sales initiatives are directed toward areas with the highest potential for returns.


Resource Allocation: Informs where to allocate marketing and sales resources for maximum impact. By concentrating resources on the most promising market segments, companies can optimize their marketing spend and improve overall efficiency.


Example: For the same plant-based beverage company, the SAM would represent the segment of the TAM that is specific to plant-based milk alternatives in the regions where the company currently operates or plans to expand. This focused approach allows the company to target specific consumer demographics and geographic areas, increasing the likelihood of success.


Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM)


Definition: SOM is the portion of the SAM that an organization can realistically capture, considering competition and market constraints.


Usage for Brand Managers:

Sales Forecasting: Provides a realistic basis for projecting sales and revenue. Since the SOM represents the most near-term market that can be captured, it allows for accurate sales forecasts that can help set achievable targets and manage expectations.


Competitive Strategy: Helps craft strategies to outperform competitors and capture market share. By understanding SOM, brand managers can identify competitive advantages and leverage them to gain a foothold in the market.


Operational Planning: Assists in planning production and distribution capacities to meet market demands. By aligning production with market demand, companies can reduce waste and improve operational efficiency.


Example: The plant-based beverage company would assess its SOM by evaluating its current market share and potential growth within the plant-based portion of the larger market, with added filters for its marketing budget and competitive positioning. The SOM, whether expressed in the number of customers or revenue potential, allows the company to set near-term sales targets and develop strategies to increase its market share over time.


Market Growth Rate


Definition: The expected increase in market size over a specific period, usually expressed as a percentage.


Usage for Brand Managers:

Trend Analysis: Identifies whether the market is expanding, stable, or declining, helping to forecast future opportunities and challenges. By understanding market growth rates, companies can adjust their strategies to align with market trends. Growth rates can be paired with TAMs, SAMs, and SOMs for tailored market forecasts.


Investment Justification: Supports investment decisions by highlighting growth potential. A high growth rate indicates a promising market, justifying investments in new products, marketing, and expansion. In contrast, a low or declining growth rate should signal brand managers to expand cautiously, as resources may become scarce.


Strategic Timing: Helps determine the best timing for market entry or expansion to maximize benefits. Entering a market during a growth phase can lead to quicker returns and a stronger market position.


Example: If the milk substitute market is growing at a rate of 10% annually, the company can plan its production and marketing strategies to capitalize on this growth trend. By aligning its efforts with market growth, it can maximize its market share and revenue. Especially if the growth rate is higher in certain segments of the market, the growth rate can signal the best time to pivot production resources to the milk substitute with the highest growth potential.


Market Share


Definition: The percentage of the total market that is being serviced by a particular company or product.


Usage for Brand Managers

Performance Benchmarking: Measures the company's performance relative to competitors, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. Understanding market share helps in setting realistic goals and developing strategies to increase share.


Competitive Positioning: Informs strategies to increase market share and enhance brand presence. By analyzing competitors' market share, companies can identify opportunities to differentiate themselves and capture a larger portion of the market.


Market Influence: Assesses the company’s influence within the market and its ability to shape market trends. A larger market share often translates to greater influence and bargaining power within the industry.


Example: If the plant-based milk company holds a 15% share of the milk substitute market, it can use this data to set goals for increasing its share through marketing and product innovation. By focusing on increasing market share, the company can improve its overall market position and profitability.


Market Penetration Rate


Definition: The percentage of potential customers in the target market who are currently using your product or service.


Usage for Brand Managers:

Growth Opportunities: Identifies opportunities to increase market penetration by reaching new customers or increasing usage among existing customers. By understanding penetration rates, companies can develop targeted marketing campaigns to attract new customers. Market penetration rates for specific audiences or consumer segments are powerful metrics for assessing growth opportunities. It’s best to focus marketing efforts on audiences with high interest in your product but are currently underserved.


Marketing Effectiveness: Evaluates the effectiveness of marketing strategies and campaigns. High penetration rates indicate successful marketing efforts, while low rates may signal the need for adjustments. 


Example: If the penetration rate for plant-based milk substitutes among health-conscious consumers is 25%, the company can develop targeted marketing campaigns to increase this rate. By reaching more of these ideal consumers, the company can improve its market position and revenue.



Accurate market sizing is the cornerstone of a brand’s strategic decision-making. By understanding and leveraging key metrics such as TAM, SAM, SOM, Growth Rate, Market Share, and Market Penetration Rate, brand managers can make informed decisions that drive growth and success. These metrics provide a comprehensive understanding of the market landscape, helping to set realistic goals, allocate resources effectively, and craft strategies that align with the brand's long-term objectives.


Market sizing is not just about understanding the numbers; it's about transforming these insights into strategic actions that build and strengthen your brand. By integrating these metrics into your strategic planning, you can navigate the competitive landscape with confidence and achieve remarkable success.


Want help identifying these metrics for your organization or consultation on how to apply the metrics to your marketing strategy? Just contact us, Gradient is here to help.

Jordan Boeder

Written by Jordan Boeder

Jordan received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked as a Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Zurich where he honed his skills in Bayesian data analysis. Jordan uses his years of teaching experience to help distill complex research findings into simple insights.

Related articles: