Carving out a niche market and positioning yourself as the go-to brand for a specific audience and a specific product is a great way to ensure success when selling online. Not only does doing so establish your credibility over competing brands, but it also results in a more focused business; from your unique value marketing to carefully thought out content marketing, niche marketing makes it easier for the right customers to think, “this brand is for me.”
If you’re still on stage one struggling to think of your first product idea, starting with a niche is a great place to start. There are countless niches across limitless industries you can pursue, with the chance to narrow down your specialism as you go. The key is to identify a niche market that you feel you can master, and one that has a viable audience and group of consumers.
A niche market is a segment of a larger market that can be defined by its own unique needs, preferences, or identity. This uniqueness is what separates it from the rest of the market. A good example of this is the market for women’s shoes; within the market, there seem to be limitless segments or niches. Vegan shoes, for example, are a niche market, as are shoes for sportswomen or shoes for professional female healthcare providers. These all represent niche markets within the larger market for women’s shoes.
What makes something a niche?
- Price (from discount to luxury);
- Demographics (gender, age, income level, education attainment);
- Quality (handmade, fast fashion, premium);
- Psychographics (attitudes, interests, values); and
- Geographic’s (residents of a city or neighborhood).
Top Niches in 2021
Sustainability has become a hot topic amongst consumer culture, with almost half of US consumers saying they would “definitely” or “probably” change their habits to reduce their impact on the environment. Products in this category include vegan-friendly footwear, menstrual cups, and reusable drinking straws.
The travel industry is enjoying a boom at the moment, with online sales jumping by more than 10% in 2018. The way consumers approach travel is evolving too: more than half are seeking sustainable options, but are struggling to find them. Consider building a product that facilitates an authentic local experience, for example.
There seem to be more self-employed contractors than ever before, as well as companies open to the idea of workers getting the job done from home. When you consider these workers’ motivations and lifestyles, there is a host of products or services you might be able to offer them, such as laptop accessories or work-life hacks.
Now that you’ve got a grip on the world of niche marketing, it’s time to dip your toe in the water. What niche trends have you noticed recently?
Four Niche Marketing Strategies
Mass marketing cannot drive growth for every product. It’s great for a business to reach lots of people but sometimes it is wiser to market to one group and do exceptionally well. After having decided on a group that a business wants to target, certain questions have to be considered: Is the group big enough to be worth the marketing efforts? Are there enough clients who need or want what the business sells? As stated below, there are certain avenues to follow while applying niche marketing strategies.
Take Stock of Marketing Resources-
Existing marketing assets, which include consumer data, infographics, press releases, email campaigns, photos, videos and blog posts, should be assessed with the pandemic in mind. Decide which would work during the crisis. Repurpose everything that wouldn’t. The necessary changes would also help a business to interact better with customers. Use elements of storytelling and empathy for better customer engagement. For instance, Trader Joe’s puts considerable thought into details like store signage. They look handwritten and fun. This makes customers happy. By creating a positive experience, r Trader Joe’s encouraged the customer to spend more and return next time.
Get to Know Your Competition-
A business should not be deterred by competition. There is always plenty of work to go around. It is useful to learn about competitors as much as possible. Subscribe to their e-zines and visit their websites. Go through their service policies and get their promotional materials. It is unprofessional to talk down competition. Saying negative things about competition can destroy the credibility of a business. Then think of unique value propositions that set your business apart. Consider what pain points are going unfulfilled.
Although a business may have a niche, that does not mean that the needs and requirements of all customers are identical. For instance, Ritz Carlton and Motel 6 both compete in the hospitality industry. However, they compete in different segments of the same market. Motel6 is focused on travelers on a tight budget. For such travelers, Motel 6 offers clean, comfortable rooms without any excesses. They use inexpensive sites and use standard designs in rooms. The Ritz Carlton caters to travelers who are willing to pay for premium and personalized service. They offer fine cuisine, luxurious lobbies, magnificent views and services with which they cut through the clutter and differentiate themselves. The strategies of both companies are different, but successful.
Sometimes offline marketing is better at targeting certain groups. After your targeted audience has been segmented on the basis of buyer personas, you can decide which marketing methods will effectively engage them. If the business is an auto workshop, it may want to sponsor a tent at a local motor show to attract the attention of car enthusiasts of the area. A business can also donate discount cards to a charity of choice. A family restaurant can offer prizes at a local school. A brewery can offer brewery tours and beer tasting.
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