When you run a business, your first instinct is usually to try to appeal to as many people as humanly possible. The more people who can use or enjoy your product, the more potential sales you can make. However, before you get too focused on trying to increase your broad appeal, you might want to consider the benefits of curtailing those efforts. This may seem counter-intuitive. You can often achieve far better results by trying to appeal to a niche audience than you can by trying to appeal to everyone.
What Niche Branding Can Do For You
First of all, it’s important to understand the difference between broad base marketing, and niche marketing.
Big-box stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and their ilk fall under general marketing. They want to appeal to the broadest base possible in order to get as many people through their doors as they can. That’s why they tend to offer as many services and products as they can. This way, they make sure they have something for everyone. By contrast, consider a company like Gamestop. Gamestop sells video games and video game accessories. This is a significantly narrower market. It’s true that you can often go to a big box store to get a game, a system, or an accessory. However, stores like Gamestop have traditionally had a wider selection and offer more depth within that one area.
So why would a business go for a more narrow niche instead of general appeal? Well, if you’ve heard the phrase, “a big fish in a small pond,” then you can probably intuit some of the reasons for it. Because if you’re trying for general appeal, then you have to compete with all the other businesses who are doing the same thing. Many of them will have bigger budgets and more power than you, allowing them to undercut your prices, out-advertise you, etc. Niche markets, on the other hand, tend to have smaller competitors, and in many cases, you can carve a unique identity for your business by genuinely providing something other businesses aren’t. And, as Brand Marketing Blog points out, niche companies tend to be better positioned for growth and change, as they’re more flexible than larger, general brands are.
It’s always possible to expand from a niche, but if you spread yourself too thin in a general market it can be tough to narrow your focus back down again.
How Do You Make Niche Branding Work For You?
The first and most obvious thing you need to do is focus on your niche. Once you know what it is (whether it’s selling video games, dealing in used books, etc.), you then need to ask what you’re going to do to help promote your niche.
This is where being a more focused business can really help you. Because in addition to not competing with general businesses, you have the ability to cultivate a unique identity. And, as Snap App points out, buying into that identity is a big part of how a niche business begins to grow its audience and gather a loyal customer base.
For example, let’s return to the comparison between stores like Wal-Mart, and stores like Gamestop. Can you buy the same game at both of these stores for a comparable price? A lot of the time the answer is going to be yes. However, Gamestop is the place where real gamers go, and it cultivates that feeling of being the proper place for buying certain goods.
Because you might go there in order to take advantage of a niche store with niche expertise, but lots of customers may go there because they feel it’s just not right to buy their games from a general access store. Even if it’s the same product at the same price, it’s how the store plays into one’s identity. The same thing happened with getting music at a record store instead of the local superstore, and it happens with clothes, groceries, and dozens of other products; people identify with niche stores and businesses in ways they just don’t with big box stores.
Once you have customers who are fans, you have their loyalty. Treat them right, and they’ll not only keep coming back, but they’ll bring their friends as well!
For more information on niche marketing, and building your brand, simply contact us today!