You are a realtor, broker or sales associate ready to launch your brand. You have a stellar logo that a friend created for you, business cards designed and printed at VistaPrint, and Wix website live and ready to go. But before you take that leap, ask yourself: who are my customers? Do they need what I’m selling? Is there a need for my product that other mainstream companies are not addressing?
Rather than creating a niche, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of falling into the “all over the map” trap, claiming they can do many things and be good at all of them. When your company or product is an expert in a particular area, you have a greater chance of success. You face less competition and are able to penetrate a market quicker than if you would be selling to the masses.
Let’s talk socks for a moment, specifically @Bombas. Traditionally a difficult apparel item to sell in general, this retail brand combined the “buy-one-donate-one” business model of @Toms with a fresh new design including bright colors to appeal to millennials, early adapters, and athletes alike. The social-conscious, uber-focused product brand had $50 million in sales last year (2017). That’s a lot of socks.
Want to find your niche? Here are a few points to consider when defining your niche:
1. Design the customer profile
Who is your customer? Be as specific as you can. Identify the geographic area and the types of businesses or customers you want your business to target. If you don’t narrow your customer base, you will spend more time and money than you should on marketing.
These days, the trend is toward smaller niches. Targeting teenagers isn’t specific enough; targeting male, African American teenagers with family incomes of $40,000 and up is. Aiming at companies that sell software is too broad; aiming at Northern California-based companies that provide internet software sales and training and have sales of $15 million or more is a better goal.
2. Focus your product
Focus on your services or products so much so that they appeal to a certain audience. Your niche should arise naturally from your interests and experience. For example, if you spent 10 years working in a consulting firm but also spent 10 years working for a small, family-owned business, you may decide to start a consulting business that specializes in small, family-owned companies.
3. Test the market
Once you have both defined the customer and focused the product, selling is naturally the next step. Show or give your audience the opportunity to buy your product. Most importantly, adjust your strategy when you can gauge results. A product launch is a fluid project that needs to be monitored and adjusted as the benchmarks are met. Do you need to tighten your niche? Or expand your budget?
The more you know about who needs you, the more you can speak to them. Once you have defined this group of people, you now have a niche — you’re a big fish in a small pond.
About Brand Poets
Founded by Tana M. Llinas, Brand Poets is a collective of strategists, visual storytellers, and digital artisans crafting smart, poignant campaigns that command attention. www.brandpoets.com