Imagine the most popular brands of today -- Apple, Amazon, and Nike -- these are among the largest companies in the world. If you don’t know these brands, you must have been hiding under a rock for decades.
But they did not start large, oh no. They started small as any startup business did. But how in the world were they able to dominate and grow as big as they are now? What set them apart? How where they able to sore up to dizzying heights in terms of profit and company growth? Two words: Niche Marketing.
Table of Contents
When Jeff Bezos launched Amazon nearly 25 years ago, he had a dream to build a store that sold everything. He wanted a company that sold almost every type of product from across the world on the internet. It's a fair bet to say that he succeeded as Amazon sells a plethora of things, ranging from web services to pairs of slippers.
Who would have guessed that Amazon actually started out as just a simple online bookstore? This company carved its niche as a bookstore, and only expanded when its online foot traffic has grown large enough to expand. If it started out as an all-in-one store that it is now, the results might have been different. It might not have been as big as it is now.
The moral of the story is this: in order to grow big, you have to start small.
There is an old saying - Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None. It translates to this: a generalist is a fair hand at doing everything at a decent level, while a specialist can do one thing at an exceptional level.
This saying holds true even when selling on the internet. A niche market results in a more focused business, as it positions your business as the preferred brand for an exact audience.
This establishes the credibility of your business over enterprises that are generalists. It also makes it less complicated for your audience to choose your brand without hesitation. Launching a business in an unexplored market segment and adapting your products and services to them is one of the best ways to do so.
Finding a niche market can be challenging, but that is why this guide was created. This guide will explain why niche marketing is one of the best ways to build a business, explain its benefits, and show how to find a niche market. But before we get started, let's define what exactly niche marketing is.
What Is Niche Marketing?
Niche Marketing is a strategy for advertising. It focuses on a particular section of the market and promotes exclusively to a target audience, a demographic of potential customers, rather than promoting to anyone who could use the product and service.
It is important to note that a niche in the market does not exist; instead, it is created by utilizing marketing techniques and recognizing what the customer wants precisely.
It involves concentrating all marketing efforts towards a particular demographic of the population.
A niche market can be unique due to any of the below listed:
- The population density
- Geographic area
- Culture and Style
- Wants or Needs
Niche markets are often created by recognizing what a customer wants or needs. This can only be achieved if the company can identify what the customer needs and if it can deliver a superior solution to that problem than what other businesses are offering.
By no means does a niche market represent a small market; it just centers around a particular subset of the general audience.
When the company is able to achieve this, it becomes the market leader, which in turn paves the way for other firms to penetrate that particular subset.
Types Of Markets Based On Category
Niche marketing targets a particular section of the market that has a high potential in connecting with the products and services being offered. This helps a business quickly select media platforms that can assist in reaching its targeted audience at a faster pace.
To gain a better understanding of niche marketing, below are a few examples of some of the more prominent niche markets:
Climate change has become a major source of worry for the entire world, and consumers are acutely aware of the changes and damages incurred on the environment. This, in turn, prompts the consumers to feel the need to plan a role in reducing this damage, no matter how small it might seem. With this in mind, marketers can cater to the consumers' demand to protect our natural resources.
The idea of Green marketing, which has risen in popularity, has ensured both companies and consumers work together in creating environment-friendly initiatives across the world. From the manufacturing process to the packaging of the goods, a majority of the audience would favorably consider a company's effort in partaking in the green movement.
Technology permeates every aspect of our everyday lives. The strongest brands in this niche build long-lasting relationships with their audience via employing a multitude of marketing mediums such as television and radio adverts but use internet-based means primarily. They use these to carry out social media marketing.
To appeal to the consumer in these modern times, companies in the computer niche employ technological innovations to gain every advantage possible. The more prominent forms of marketing in this niche are SEO marketing and email marketing.
Even though the music industry is already sprouted to be amongst the biggest industries in the world, the industry is faced with a lot more severe challenges that gravely affect its performance as a whole. Illegal downloads and the reduced sales of albums, both digital and physical, due to the use of online streaming apps are some of the major challenges it is faced with.
However, this has forced the industry marketers to search for an alternative way to publicize their artists in ways that ensure they are unique amongst already established names in the industry. But, marketing songs can be quite a challenge as personal preference plays a major factor in the audience it can reach. Marketers now employ more than conventional means and utilize other means such as video and social marketing to entice the targeted audience.
The fashion industry typically themes its marketing strategies around the latest trends. A majority of its consumer base falls under the younger section of the market, and this drives the marketers to create and develop strategies and campaigns that are oriented for the youth to generate better sales.
They employ channels such as television, online media platforms, and print to deploy these marketing strategies and campaigns. Also, consumers have begun to place heavy emphasis on convenience and ease of access, and internet marketing has shifted to be the top priority in this niche.
Engineering Firms Niche
Engineering firms specialize in providing solutions to problems that are related to construction sites and heavy machinery. They are usually made up of experts that specialize in constructing special kinds of buildings or building machinery for specific purposes.
Industrialization is one of the most crucial aspects of the success of economic and political society, and there is barely any doubt on the significance of this form of niche marketing.
Travel and Tourism Niche
Travel and tourism enthusiasts around the world are attracted to several interesting locations scattered across the earth's surface. Due to this industry's nature and how it usually involves a collaboration between private entities and local governments, it always requires large budgets funded by both private and commercial bodies.
In the past, the promotion of offers in this industry was highly dependent on print media, but now most campaigns have shifted primarily to digital marketing to reach its target audience using websites, social media pages, television, and radio. You will now find special offers and packages targeted at specific groups of people across these channels.
Health and Fitness Niche
Nowadays, several public health enterprises motivate people to lose some weight and get fit. This has resulted in positive changes in the health and fitness industry's sales and revenue despite the little marketing efforts put into it.
Although you would find local advertisements in magazine and newspaper ads, direct mail, and billboards, the industry generally doesn't utilize as many marketing channels as other niche markets.
Types of Markets Based on Audience Age (Generation)
There’s an infinite number of niche audiences; it all depends on the segment of the market you want to focus on. To give you an idea, here are some examples of niche audience types:
1. Baby Boomers
These are people born right after the Second World War, right between 1946 and 1964. This is the economically influential market controlling a whopping 70% of disposable income in the US and is also the second most populous segment. They are fiercely loyal to brands and are kind of individualistic.
2. Generation X
These are people born between 1965 and roughly around 1980 (we say roughly because where Millenials start and Gen X ends is a subject of debate). Most audiences in this generation are financially stable, have degrees (or at least value it highly), and uses Facebook to connect with people.
People who are born between the early 80s and mid-90s are considered Millennials. They are currently the most populous generation who rely on personal recommendations when making a purchase. Read our guide on Marketing to Millenials for more information.
4. Generation Z
This is the youngest generation you can legally market to. Generation Z audiences are people born between mid-90s to 2010. Having been born in the age of internet-boom means these people are digitally and technologically dependent and savvy.
Developing Niche Markets
A niche market is actually developed by cross-matching your market category, audience generation, and additional segmentation such as income, location, lifestyle, or career.
When buying bread, would you rather buy from a supermarket or a baker? If you want your bread warm and fresh, you’d choose the bakery.
But what if you want the best tasting cakes or tarts? You won’t just go to ordinary bakeries -- you’d visit a pastry shop.
There are dozens of pastry shops in the city, where do you go? You’d want one easily accessible to where you live or work, so preferably one within a two-mile radius.
That is exactly how you find and develop niche markets!
For instance, have a look at AirBnB. Their business niche is providing home-sharing opportunities which target people who fit the following criteria:
- those like to travel (Travel and Tourism Market);
- those who are more concerned about price than amenities (low to middle income);
- those who are physically active since they are more interested in activities and experiences (older Generation Z up to younger Millenials).
Although the company has branched out to other market segments, their core marketing principles revolve around the niche market above.
Benefits Of Niche Marketing
The smaller the target subset is, the less interest the general audience would have in your products. However, this also means that you’ll be able to reach the right people who are actually interested in the product you are selling, instead of firing shots randomly.
A personalized, niche-marketing strategy could be what you need exactly to reach the consumers (general public or not), and here's the reason why:
Enhanced Customer Relationships
When you are in a niche business, you will be involved with a very particular kind of customer base. The need to enhance your customer relationships is crucial. Therefore, you have to be specific.
This has a lot of added benefits, though mainly due to the fact that the customer base is smaller than the general audience. The smaller the customer base, the more specific and personalized your products and brand can become.
Through making your brand more personal, loyalty is built simultaneously. By building a specific audience, your email campaigns and special offers can be personalized.
Special request and personalized orders is another aspect of niche business that is prevalent. For example, if you offered trail guide services, the customer might want a personal tour without being bothered by a crowd, and you can accommodate this. Also, if you were a restaurant, you could take special orders for those who request it (even when not on the menu).
Niche marketing encourages you to add more details to your campaigns; this leads to your audience acquiring a deeper connection with your offers and having a better understanding. The more detailed your marketing is, the more connected your audience would feel to your brand.
Also, niche marketing allows you to create strong relationships with your customers. This is possible because niche businesses focus on bringing in repeat customers who desire the specialized services you offer. It is possible even to be invested in the lives they lead and know their needs. Niche businesses treat their customers as individuals, unlike most large companies.
Niche businesses are able to build brand loyalty because they offer a specific product to a particular market that needs it. The more you can meet your customers' needs, the more they are persuaded to keep choosing your brand.
Another reason niche businesses can build loyalty is due to low competition. A lot of general businesses would offer the same products and services that you do. But, because your services are personalized, it becomes hard for your consumers to find the type of service you offer elsewhere. This causes them to become dependent on your services, which is a great thing. Make sure to work hard in order to keep your customers engaged.
When your business offers a very specific service, there would be less business doing the exact same thing. A quick example would be companies that deal with knives. Over a million companies produce and sell knives, but few companies attach a wooden handle to the knives they sell, and fewer still engrave and customize the knives they sell to suit their customers' needs. In short, they “carved” their own niche.
The more specific the products and services you offer, the less there will be businesses out there competing with you for customers.
Competition is healthy for companies and is vital in maintaining the market. However, having reduced competition is not really a bad thing. The reduced competition allows you to have fewer worries about constantly checking the prices or being kept up to date with every move your competitors make.
Conversely, the more specific the service you offer, the fewer people there will be searching for it. Reduced competition is only considered a benefit when there is a significant amount of customers to appeal to.
Suppose your competitors are unable to penetrate a niche because they can't offer the personalized services required. In that case, that's good news for you, but if they are unable to penetrate a niche due to it not being lucrative, then you may be at a disadvantage.
One of the benefits of niche marketing is increased visibility. It can lead more customers to your brand and improve your presence online. The niche market is composed majorly of unique businesses. These businesses tend to stand out due to their unique products and services and often get exposure via media outlets such as news features, talk shows, or radio shows.
Exposure in niche marketing is tricky, as it is essential to put your brand in front of the right people rather than the entire than exposure to a lot of people who are disinterested in your brand. This does not mean that exposure to a lot of people is negative; no, it has its benefits too. The higher the number of people aware of your business, the more likely they are to recommend it to a friend who might need your niche products or services.
Growth via Word of Mouth
One fairly overlooked benefit of niche marketing is that it thrives on oral messaging. Customers in a niche usually contact others in the same niche; this promotes more chances for the word to get around about your products and services.
For example, pregnant women who tend to attend the same fitness programs, shop at maternity stores, and take classes on childbirth education are likely to meet other pregnant women at these events. If the service you offer is that of a yoga instructor for expectant mothers, the customers you can get will be the driving force of your business. They will be your best marketers and would be eager to spread the word about your services if you can attend to their needs excellently.
To be able to handle the specific needs of your customers in a niche market, concentrated practice is necessary; this can significantly help in fine-tuning your expertise in a short period of time. This is another of the benefits of niche marketing, as it allows you to become an expert in your chosen niche.
For a lot of customers that search for niche products and services, expertise weighs favorably more than the brand name. A law firm specializing in settling land disputes is more likely to be chosen over a much larger firm with a well-known name. When dealing with services in the financial, legal, or health sectors, people prefer businesses that are specialized and have experience in dealing with their area of concern.
Being an expert at a niche, gains you not only the trust of your customers but also builds brand recognition. Being a Jack of All Trades simply means you would be average at everything you do, this prevents you from standing out from the crowd. But if you are able to become really good at doing a specific thing, you are sure to stand out.
Being known for that one thing won't diminish any other service you provide, but it would become the key thing you are known for. Customers could learn about your services via this one thing, even if they were searching for another service that you provide.
Effective digital marketing involves ascertaining and understanding who your customers are, and this requires a huge investment of both time and money on analytic tools.
A huge benefit of niche marketing is once you have identified your target audience, you can narrow your focus on these people and not worry about expending a lot of energy to analyze data to keep up with what your customers need. Also, there is less trial and errors with the techniques and method you employ, which is great as these can be resource-demanding.
Another benefit niche marketing is able to take advantage of is audience segmentation. This is a cost-effective benefit that most large businesses are unable to make the most out of.
Businesses that reach a wider audience have their audiences broken into different segments. This division is done so that they can deploy effective marketing strategies that are relevant to each segment, and this requires a lot of effort and resources.
But with niche marketing, your audience is already segmented, which leads to using fewer resources and concentrating wholly on just that segment.
It's usually a result of good fortune
More often than not, businesses do not get to pick their niche; it mostly occurs by happy accidents. This can happen while offering service to a different target audience.
Take for example Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum. It started as a promotion for Wrigley’s Baking Powder, since Wrigley thought he needed a promotional item that is affordable enough to produce, small enough not to overpower the size of the main product, and compelling enough since anybody can use (eat) it. However, it became even more popular than the main product that Wrigley Jr. had no choice but to expand on it. It became popular as an accident, but it was suddenly the niche that the company worked best in.
It is better to create a niche of something you enjoy doing, anything that stimulates your interest, skills, or passion. It doesn't matter if your business focuses on just your niche, or on a niche within a niche; the goal of niche marketing remains unchanged.
The aim is to turn your business into the big fish in a pond, no matter how small that pond may be. Trying to be good at everything means you lose out on a lot more, but if you select an area in the market and focus your entire efforts on it, you are sure to stand out in your market.
Drawbacks Of Niche Marketing
Although niche marketing comes with numerous advantages, there are still some problems associated with it, and they are as follows:
Limited growth as a result of a small market
As you already know by now, going into niche marketing means that you will be dealing with a much smaller market and target. A small market often results in a very slow business pickup, and this could mean that the growth of your business, in general, could also be slower. If you hope to venture into a business that grows very rapidly, then niche marketing may not be for you as there is likely to be limited growth.
Uncertain ROI growth
Having a niche business can mean that you have a fewer number of customers as opposed to a mass business. And this serves as a risk to your business in some ways, especially in the aspect of your profit. As a result of the limited audience you get in niche marketing, it could result in a lower profit margin or market share.
Less opportunity to improve as a result of less competition
If you're working in a niche, it can be pretty difficult to compare to competitors using mass marketing. However, it's even more difficult when there is no competition at all.
As surprising as this may sound, the truth is, if there is no competition, there'll be hardly any way for you to tell where you need to improve on as you'd have no other brand to push you to discover such areas.
Nevertheless, the solution to these drawbacks is to not focus too narrowly. Assess if the niche or micro niche you want to work on has the capacity for profit, growth, and development.
How To Find A Niche Market
It is normal to be hesitant when starting a niche business. Choosing what market niche to focus on can be downright tricky. However, there are steps to overcome this phase.
You could list out everything that you are passionate about or things that interest you and still feel like your options are too broad. Sadly, taking on all that pressure to select the perfect niche can cause you never to start your business never to take the first step.
It is definitely preferable to choose a viable niche business, but there is merit in starting up first rather than sitting on your hands for too long. Putting yourself out there offers a ton of experience. It allows you to test and try out new ideas, learn from successes and failures. This way, you can always learn from a business idea that failed and employ a different tactic and new idea to another one.
The following five steps can help you find the niche you desire to build your business in.
Pinpoint what your interests and passions are
Identifying your passions and interests is always the first step. If you haven't done this yet, then start by creating a list of your top 10 interest and passion areas. Building a business isn't a walk in the park and can get really difficult as you proceed.
So, if you choose to work in an area that you do neither care about nor feel invested in, the odds of quitting are very high. This may even be more noticeable in first-time business owners.
However, it doesn't dictate that you must find the perfect fit. Substantial passion is needed about the niche to take an interest in running and sticking with the business, but perseverance might not be possible if you do not care about it.
Below are a few questions to ask you self in order to assist you in determining where your interest and passions lie:
- What are your hobbies? What do you occupy your free time doing? What else do you engage in when you are not engaged in either your hobby or what you spend your free time doing?
- What is your magazine subscription like? What topics interest you more?
Highlight issues and problems you can resolve
After creating the list of your top 10 interest and passion areas, you can start to curate them. To build a viable business, you must identify your targeted audience experience's problems and then determine if you can provide solutions to that issue.
Below are a few ways you can identify the issues in specific niches:
- Engage with your targeted market via either carrying out conversations or have brainstorming sessions with them on the issues they face. Ensure you have a guide on what questions or how to phrase the questions to help you unearth pain points
- Search and find online forums related to your niche, read through the discussions, note the frequently asked questions, and what issues they are facing.
- Track trends and keywords of your niche - you can use resources such as Google Trends to explore a variety of keyword combinations. This could assist in uncovering search terms associated with pain points and issues.
Understand the market gaps
After you've highlighted the issues and problems you can resolve, you need to identify market gaps then. Instead of observing other businesses to learn what they are doing right, try to recognize the market gaps, because there are vital in developing a niche market.
Although there aren't really any new niches, it's good that you go into something that has already been tested. This helps because you wouldn't want to invest all your time and effort into something that people will not spend their money on.
All you need to do is identify areas that seem to work and have a part in it. Except, your brand will be different in the sense of approach, style of operation, and personality.
Here are some ways to identify gaps in the markets that already work so you could carve your spot in it:
1. Surveys and interviews
Customer surveys and interviews can help you decipher what your audience wants and feels they're missing. This serves as some useful insights into the niche you want to market in. You can carry out surveys easily through online tools like Survey Monkey. Interviews can be done online too.
2. Study customer behavior
Learn how people interact with offers in the industry you wish to focus on – how they buy and use products and services. You can look for high intent search terms like a discount, best, coupon, cheapest, free, and so on.
3. Focus on people's passions
The passions of people are a great way to identify market gaps. There are things people are more likely to spend money on as a result of their passion. You can create a niche based on the passions of people in a large market. For instance, people who love motorbikes would be likely to purchase T-shirts and jackets. So your niche could be customized outfits for motorbike lovers.
4. Consider special needs
Within a large market, there are always people with special needs. For instance, in the food industry, some people have special dietary needs. This is the reason why gluten-free and nut-free products are increasingly popular. So, you could focus on a few dietary needs or just one, and build a niche around it.
5. Consider the aftermarket
Many businesses result in aftermaths that they don't bother to take care of. For instance, people who use petrol generators might subsequently need a generator repair service. This represents a gap in the market and could be used to create a niche.
Analyze the competition
Competition for the audience in a niche isn't always a terrible thing. It could be an indicator that you have discovered a profitable niche. While it isn't a bad thing, you should be wary of them and ensure a thorough analysis of the competition is executed.
The next step is figuring out if there is an opportunity for your brand to stand out from the crowd. You have to consider if your brand is unique enough to differentiate your business from theirs.
Below are keep signs to look out for when evaluating the competition, to know if you can be successful there:
If the competition in a niche fails to provide high-quality and detailed content to its audience, it would be easy to tailor your brand to provide this service.
No paid advertisement
If your niche keyword has a fairly high search volume and you notice that there is little to no paid advertising on it, an opportunity exists, therefore for you to penetrate the market.
Find out how profitable your niche is
You should have a solid idea of what to expect and the type of niche you are going for by now. Perhaps, you are yet to have a narrowed down version of your list, but chances are you already have an idea which one you want to pursue.
Now, it becomes of importance to determine the profitability of your niche. One way to figure out its profitability is to check ad prices for the niche’s keyword, particularly in Google Ads and similar paid traffic sources.
You can also use certain tools to find out how frequently people search for keywords in your specific niche. These tools can help you look at the number of searches and competition.
Some popular and reliable tools you could use are
- Google Trends
- Ahrefs: You can use Ahrefs to analyze volumes, questions, and competitor websites.
- SEMrush: This tool can also help you find keywords, questions, and volumes that have something to do with your niche market.
- Amasuites: Amasuites is a good tool to use that helps to find niche products and is particularly useful if you hope to become an affiliate. With it, you could find the right product in terms of volume, price, and niche. The tool digs into the most popular e-commerce sites in the world, including eBay US and UK, Amazon US and UK, Walmart, and Target. So, you can be sure that the data you acquire from it is actually based on what people are buying.
Another way is to look into affiliate networks, offer comparison sites, and even large eCommerce sites (like Amazon!). Use the keywords to filter your search to the top products in your niche. If you are unable to find decent offers, it could mean that the niche has not been able to be monetized.
Likewise, if your search has a fair number of offers, but not an overwhelming amount – then you are in luck. Ensure you use the price points as a benchmark to set yours at a competitive pace.
Test your idea
Once you have gone through all the steps indicated above, you now possess enough information needed to select a niche. The last step is to try your idea out. An easy way of carrying out this test is to create a landing page for the product and service your offer and set up a pre-sale offer.
You can take advantage of paid advertising to drive traffic to your page. You can use social media ads, PPC ads, pop up ads, and even native ads -- whichever format you believe your target audience will best respond to.
If you are unable to get any pre-sale, it doesn't mean that the niche you are in isn't viable. It could be that you haven't employed the right marketing strategy or found the right price point yet.
The key though is to properly test ads and optimize as the results of your tests necessitate.
The Best Niche Marketing Strategies
After choosing your niche, the next thing you should be aiming for is maximizing your impact and making your unique mark. Here are some effective strategies you could employ to get the best out of your niche marketing strategy:
Have in-depth knowledge about your niche market
Many people believe that since niche marketing involves appealing to a narrow range of people, thoroughly researching the target market is not necessary. However, the opposite is the case as running a business with a specific kind of people makes it even more challenging to decipher who your ideal customer actually is.
For this reason, segmentation comes in extremely handy. Knowing the customers' primary attributes, such as age range, income, and marital status, is not enough. You'd need to learn more about the granular qualities they might have. In other words, the narrower your market, the deeper you have to know your customers. You must learn how to create a target persona to pattern your marketing strategies against.
Be a solution to your customers' problems
After knowing everything about your niche market, you also have to understand how your product or service will meet a need not currently fulfilled by another brand in your niche industry.
Know what makes your business stand out, what your unique selling proposition is, and how you're taking care of your customers is important. You would find just as much competition in small markets as you would in larger ones, if not more. So, you must place your customers at the front of your mind and commit to meeting their needs excellently if you want to excel in niche marketing.
Put more thought into how you advertise your business
Niche marketing is different from the 'usual' kind of marketing and requires a whole new different approach to how you spread the word about your brand and offer. It's important that you study the ups and downs of any means of marketing related to your business.
For instance, social media marketing has shown us how incredibly profitable it could be for small businesses operating in niche markets. However, the fineness of the targeting options offered by the most popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram turns out to be quite expensive because these platforms are aware of just how valuable they can be.
In cases like this, you may be better off investing in paid search or in native advertising. The point is, whatever the situation of your business may be, you must scrutinize your potential return of investment of any marketing strategy you choose to adopt.
This is needed to be sure you're getting the best out of your resources and reaching your target market most cost-effectively.
Also, make sure you optimize your marketing campaigns for mobile, too, so your audience has access to your brand while on the go. And finally, get your advert message in front of the right people (read: proper audience targeting), or else your marketing campaign may turn out fruitless.
Observe your competition from time to time
When dealing in niche markets, it's imperative that you're aware of what your competitors are up to in order to stay on top of the game. Niche markets usually deal with a narrow audience, and so the competition, if any, is always tough.
While you don't have to leave your workplace to find out what's going on with your competition, you could always use certain tools to gain insight into essential knowledge, such as what marketing strategies they're using and which ones are working well.
Examples of tools that perform such functions include Adbeat, MixRank, Wordstream Advisor, and WhatRunsWhere. You can also make use of spy tools, which even displays the exact ads that your competitors are using.
Welcome new opportunities
It is commonly believed that being in a niche market means that you can't ever expand. But that's not true, and Amazon is a good proof of that, considering that it started out only as an online bookstore.
Even while dealing with a niche market, you should think about different ways to expand or improve what you're offering to your audience. Although it's essential that you're striving to be the best in your niche, you shouldn't totally rule off the possibilities of widening your product line to serving new target markets.
While niche marketers are encouraged to grow, it's important that you also consider if it's really a good idea for your kind of offer. Sometimes, expansion may not be viable.
Ask yourself if you can afford to take the chance. Certainly, experimentation can lead to incredible opportunities, but at the same time, you should be careful and only do so if you are ready to carry out a thorough evaluation of your novel ideas without causing a depreciation in quality and standard.
In short, look to the horizon, but don’t forget where you are currently standing.
Listen to your customers well
It's not unusual for markets to assume that they know their business better than anyone. But the truth is, your customers know better. Even the best marketers in the game will head for a big fall if they fail to listen to their customers genuinely.
In most cases, you don't even have to worry about asking them what they think; they just tell you. And where else to hear what customers really have to say other than on social media?
For this reason, every niche marketer must have a social media presence. It has proven to be an invaluable way to listen to what customers have to say, especially for instantaneous feedback on your product or service.
You will learn how well you're keeping your customers satisfied and if your customer happens to experience a problem with your offer, ensure you solve it. Don't feel that you don't need to be consistent with how you care for your customers if you're only dealing with a small niche.
Although monitoring your brand or business online mentions is time-consuming, it is very much worth it to keep your business going strong. Besides, it's way less stressful than mitigating the damages caused as a result of negative reviews and critics. Or, trying to convince your prospects and customers that you do when your online presence says otherwise.
Listening to what people have to say and striving to satisfy your customers not only ensures your business goes smoothly but also gives it a good word of mouth. In niche marketing, you have to pay close attention to what people have to say about your brand or business and correct your mishaps immediately.
Examples Of Niche Brands and Marketing
Here are some examples of successful niche marketing strategies you could learn from. Not only will we be discussing the niche that these companies focus on, but what they do to keep their customers interested.
1. Lefty's San Francisco
Lefty is a store specializing in products for left-handed people and has its base in San Francisco. The products they sell include Kitchen utensils, Gifts and sets, school and kids supplies, office accessories, garden and workshop tools, scissors, fun, and miscellaneous products for the left-handed population.
What makes Lefty a niche market is that only 10% of the world's people are left-handed. Most small businesses feel that it might be challenging to stand toe-to-toe with big retailers when trying to profit from PPC advertising.
But, Lefty has been successful in niche marketing because they used PPC advertising for search terms that are likely to be searched by left-handed people.
For example, when the phrase "Left-handed scissors" is searched, PPC advertisements from Lefty appear in the search results. Lefty proves that you don't have to be a big retailer to enjoy PPC advertising benefits, and it can be a valuable asset for small businesses using niche marketing.
2. Whole Foods
Living well begins with eating well. This is what Whole Foods believes in as they make use of the organic food niche in their marketing. They go beyond the usual groceries and reach out to customers who care about their nutrition.
Of course, not everyone is nutritionally aware or would pay handsomely for some organic food. This is what makes Wholefoods a niche market.
Whole foods have continued to meet up the expectations of their customers. Since their customers are organic-enthusiasts, Whole Foods's standard is to ban high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, artificial sweeteners, and 100 more flavors, preservatives colors found in food. After all, if it doesn't meet the standards, it won't be sold.
They also provide recipes and techniques for healthy foods on their blog. Whole foods have some location-based social accounts used to reach out to or promote their content to health-conscious customers.
3. The Middle Finger Project
The Middle Finger Project was made for female business owners looking to reject the status quo and rebel against mediocrity. It is an online center for female business owners seeking to promote their businesses with new and engaging ideas.
Although many organizations offer business advice and consultancy, TMF stands out because it targets female business owners, making it a niche market.
It doesn't just target all female business owners but also those who want to promote their businesses by contradicting the existing conventional business ideas. It is not for defeatists and naysayers.
TMF makes creative content their priority, and followers can sign up to receive weekly emails that'll give you the guts to do anything.
This wildly popular crafts eCommerce site started out as a place for craftsmen, specifically females, to peddle their handmade crafts online. And what do you know? 15 years later and that is still what Etsy is all about -- except that it is now bigger and highly popular.
If you’re looking for something unique and lovingly handmade, this is surely the first place you’ll visit.
Although it has gone a whole lot bigger (some might no longer even consider this a niche), there is no doubt that it was Etsy itself that made that market segment that big. Beautiful, personalized crafts by females who are (somehow) against consumerism? Etsy is the place to be.
Shopping for clothes can be a pain, especially for men. It's a good thing Bonobos is here to make it painless and possibly fun. On their quest for pants that would fit them perfectly, Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly founded the brand Bonobos. The goal is one thing: to help men who hate shopping to find pants that are almost tailored-made (except that they’re just your typical pants and not a three-piece Bond suit).
After generating up to $1 million in revenue six months after launching their e-commerce store, they expanded their business to include shoes, suits, and shirts for men. Now they sell all kinds of clothing, including sweaters, shorts and swim trunks, golf outfits, and even accessories, and it's all personalized clothing for men.
Bonobos reach out to potential customers through targeted emails and show them recommendations based on their previous interests when they visited the online store. They likewise show these potential customers what sets them apart from other men’s fashion stores (hint: the perfect fit!). They also drive sales and customers with their social media account and blog.
This company proves that you can focus on one thing you want to do and become the best at it. For Drybar, that's hair blowouts.
Drybar doesn't follow the standards of the traditional hair salon. Aside from setting up their salon like a bar where you can relax and maybe watch a movie while getting your blowout, Drybar's niche is in giving your hair volume.
While this is just a side-offer in other hair salons, Drybay has laser-focused n this service. Hence they are able to provide quality yet less expensive blowouts to customers.
Drybar also has a Barfly membership with two offers in them. One gives two blowouts, $5 off additional blowouts a month, a 10% discount off products in shops, and a free birthday blowout. The other offers four blowouts a month plus 10% off products in shops, $10 off additional blowouts, 50% off extensions, one free Add-on per month, and of course, a free birthday blowout, and these come at an affordable price. These promotions keep the customers coming back.
Drybar also interacts with its customers with creative content on social media. They hear their customers' stories and use them to improve the Drybar experience. They also respond to the Facebook posts, reviews, and tweets of their customers to make sure the experience is headed in a positive direction.
Square gives you the tools to run your business even when it's your resources are little. This powerful POS software gives store owners the ability to accept credit cards through their tablets or phones.
Square's primary targets are the small businesses that can't use the standard credit card system and who can't accept credit cards because they don't have a merchant account.
Square solved these problems by creating a powerful mobile card reader that anyone can use by simply plugging into their phones. Square's focus is on people that may lack the funds to pay credit card companies but still need the credit card function.
Square didn't just stop there. They also added a suite of marketing tools to their products list that will help small businesses reach their target clients.
9. Lush Cosmetics
When it comes to cosmetics, Lush is quite a unique brand. They produce not just cosmetic products with organic ingredients, but also products that are cruelty-free, promotes ethical buying, and are environment-friendly.
In short, it is a cosmetics company that is socially aware.
Lush's niche marketing is its standpoint on how they view beauty. They had no interest in being dishonest to their customers, which had positive impacts on their brand. They even have loyal followers.
Lush reaches out to its existing and potential customers with influencer marketing. They also partner with YouTube stars, and it has gathered a lot of mentions in the social media organic world.
Lush care a lot about their customers, and it's shown in their user-generated content. They also use hashtags to motivate people to share their experiences with them on social media.
10. Powell's Books
The "legendary independent bookstore" Powell's, has operated using its exceptional knowledge and great marketing strategies to become what it is today. It is the world's largest stand-alone bookstore and has garnered an astonishing amount of fans who love reading books.
Powell's niche is books (obviously), but it is not just that. It is a bookstore established by a book lover and is staffed by passionate book lovers as well. They buy and sell all kinds of books -- whether all or new. If you don’t have money but have old books, you can even exchange them for store credit!
Powell's supports the local authors, contribute to discussions about literature and books online, and organize giveaways and promotions using hashtags.
Powell's book grew from a bookstore to a city of books where you need a map to navigate through the vast collection of books.
Hopsters give beer lovers a unique experience and adventure not found in other restaurants and breweries. It offers a custom craft brewery you can enjoy with your co-workers, friends, or solo. But they don’t just brew the beer for you -- you actually brew it with them!
Hopsters is the first brewery in Boston to provide custom-craft beers. It focuses on those who cannot brew their own beer at home and allows them to brew three cases of their own craft beer. After all, a beer you brewed yourself tastes best, yes?
It also reaches out to professionals who have an interest in craft beer. Once you're done brewing your beer, it will be bottled in 2 to 3 weeks and branded with your custom label. How cool is that?
Hopsters also make use of social media to promote their products and services. It's quite popular on sites like Groupon and Yelp and has even announced their plans to expand nationwide.
12. Vermont Wooden Toys
This company may not have a lovely site and receive most of its orders over the phone, but the craftsmanship, originality, dedication are what Vermont Wooden Toy's customers are after.
Vermont's Wooden Toys company is run by the proprietor Ron Voake. He targets customers who value craftsmanship, skill, and time because they are willing to pay premiums for high-quality products.
Each toy is crafted with the finest quality hardwood and is valued for its design and durability. They can withstand the rough play of several generations of children, and most of them are designed to be ridden by children.
This company knows that the kind of customers to target (parents obviously) are those that value their children's safety. Voakes and his company got some popularity in 2007 when NBC News and New York Times were interested in the sudden rush of customers flocking to Vermont Wooden Toys in packs.
13. Miss Doctor
This is a hyper-targeted dating site as it is made for, you guessed it, women who are doctors that are looking to date.
Seeing the doctor friends and acquaintances go through relationship woes inspired Dr. Ifie Williams to create a dating site. This unique social network allows women to get in touch with men who don’t have issues with going out with high-achieving African-American women.
Registrants are not just required to submit a proof of identification, but a proof of education as well. This is to maintain the standards of the site and to also display matches based on merit.
14. Tom Raffield
Who doesn’t love furniture? Everybody wants at least one piece of furniture in their homes. But who among us loves wooden furniture? I bet there’s still a great deal of people like that out there.
Let’s narrow it further down to people who like luxury wooden furniture pieces that have been bent to shape. Now that’s a niche! And that is what Tom Raffield’s furniture is all about.
Tom Raffield’s furniture pieces almost transcend artwork, what with great care and craftsmanship applied to every piece.
Tom and his wife applied the wood steam bending technique when creating their home (which was featured in Grand Designs TV Series), which propelled their brand to greatness.
Start Small, Grow Big
Niche marketing is a popular kind of marketing used in many different areas. You would find niches in e-commerce marketing, affiliate marketing, and even content marketing.
Dealing with a particular niche comes with several advantages and few disadvantages. The benefits obviously outweigh the limitations involved, but it always helps to be aware of the possible challenges you may face when venturing into a business type.
There are several kinds of niches, each with its own perks. While choosing the perfect niche for you, ensure you study the market and choose an area you have at least some interest in. This will help in overcoming challenges that will inevitably come your way.
When you finally begin your niche business, don't totally abolish the idea of expanding. Although expanding from a niche market sometimes turns out to be incredibly profitable, it doesn't always work for all kinds of niches. So weigh your factors thoroughly and ensure you won't be compromising all you've already achieved.
Niche marketing allows you to have a tunnel-vision. If you have dozens of goals, you might end up achieving nothing at all! But with niche marketing, as long as you keep learning, testing, growing, and pushing on, you will eventually reach the summit.
Want to try your hand at promoting your niche through native advertising? We’re here to help! Shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get started.