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Launching a company or a product… find your niche market first
Every entrepreneur has big dreams. It’s what motivates them to start a business. They want to make it big, to change the world, to get rich. Many do eventually. But if you talk to enough of them you’ll discover three commonalities. One; often their seemingly overnight success took years. Two; this wasn’t their first – in fact, they may have had others that failed. Three; success came when they found their niche market.
According to Wikipedia, a niche market is…
A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. It is also a small market segment.
Identifying and defining your niche market is often key to early success. By targeting a niche you can connect with your audience better, spend less to reach them, and often find influencers and early adopters that will help you grow more quickly. All these factors can be critical when you’re bootstrapping your business - since spending poorly or battling market leaders can drain your coffers rapidly.
Targeting a niche allows you to focus your marketing
Once you identify your niche market you’ll be able to hone in on what motivates them to purchase. Perhaps your product solves a particular problem that is common within an industry or among a group. When your product is created to solve a known issue you’ll generally have a simpler time finding and connecting with your niche market.
Of course, sometimes you’ll need to dig deeper to find your niche. Perhaps your product is similar to others already on the market - in this scenario you can choose to target a smaller consumer segment. You can market upscale, and create a luxury brand that focuses on quality or uniqueness. Or you can target only health conscious consumers. Or focus on only regional customers. However you slice up the market, identifying the best niche will be important, especially early on.
Avoid the temptation to expand into other niches or the broader market
Entering new market segments requires time and money. Moreover, marketing to a new or larger segment will probably require a new or multi-targeted marketing approach – which will distract from your original niche market. We encounter this often with start-ups that are eager to grow and expand quickly, but find themselves spread too thin to be effective any place. The result; everything starts to falter. So unless you’ve chosen your niche poorly, completely tapped out the niche, or are dominant within your niche and flush with cash, avoid the temptation to expand too quickly into other segments.
It takes time, even when niche marketing
Even if you’ve identified your niche quickly. And even if your product scratches the itch your niche suffers from - it can still take time to establish yourself. it can take six months to a year until you’re niche marketing efforts are firing on all cylinders. That’s not to say you won’t find success from the start - but first you have to attract the early adopters. Then you have to grow your sales channels, find retailers, and/or distributors.
Plus you have to keep reaching out to influencers and the press. Depending on the size of your organization and your budget this can take a while. Of course, as long as you’re growing your sales month-to-month you’re moving in the right direction. So don’t become discouraged if your success isn’t instant.
Jul 16, 2015
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