Ever wonder why Carlo’s Bake Shop of TLC and Discovery Family’s “Cake Boss” fame is the crème de la crème of the baking world? They know what they are good at. They stick to it. And, they keep perfecting it.
Catering to all audiences depletes precious time and limited resources without servicing the core group that keeps an organization in business.
Before your customers define your business for you, be proactive. Define your niche market to determine where and how you want your business to grow.
Finding your niche provides your business with an opportunity to be an industry leader by defining your market. Excel in one area rather than being all things to all people.
Small businesses should focus on their unique niches and position themselves as the definitive source for information, products and services related to the specific places in the markets where they operate.
Finding your target audience makes it easier to target and identify potential customers, and reduce marketing and promotional costs.
Bonus! Niche markets have evolved into mass markets. Apple computers delivered to a cult-like following that loved their products for their user-friendly application and reliability before launching themselves to superstar status with the innovation of the iPod, iPhone and iPad 30 years later.
Like Apple, companies need to innovate and reinvent themselves to remain competitive. Markets saturate too fast to be stagnant. A bigger fish in a smaller pond has the potential to attract huge results if they properly pinpoint their ideal client base.
Start with your client list and select the ones you like working with most. Determine what characteristics they have in common. Possible areas to notice are: gender, occupation, age bracket, relationship status, children, etc. Isolating the most common characteristics of your favorite clients will give you the prototype for your ideal niche market.
Next, ask yourself the following questions:
• How does my company relate to my customers? If you need help determining this, take a survey.
• What’s different about what I offer? To stand out, there must be a reason why your brand is better than the competition. Great prices or having a phenomenal staff are often not good enough reasons to be the best.
• How do I set myself ahead of the competition? Examine your competition’s reputation both online and in the real world. Determine their standing with your niche. Notice areas where you succeed where they fail and build upon your strengths.
Staying in touch with the needs of your clientele is the most important part of niche marketing. They are the lifeblood of your business. Adapt to the ebb and flow of their demands while staying true to your own mission for your company to stay ahead long term.
*Information about Carlo’s Bake Shop updated in July 2020.