Extending your brand can be dangerous. While it might seem that casting a wide net increases your opportunities to connect with more people and sell more products, the opposite is more often the result. In other words, it’s usually more expensive and less profitable to try to be all things to all consumers than it is to define your strength and your competitive advantage and then focus on winning by niche branding.
Niche branding is a highly focused brand that offers specific benefits to a specific customer segment. Instead of making your brand one of many that offer similar benefits and pricing, establish your branding niche and be the brand that owns that niche in consumers’ minds.
1. The consumer audience has to include a segment that shares a unique want or need. Spend some time analyzing the broad consumer audience in your industry and define the varied wants and needs that audience members have for brands, logo designs, products, and services like yours. Look for a specific, unique need shared by a smaller segment of the broad audience that you can fulfill. Furthermore, look at the environment where you do business. Geo-targeting can be an excellent way to define a niche for your brand.
2. You must be able to fulfill the need defined in #1 better than competitors. It’s harder to take ownership of a niche if one of your competitors already owns it. However, if you can fill a niche better than your competitors, you’re on your way to niche branding success! Define your target audience’s needs based on your defined niche and then make sure they understand how you can meet those needs.
3. You don’t have to invest a lot of money to find and communicate with the target audience. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to find even the smallest segments of consumers; however, in order to generate an acceptable return on your marketing investment, your target audience needs to be highly accessible and open to hearing your messages. Find out where your target audience spends time on the social web and start listening to their conversations, so you get a deeper understanding of their wants and needs. Bottom-line, if you’re trying to communicate with a niche audience, don’t blindly pursue broad marketing tactics that are likely to be ignored.
4. Your target audience is big enough that you can actually create a profitable niche brand. A niche audience is always a smaller audience by definition, but that audience still needs to be big enough that you can make a profit from it. You need to balance the investments required to launch and maintain a niche brand strategy with the possible returns that niche brand could generate.
5. Your target audience isn’t already targeted by a competitor nor are their needs met by a competitor as well as you can meet them. The biggest opportunities for niche branding happen when a brand new niche is defined that no one else is catering to. However, you can also focus on a niche that competitors are already targeting when you can meet the needs of that niche in a better way. DIY Logo Design is a niche market, but it meets the needs of several small business that want a professional logo design, but have a limited budget. By offering things like beauty logos, automotive logos, and food logos, we are able to fit well with the needs of small business.
The trick to niche branding is to define a viable niche that you can own without breaking the bank. Look for a niche that opens the opportunity for you to slowly and continuously steal market share from your competitors and watch your business and brand equity grow.