Before the Internet, things were different. We didn’t realize it but we were confined by geography. Geography organized us into narrow niches. People found us by proximity. The limits of transportation were the niche boundaries. We put our stores at the corner of State and Main where the traffic would be sure to see us.
But the Internet blew those niches apart. People no longer need to walk, drive, or take a bus pass the corner of State and Main. We’re now competing with businesses and attracting customers from Alabama to Zimbabwe. Without the geography to define us, we look like everyone else who does what we do.
Those geographic niche that focused and limited our market gave us an advantage. We could be “the only” or “the best” book store in town. But now “the town” is the world. Were unlikely to be the only book store. Who’s to decide what’s “the best” book store? The way to stand out at the new State and Main — the front page of Google — is to replace that old narrow geographic niche with a new one. A narrow niche takes back that one-of-a-kind wider opportunity.
Why Customers Love Narrow Niche-Brand Marketers
Narrowing your niche is about quality over quantity. As you narrow in on a smaller group of people to serve, the job of serving that group becomes easier. We see the same problems played out over a variety of situations, so we get to become expert on those problems. We can design our work and our place of business to better serve them. They recognize that we know what makes them tick.
Nothing beats that.
Build A Narrow Niche Brand to Widen Your Opportunity
Here’s how to build a narrow niche brand.
- Define a niche for your business. Choose a niche you truly care about. Find a place to stand. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Do one or two things that play to your strengths and passions. Do those things better than anyone else.
- Find out everything about the customers in your chosen niche. First and foremost, make sure that said customers exist. Then don’t just get information. Fall in love with everyone of them. Figure out how to crawl into their skin and feel their pain. Know their loves and their wishes. Find their needs and desires. Learn to read what they’re not saying.
- Define your brand through your customers’ world view. In reality, you don’t define your brand, your customers do. When you understand your customers intimately, find a way to state your brand–what you and your customers stand for–in less than one sentence. Write those words everywhere your customer will see your name, your blog’s name, or your business name. Let them know you mean it.
- Use your brand to test every decision you make–large or small. Be your brand. Live it. Make your brand show in every detail, every action, every move you make. If you live your brand, and test every decision against it by asking, Will this help my customers see my brand? your customers are more likely to buy into the brand you’ve chosen on their behalf.
- Be authentic; never skimp on quality; never go against your brand; and you will set the standard. You won’t just be different; you will be unique, irreplaceable. Authenticity cannot be “knocked off and done more cheaply.” Attempts to copy you will only be poor facsimiles. Quality and authenticity are the birthplace of brand loyalty. Customers will know where to find the real thing. Once they find it. They stick with it.
- When your customers recognize that you care about their needs, value the relationship that you have with them. Relationships will always be everything in any human endeavor. Relationships are the connections that build our businesses.
- Never lose sight of the fact that you and those you serve are people. Businesses serve people — not users, not clients, not eyeballs, not numbers — but people with thoughts, feelings, and ideas that make our businesses better. Talk to them one person at a time. Listen to them the same way. When we find someone who tries to solve our problems and who values us. We’ll go out of our way to do business with you. It’s just not that often that we get that kind of service.
That’s how small niche-brand marketers get to be great niche marketers one customer at a time. That’s how to make relationships with other really great people.
We think that people who think the same way we do are smarter than other people. So when you choose a niche that we care about, we think that you’re highly intelligent. We trust your judgment in other things too.
We are a fascinating species. When we don’t know where to go, we’ll go where everyone else goes. But give us a meaningful reason to come to you, and you’ve made a customer–a reader–possibly a friend forever.
How will you narrow your niche to widen your opportunity?