Identify And Go After Your Own Niche Market


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Identify And Go After Your Own Niche Market

  1. 1. ==== ====How To Generate Huge Profits In Niche Marketing Made Easy! ====There are many profitable niches out there (and new ones coming into the marketplace everyday.Theyre waiting for you to tap them.Why dont more retailers focus on niche markets? Its mostly about fear. Fear of actually losing asale. You dont have enough sales already... right? Your concerned you wont find enoughcustomers and youd be walking away from known sales dollars today that you already have?Wrong!These fears are unfounded for the most part. While establishing your store in a new niche maytake some time and it will mean getting out of your comfort zone, there are a lot of dollars to befound by being a big fish in a smaller more focused pond. There is nothing to be gained by beingjust another small fish in an ocean of customers filled with whales who may end up swallowing youwhole. If you dont make a substantial change in your approach, how can you expect differentresults than youve had for years? The fact is, in the competitive marketplace of the future, thedemand for specialized products or services will increase.As I have preached often, the key to surviving and thriving in a competitive retail environment is tofind and dominate a niche of your own. Unless you have the time and money to compete with thebig boys, youd be a lot smarter to do what they cant-focus and become the expert in a highlyspecialized segment of the market. Stop worrying about competing with the big boys out there onany level or category. You dont need the sales volume they need, you dont have the budget theyhave, and you dont have the staff or the stuff they have. So, quit trying to compete with themusing the rules they play by. You cant afford it and you cant be successful.When you have limited resources, why would you wont to spread you time, your money and yourmarketing efforts. If your store tries to sell carpeting, what are the chances that your customers willnot perceive any greater value in buying from store or any other carpet store? What will make yourspecial or different from anyone else? The lowest common denominator for customers will be theprice, and if theres nothing else to compete with or compare to, naturally the cheapest alternativewins (usually). Price is King and your just another one of the kings court!Instead, focus on one or two very specific segments of the market where you can become a realplayer in your geographic area. Why advertise and go after everyone, when you can focus on yourcustomers in a more specific place where your customers can be found? You can and mustestablish your store by finding a specialty niche and being better at it than anyone else.The more unique your store is, the less competition you will have... period! The less competitionyou have, the more in demand you are for "your" market. And the more in demand or unique youare, the less important price becomes. (MBAs would call this In price elasticity.)
  2. 2. By defining your ideal prospect as specifically as you possibly can in writing and then focusingonly on that group, you increase your likelihood of selling your customers. You are more capableof success with your customers since you can focus your message to that group specifically. Youcan also focus your knowledge and your staffs knowledge to become the experts who reallyunderstand and know your niche. So, what are you doing to make your store truly unique for yourideal customer?"Focusing on a niche means picking out a specialized corner of the market and diving in. It meansmaking or selling products for one special person, instead of selling a variety of products to avariety of customers."You Cant and Wont Please All CustomersThe hard and scariest part of trying to do this is realizing that you simply wont be able to make allcustomers happy. If you choose to specialize in the sale of gourmet pet treats, for example, thenyou wont exactly please those who come into your store looking for parakeet cages. If you chooseto specialize with a restaurant in New Orleans and Cajun food, youll probably not be real popularwith those looking for pastrami Reuben sandwiches. While I may be exaggerating here to make apoint, there is a major temptation with retailers to keep extending the boundaries of whom youreyour trying to sell and whom youre trying to appeal to. But if you do New Orleans and Cajun foodreally well and not in a half as?#ed way, you will much more likely have droves of loyal customersCajun lovers.The Downside is Small... The Upside Is GreatIf youre truly going to succeed in a specialty niche as a retailer or even a restaurant, you WILLhave to make some trade offs. End of story! However, understand that in the case of our Cajunrestaurant, you would be trading the complacent, so-so, average customers for the fervent,dedicated, Cajun food enthusiasts. Doesnt this make some sense? Heres one important reasonwhy. A lesser number of really enthusiastic Cajun customers who are raving about the first classno compromise way you do things will be much more loyal and vocal customer advocates thanyou would ever get by being and average me-too place trying to have everything for everyone.The only way you are going to stay in business is to have passionate customers. If you work tofind a niche sector, the chances are your potential customers will be very passionate about thatsmall market they are interested in -- for example, elite cyclists, gardening, book collectors,antique jewelry or health foods.Niches Can Be Too Small Or Low in SalesIf youre having a hard time coming up with one really strong niche, you may even want to comeup with a 2-3 smaller niches. While stores typically are not niche oriented enough, your niche canbe too small. It would be much more difficult to locate your niche customer if you were planning onopening a mailbox store. Everyone needs a mailbox, but most customers do not buy him or hervery often, or with a lot of thought. In this case, your niche might be too small or narrow. Yourniche customers must be willing to spend money. You can target a specific group of customersand offer them your new niche, but if theyre not willing to spend money on your new products,youve got nothing.
  3. 3. In addition, there should always be room for your niche category to expand. A niche must beactive enough that new products are being created for it. If you are looking at a niche that hasntseen a new product in the last 5 years, youre looking at a niche market that is pretty much over. Aprofitable niche will contain products that continue to evolve. Along the same line, the demand inyour niche must be growing. If demand in your niche isnt growing, youll quickly hit a dead-endwith your profits.Youre going to need to do some research first and foremost.There is also nothing wrong with focusing on more than one niche. Just do it them well and thenadjust your advertising and marketing to fit these various segments. The customer ultimately mustunderstand what your store is all about, so try to keep them logically related if at all possible.Questions To Help Find a NicheYour niche may be nothing more than being more complete and in depth than anyone else. Yourniche might be nothing more than youre the only store that has a fantastic warranty behindeverything you sell. It doesnt have to be a new category of products.Do I have a niche or unique product category now that needs to be emphasized?Can I use smell, sounds or atmosphere to better define my niche?Could my niche involve loaning or leasing out the product?Could my niche be total repair or replacement of my products?Ask current suppliers where they feel a niche opportunity could be found.Could my niche involve handmade or customized products?What category or area of my store excites me the most?What category or area of my store bores me and needs to be put out of its misery?Could my niche involve homegrown, home baked or better quality?Could delivery or shipping become part of my niche?Is there a dominant aesthetic in your product category or assortment? Does your assortment havea similar style to just about everything else on the market? Consider finding the dominant style inyour niche, and do the opposite.Ask customers what theyre not finding at your competitors or even your store that theyd like tosee more of.Can I do something different with my products by creating a unique atmosphere, story, or tie-inswith what I already sell.
  4. 4. Finding Your Niche PeepsTake a look at three or four potential target groups of customers. These maybe customers who arealready coming to your store and like some of what they see, but theyre just knot seeing enoughof what they want. Find out what their common needs and wants are and then break out segmentspecific needs. Once you find them youre going to want to target each group directly with theseneeds in mind. Try to think like your target customer. Put yourself in their shoes if at all possible.Create a survey and ask people what they want to see more of. Then just remember, you canttarget everyone. Again, you cant please everyone and you cant market to everyone. Its simplytoo expensive, so drill down to one or two do-able niches.Dont necessarily be afraid of competition within your niche. There is nothing wrong with runninginto some competition in your niche. Competition at least means there is a market out there andsomeone is making a living doing what you want to do. No competition could mean there is nomarket.Step one in identifying YOUR target customers for your store is to clearly define your special nicheto yourself at first. What can you offer thats unique, different, better, more in-depth, moreeducational, more of an experience than any of your competitors? Youre going to need to do alittle research and maybe a little brainstorming. Find out what customers like best about youalready. Find out what customers are looking for and make sure theres a healthy market for whatyou plan to sell. Identify possible underserved categories and opportunities with your store. Onceyouve identified your own niche, youre then in a much better position to go after "your" targetcustomers. Its much easier to after YOUR group of target customers than to try to market toeveryone. TRUST ME! You cannot be everything to everyone.Take the first and best customers who are already fans of your niche products or services andconsider them a bit of an experiment and use them to refine your store as you go forward. Yourcustomers have related needs and desires. Keep things somewhat related. If you sell bakingmolds it is very likely that your customer also needs a spatula, or whisk. It is unlikely that the samecustomer coming to your store will be there looking for a shovel. While a niche might be successfulthat is totally unrelated, it is more likely to be the exception."All of this may seem obvious, but youd be surprised at how many people merchandise theirstores with merchandise that makes no sense to anyone! Sports collectables dont belong in aclock store. And "Shaklee" products dont belong in a corner of a cookie store. You may be sellingboth niches but confusing customers and compromising your store and your efforts withoutrealizing it."When youre starting out especially, you want to get very clear on what your customers needs anddesires are, and you need to be very specific at letting your customers know what youre all about.Your niche could very easily capitalize on a specialized product of an existing product line. Mostnew niche markets are adaptations of existing ones. Youll rarely find a niche that is totally newand it usually doesnt come from a market that never before existed. It is more likely to come out ofan industry where there is demand already. While you can build an unrelated product line into aniche, it wont be as easy or as rapid as selling in a niche with existing demand.
  5. 5. Clearly Define Your Store To CustomersDefine your niche and make it clear to your customers what you are all about. Dont be wishy-washy here. Once you know who your target niche customers are, differentiate yourself from yourcompetitors. Developing an expertise in a given niche will give you a better understanding of thegroup and help make your store the go-to store. Once youve decided on your niche and you feelyou can clearly define what your store is all about to your customers, youll want to continue to findall the extras you can add to develop the category and bring more even more value to thosecustomers. It always comes down to knowing the customer and finding out what would be of valueto them.Marketing To Your NicheThe next step requires a bit of creativity and research as well. Think about the customers who willbe the most interested and jazzed about your new specialty or niche. Be tough and strong here.Dont focus on the people who might be interested. Focus only on the people who will begenuinely excited about what you will be offering. Your marketing presence and possibly evenphysical presence needs to be where those target customers can be found. For example, if youroffering specialty gardening supplies, you may want to target garden clubs, gardening magazinesor newsletters. The local newspaper may not be targeted enough or specific enough to reallyefficiently go after YOUR customers. Go after the places where your most passionate and ferventcustomers can be found.Once YOUR target customers find you and like you,they will become a natural arm of youradvertising budget and best of all this doesnt cost a thing other than taking good care of yourcustomers.Where To Look For Your Niche CustomersWork to learn everything you can about that customer: What motivates them? Is price important tothem? What makes them smile? How do they decide to buy?- Organizations and associations and meet-up groups. Offer to be at the events where they gettogether. Be a workshop presenter and get your store out there in front of them.- Special online blogs, communities and groups.- Direct mail lists- Yellow Page advertising- Local clubs and meetings- Specialty magazines and newsletters- Trade shows- Internet communities- Facebook- Conferences- Check with your local Chamber of Commerce or local government newsletter or website foropportunities.- Local clubs and meetings- Fan clubs
  6. 6. - Where does your niche customer go for entertainment, further education, etc?- Also consider working with another large well-known company that already offers some relatedservices or products your target group buys. You may be able to offer up your services or productsto their customers.Note: If you cant find a variety of good ways to market to your niche group, you might want toreconsider your choice for your niche. If your "niche" is too big to define and target, and you haveno good way to market to groups as outlined above... then your "niche" may not be a good nicheat all, and youll need to work harder to find a niche that can be marketed to. While I dont know"your" store, Im betting that it probably needs a more narrow scope or specialty that will create awinning and profitable formula for your business in a difficult economic time.©2011 Retail Redefined and All rights reserved.Rich Gordon (author of the new book, "A Line Out The Door" and blog host at over 24 years at the front lines and the executive suites in a retail career that has spannedevery area of the industry from a large mass merchandiser, midsize dealer organization for aninnovative and up-and-coming computer manufacturer, to owning his own retail stores.Along the way, Rich turned a motley group of computer dealers into true retailers and later took hisown business to multiple stores, serving an upscale and celebrity clientele that spawned two otherbusinesses: one serving Fortune 500 clients-and a wholesale operation that supplied otherretailers. Through his educational website/blog and various writings, Rich (better known as RetailRich) teaches specialty retailers how to take their stores to a new level of performance and profitswhile staying 100% true to the shop of their dreams. Whether you want to be more creative, moreprofitable or strengthen your business by separating yourself from the competition, Rich can helpwith humor as well as tough love. If you want to be taken seriously as a retailer today, follow himon line at http://retailrichez.comArticle Source: ====How To Generate Huge Profits In Niche Marketing Made Easy!
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