With pretty much every industry and every product segment being saturated, standing out as a brand seems like a very tough job. Chances are all your marketing meetings are sprinkled with clichés like “out-of-the-box”, “quirky” to begin the list. Turns out there is a way for a brand to stand out, despite the competition and clutter.
The answer to building a brand that is successful despite clutter and traffic lies in building niche brands. This is precisely where Niche Branding steps in. The brand is one of the most important assets that any company can have. Without it, consumers and buyers are free to opt for businesses/products and services that seem cheaper or in favor of better-known brands.
As global markets tighten, niche markets offer the ability to dominate by taking advantage of the loyal customer base that niche brands can create. While branding should be about the company and the brand, it really isn’t. It’s about how customers perceive the company. Branding should be about the consumers, who eventually become brand loyalists pushing the brand message ahead.
Broad brands versus niche or deep brands
While broad brands appeal to a large base of audience, niche brands go a step extra to create deep relationships with their consumers. Brands that solve a very particular problem/have a unique proposition compared to brands that are more generic and broader in their service offerings, are likely to gain a much stronger base of loyal customers. With more motivated customers, any marketing activity resonates to a much deeper level with higher elements of brand recall and affability. Deep or Niche brands are the ones that appeal to a much narrower set of people, but they create a lot of value for those people.
Take the prominent beauty and bath brand, Lush for instance.
The popular beauty brand, Lush develops eco-friendly and organic bath range, that’s ideally suited for those suffering from sensitive skin. This means that the brand has developed a specific product to suit a defined target audience. This is key to niche branding. The brand goes an extra mile by engaging with their customers as they organize workshops from time to time. This means that the brand has developed a certain loyalty with their customers, as they interact with their customers on one-on-one interaction, through the workshops.
How about the computing brand Apple?
Back in the time, when Apple created a computing contraption, it operated on the Macintosh system. The product came built-in with a sophisticated firewall that would keep viruses at bay. This meant users didn’t have to invest in the anti-virus post the one time spend on the machine. The sophisticated firewall is a problem that addressed the woes of a number of users back then. Especially when they work with high-end confidential data, they couldn’t afford losing the same. So how did Apple penetrate a market that was rife with the competition?
Apple relies on simplicity. They have strapping imagery on all their packaging and advertisements that does all the talking. Their packaging is clean and clutter-free. Simplicity. A total contrast to the flashy imagery incorporated by other brands. This also extends to the Apple packaging.
Niche Branding enables your customers to take your brand ahead
It is essential to run a tooth comb through the market in order to identify your target audience. A narrower niche will not only receive the product better, but will help deliver the product or service to a bigger target audience. By this time the brand was established. Take the Apple iPod for instance. When the gadget was launched it created a wave in the market and converted ardent Discman users to becoming iPod enthusiasts. Your product or service can be termed as ‘unique’ if it duly addresses the problems faced by your target audience, and even foresees issues from a futuristic perspective.
Keeping in touch with your consumers through a number of activities will not only enhance brand loyalty but will help one to comprehend issues with your existing product or service better. It gives you an opportunity to make for a better comeback on the product.
Niche branding is a key asset to every organization. It is a strategy that can be successfully incorporated for any business variation both online and offline. Entrepreneurs can advantageously use it and aspiring counting houses to further their business. Enhanced brand loyalty proves to serve as a wild card in the long run, that could foster heightened digits and better brand recall. Niche branding is connecting with your audience (customers and prospects) in a targeted way that focuses on their needs and circumstances, and not necessarily on you or your product.
Written by Hiren Panchal,Co-Founder of Litmus Branding