In a highly competitive market, marketers everywhere are wondering how to make their brands stand out? Niche marketing strategy may be the answer they are looking for.
Learn what a niche marketing strategy is, how to develop one, and examples of these strategies in action from popular brands.
What is a niche marketing strategy?
Designed to attract a specific subset of customers, a niche marketing strategy focuses on the narrow category that your business belongs to. It focuses on a small group of buyers, rather than the wider market. A niche strategy helps you differentiate yourself from the competition, attract people who are reluctant to buy, and increase profitability.
Developing a niche marketing strategy
1. Know your competition.
Developing a niche marketing strategy is impossible without knowing your competition.
That’s because it’s crucial to understand your unique selling proposition—what you do that makes customers choose your company over another.
Maybe you design ceramic tableware that can’t be found anywhere else, or maybe you’ve developed a tool that makes it easy for marketers to send emails.
Whatever it is, find your specialty and create a story around it.
2. Narrow your niche market.
Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky is famous for saying, “Build something that 100 people like, not something that 1 million people like.”
Simply put, it’s better to reach a small group of people who sing praises about your company, rather than a large group who think it’s okay.
You can do this by delving into the right niche market for your business. While this takes time and thought, it’s worth the effort to find loyal customers who will gladly choose you over the competition.
For example, Thirdlove is the first underwear company to offer bras in medium cups. Through their inclusive size options and emphasis on body diversity, they’ve built a loyal community of over 327,000 Instagram followers.
3. Go where your buyers are.
If your ideal customer spends all their time scrolling through Facebook, it wouldn’t make sense to develop a niche marketing strategy around email campaigns.
This is where the value of market research comes in.
You already know who your buyers are, but research helps you dig deeper to find out where they shop, how they find products, and what influences their purchasing decisions.
Once you have this information, you’ll get the most bang for your buck in marketing.
4. Hear the word on the street.
Everyone has problems that need solutions.
By listening to people’s thoughts on a certain product or service, you can find opportunities to fill in the gaps.
David Barnett did just that when he designed a solution for headphones that were constantly getting tangled. What started as two buttons glued to the back of a phone case quickly became Popsockets, a company that generated $169 million in revenue just seven years after its founding.
5. Create a unique brand.
Once you’ve defined your unique selling point, outlined your buyer persona, figured out where to reach them, and listened to their problems, all that’s left is to create a brand identity.
A well-defined brand will help you develop a niche marketing strategy that is authentic to you i attract ideal customers.
For example, Etsy’s position as a marketplace for independent artists has attracted more than 138 million buyers.
In a 2020 TV ad, the brand talked about the pandemic and used emotional marketing tactics to encourage support for small businesses that sell through the platform.
8 Niche Marketing Strategy Examples
1. Malenki shoes
Malenki Shoes was born after its founder noticed a gap in the market for fashionable shoes for petite women.
This company empowers petite women with fun and stylish heels and sandals instead of just children’s shoes at your local shoe store.
As a niche brand, Malenki Shoes has harnessed the power of influencer marketing to increase brand awareness.
By partnering with influencers who showcase small fashion brands, they not only benefit from the credibility of those influencers, but also reach a wider audience.
Despite all the progress made around gender fluidity, finding gender neutral clothing is still difficult for many.
This is the problem TomboyX’s founders set out to solve and the niche market they entered by creating a gender-inclusive clothing brand.
The brand caters for everyone, with products ranging from compression tops and soft bras to shorts and swim trunks.
As part of their marketing strategy, TomboyX created a #TomboyTuesday content series, in which they interview self-identified boys about their lives and journeys to self-love.
Former pastry chef ✅
He makes TikToks on his days off. ✅
He recently sold his house to travel the world. ✅
Coolest Newfie we’ve ever met. ✅
— TomboyX (@tomboyx) July 12, 2022
This strategy allows the brand to highlight community members, create content that resonates with their audience, and further grow their brand.
A few years ago, traditional salons offered packages for women, usually a wash, blow dry, cut and iron, a lengthy process that could have you in the salon for several hours.
Then came DryBar, which offered a service: blowouts. This niche service changed the way consumers viewed a salon experience.
How did they spread? One way was through his simple but effective tagline: “No cuts. No color. Just pops.”
This simple tagline allowed consumers to quickly understand what DryBar was all about and what it offered. From there, their brand awareness grew considerably, earning them news coverage across the United States
4. Flylow Gear
With 9.2 million skiers and snowboarders in the United States, the pool of potential customers seems wide enough for anyone to share.
But popular brands like Patagonia and The North Face can be found in almost every sports store, making it difficult to convince customers to look for smaller brands with fewer offerings.
Flylow Gear figured out how to fight noise. Instead of targeting all customers interested in winter gear, their niche marketing strategy focuses on backcountry skiers looking for quality, no-nonsense gear.
Their products are featured in all the right places, including Powder magazine, to reach their ideal buyers. Even their confirmation emails share that they are a small team of dedicated mountain skiers.
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5. Octavia Elizabeth Jewelry
For ethically minded consumers looking for jewelry, the most important factor is knowing the sourcing of raw materials and the creation of products.
This is because this $300 billion industry has been criticized for using child labor and causing great environmental damage.
Octavia Elizabeth understands the need for responsible jewelry. The company’s commitment to fair working conditions, legitimate living wages and ethical production is clearly stated on its website.
Octavia Elizabeth has not only focused on customers looking for sustainably sourced handcrafted jewelry who are willing to pay a premium price, but the brand has also increased its niche offering by partnering with celebrity clients.
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6. Natural Dog Company
According to a Statista study, Americans spent more than $123 billion on their pets in 2021 alone.
So how can a pet-focused business stand out among the thousands of memory foam beds, custom handbags, and dog-friendly ice cream that saturate the market?
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Natural Dog Company caters to a very specific type of pet owner: the eco-friendly consumer who pampers their dog.
By naming their organic and natural skin care products like PAWdicure Pack and offering discount codes for free dog treats, they put pups first, which is exactly what their customers do.
Learning a new language can be a struggle, and the options for doing so are certainly overwhelming. Will you really speak like a Parisian after spending $1,000 on a program?
Instead of making promises of perfect grammar and impeccable accents, Pimsleur focuses on conversational skills.
To promote their product, Pimsleur works with polyglot influencers who can vouch for their effectiveness in learning new languages.
Through your affiliate marketing program, you can reach new consumers regularly and win customers.
8. Photographers without borders
It’s one thing to get people to buy a product, but it’s another thing to get donors to a nonprofit.
While this type of organization may not seem like the right fit for a niche marketing strategy, it is essential for bringing in donations and volunteers.
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Photographers Without Borders has partnered with major organizations like Adobe, Sony, and Patagonia to delve into a particular marketing technique: storytelling.
By prioritizing ethical storytelling, whether in a social media post, email newsletter or online webinar, the organization has built a reputation for producing high-quality work that addresses the 17 Goals of Sustainable Development of the United Nations and UNDRIP.
Additionally, their code of ethics makes it clear what type of community members and partners they aim to attract.
Creating a niche marketing strategy that drives your business growth is more than creating a social media ad or sending out a weekly email promotion.
By taking the time to get to know your customers and differentiate your brand, you can develop a strategy that will attract the right buyers and help you achieve your growth goals.