Is it better to be a small fish in a big pond (where you risk getting gobbled up by bigger fishes) OR to be a big fish in a small pond? It’s a question more and more brands are asking themselves these days. Continuous evolution is the key to survival. Take for instance the recent, tragic case of Toys “R” Us, Inc. One might believe that they had found their niche as THE biggest toy store chain in the world. Unfortunately, its inability to evolve due to mismanaged debt and growing competition from retailers like Walmart have apparently led to its untimely demise – at least here in the U.S. When you read the lamenting tales of bloggers and journalists who grew up as “Toys “R” Us Kids,” it’s clear that the final blow to Toys “R” Us’ success was something deeper… they lost that personal touch – that ability to connect with its audience and make them believe that they, too, should be a “Toys “R” Us Kid.”
The American Marketing Association (AMA) suggests that “as personalization increases, brands will find growth opportunities in niches rather than mass markets.” Trying to be everything to everyone is seemingly only working for Amazon these days. Personalized marketing involves a combination of data analysis and digital technology to deliver personal, targeted messaging to current and prospective customers. In doing so in an effective way, sometimes your niche finds YOU. Through tracking, it should become clear who is responding and to what they are responding. One way to go about it might be to use that knowledge to help find your niche, and then consider a rebrand to fit.
From logo and website to an across the board digital marketing plan, a strategic marketing partner like Woodall Creative Group can not only help you determine that core audience and the messaging they want to hear but can also design a rebrand to which your niche will respond. Our team was called upon by longtime client, Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academies, in 2010 to help them change the way they were perceived in the market. Virtually since the company’s launch, Kids ‘R’ Kids had used a logo at their schools all across the nation that reflected a more playful vibe. Due to the evolution of their business and the changing perception of early education in the marketplace, Woodall Creative Group revamped their brand from an image related mainly to childcare to that of an elite learning academy – which their new logo reflected. This, in turn, impacted all of their collateral material, signage, messaging, website and more, and eight later, Kids ‘R’ Kids continues to reap the rewards of this gutsy move.
Entrepreneur Magazine has outlined the following five qualities for any good niche:
- It takes you where you want to go—in other words, it conforms to your long-term vision.
- Somebody else wants it—namely, customers.
- It’s carefully planned.
- It’s one-of-a-kind, the “only game in town.” – NOTE: While WCG agrees that this an ideal, it’s often a tall order for most brands, particularly in larger cities. However, we firmly believe that just about any company can find something unique that they have to offer their target audience… something that strongly distinguishes them from their competition.
- It evolves, allowing you to develop different profit centers and still retain the core business, thus ensuring long-term success.
In today’s world, companies need to resist the age-old practice of casting a broad net and employing shotgun marketing tactics. Instead, consider using these tools to determine your niche:
- Begin with what YOU want. Define who your ideal customer might be.
- Next, determine whether or not your product AND your brand image is a good fit for your ideal customer. You may own a cookware retail shop, but your NICHE could be “affluent aspiring chefs”. Your product line should reflect that, as should your messaging and brand image. To enhance your standing among that core group (and increase the level of personalization), you could begin marketing cooking workshops on social media.
- Now it’s time to start a dialogue. You may conduct a focus group or actually TALK to people who fit your idea of the ideal customer. Find out what they want and how you can improve. This step may involve several layers to determine if you’re ready to pull the trigger or head back to the drawing board.
- Now that you’ve done your homework, it’s time to take your plan to the implementation stage. This is where your creative partner will prove most helpful as they design a rebrand to fit your niche.
Need help determining your niche and designing a rebrand to fit? Woodall Creative Group and our talented team of designers, content specialists and account managers welcome the chance to help you! Contact us TODAY to schedule an evaluation of your current brand image and target audience! We can be reached at 706-658-0244, firstname.lastname@example.org or via our convenient online contact form.