You see, in the good old days, most businesses were local. You had a village baker, seamstress, greengrocer... and so on. Your niche was that you were the person who had the connections or the skills, and that was that.
Nowadays, anyone can make the connections or gain the skills. The Internet has greatly leveled the playing field which means your niche needs to be tighter than I’m the local baker. You need a story behind it.
Now before I go any further, let me clarify something. When I say a tight ‘niche’, I mean your Unique Selling Point (USP), the thing your business is known for. So, for example, you could be a baker, but you’re “the baker that makes those Mint and Matcha Profiteroles on St Patrick’s Day”. I’ll be using the two terms interchangeably in this post.
Defining your niche doesn’t have to start with who you serve. It’s easier to be clear on who your serve once you figure out why you want to serve them. Once you’ve figured out why the rest (who, what, where and how) will all fall into place.
So let’s apply this to our baker. She likes to make novelty bakes so she spends time tinkering with flavours and ingredients to create new takes on old bakes. Her personal whys are “fun” and “pushing boundaries”.
This then translates into:
A USP of themed delicious pastries that you won’t find elsewhere.
A target audience of pastry lovers with a disposable income.
For as long as she makes them personally, her customers will based in her local area (or further if a courier service is offered). A brick and mortar store would need to be placed in an affluent area.
Positioning of her service and products as luxury items as they will be purchased as gifts or as a treat to oneself.
Now having said that, it doesn’t mean she can’t sell more standard bakes like artisan breads or birthday cakes, but what she is known for – the story people tell about her – is that she sells green profiteroles.
A good company has a strong brand. A good brand starts with a strong story. What story does your company tell?
Ade Goode is a web designer who coaches technophobes to become more comfortable with online technologies.