Niche markets are great, but what about a micro niche market? I recently met the owner of Synergyair, a successful company serving people who need assistance assembling airplane kits. My first thought was, “I never imagined there was a need for such a thing”. It turns out that a combination of FAA regulatory issues and […]
Niche markets are great, but what about a micro niche market? I recently met the owner of Synergyair, a successful company serving people who need assistance assembling airplane kits. My first thought was, “I never imagined there was a need for such a thing”. It turns out that a combination of FAA regulatory issues and technical challenges makes this micro-niche possible. We’ve all met people who run successful businesses in very narrow niche markets. You may have wondered how on earth anyone can make a living servicing such a small market, let alone build a job-creating, profitable enterprise. If you are considering starting a business or are looking for some new energy for your existing business, consider focusing on a micro-niche.
What is a “micro-niche”?
To understand what a “micro-niche” is, let’s first start by describing a “niche market”. Isotoner is a brand commonly associated with selling fashionable gloves. They serve a fairly narrow niche market. Not everyone is actively searching for gloves, but when the desire for a quality pair of gloves to match a clothing ensemble arises, Isotoner will be a solid company to shop. They will never have the market size of companies such as Nike or Netflix, but they can be a dominate player in the niche market for gloves.
What if you took the glove business to an even narrower, micro-niche? What about people with only one hand? People with one hand need a single glove, yet they are often required to buy a pair. What do they do with the remaining glove? It’s a real problem that real people face. Check out this blog post written by Alejandro Anastasio: OneHandSpeaks. In this post he describes this exact problem. I didn’t find any companies focusing on gloves for these potential customers, but I did find other products being sold to this micro-niche. Did you know there are computer keyboards for people with one hand? Brilliant!
Connecting with your fans.
Lie-Nielsen Tools only makes expensive, high quality hand tools. Picky Bars sells specially formulated energy bars to long-distance runners and cyclists. CocoPolo sells chocolate bars primarily to people reducing carbs in their diet. Have you ever heard of any of these companies? If you are not making hand-crafted furniture, competing in triathlons, or on a Keto diet, you are probably not a potential customer of these three companies. Each of these companies has successfully built a solid customer base within their very narrow market. They have few competitors and have loyal fans.
Forty years ago, it may have been too difficult or too expensive to reach potential customers in a micro-niche. Today, our global connectivity allows us to effectively communicate our offerings to these customers wherever they are. More importantly, our micro-niche customers are well connected within communities of people who share the same wants or needs. Your customers will tell others within their community about your business. If you serve your micro-niche well, with a quality offering, you will be amazed by how quickly the word will spread. Micro-niche companies have little need for advertising. Here at Singing Dog Vanilla we do not advertise. Our customers who want organically grown, fair trade, sugar free, gluten free, vanilla, tell others about our products.
Is “micro” niche market too small?
It’s reasonable to assume that a business focusing on too narrow of a niche will never become a giant like Microsoft or Amazon. If your goal is to build a company with the greatest number of customers and a budget for Super Bowl ads, then you are correct. However, consider my example company that sells gloves to people with one hand. How many potential customers are there in the USA? The answer is tens of thousands. What if you expand your offering globally? Or even grow to include shoes for people with only one foot? Well, your potential customer base rises to millions of individuals. Your business can grow to become a very big fish within a micro-niche pond.