Niche Business Marketing – How to Do It

Starting up a business is an easy job to do, but making it successful is challenging, especially when you’re competing against several business rivals. In that case, targeting a niche market is perhaps the most successful idea you can work on.To succeed in your business, you first need to determine the market and identify the customers you’re going to target. This is what all the businessmen do. Usually, they target a large group of people with various demographics.However, a niche market is a defined group of people that have ‘particular’ needs. By keeping in view those specific needs, you operate your business to render the products or services that meet their demands. You deal in those special products or services which mainstream businesses have overlooked.For instance, many shoe brands provide a vast variety of shoes. But, if your business deals in providing shoes for people with plantar fasciitis, you are targeting a niche; a specific segment of the market. This is what a niche market is.Coming to the niche business marketing, it is specializing in one area of business while targeting a specific segment of the market.You Must Know Your Target Niche Market Inside OutDetermining your niche market is crucial for operating your business. It not only helps you to set and expand your marketing budget but also give you a clear insight into where to advertise. Further, it makes you stand out above your competitors.For selecting a niche, you need to think about what you are best at. So, you will have enough knowledge regarding the product or service you will be dealing in. To make it clearer, let’s take some ideas you can work on to run your niche business.Today, many people demand diet foods such as gluten-free, low-calorie, organic or vegans. However, they rarely find it in eateries. If they find their diet food online, they prefer to buy it online rather than preparing it at home. This is because it is more convenient for them.Similarly, certain people hardly get their size in apparel stores. Therefore, offering plus-sized and petite clothing to these potential customers will not be a bad idea for your niche business.Niche MarketingBefore getting down to the nitty-gritty of niche marketing, let’s talk about some businesses dealing in niche markets. Lefty’s, based in San Francisco, is a store that sells school stationery, gardening tools, kitchen goods and a lot more. What’s the best part? All their products are specialized for left-handers! Furthermore, they also offer customized gifts for the lefties in your life.Furthermore, Vermont Wooden Toys are known to offer their specialty; handcrafted toys. Based in the Green Mountain State, the business is owned by a proprietor Ron Voake. People buy his products because of certain values- dedication, love, and craftsmanship. They place their orders on the website or over phone calls.In the same way, you need to practice several marketing strategies to make the best use of your business. Take a look for a few niche business marketing tips here.User-Generated ContentThe era when company ads would persuade people to buy a product is long gone. Today, they usually look for experiences. They go online and search for user-generated content before purchasing a particular product.User-generated content works in two ways; advertises your brand for free, and increases your credibility. And what’s more? It brings new customers to you. To have a better understanding, you can study previous success stories of other brands that implemented the UGC strategy.Advertising Platforms You Need To LeverageAs niche marketing isn’t regular marketing, you need to pinpoint specific platforms for advertising your product. Promoting your niche business on social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter isn’t a bad idea. However, the thing is these platforms are already over-populated with other business rivals hence leading to high-competition.In that case, you can limit your promotion and brand visibility to specific demographics on these platforms to reach out to your targeted customers. No matter what tactic you choose, make sure to reach your niche market cost-effectively.Partnering With Other ServicesTo reach out your business goals, develop a kind of service that not only offers a great product to your customers but also give them a fantastic experience. You can do this by providing additional services such as product delivery.However, niche businesses are small, and therefore it can be costly for you to offer extra services to your customers. For this, you can team up with other service providers to cater to your customers in a better way.Marketing OfflineIt is crucial to determine your customers’ preferences and priorities to run your business. Well, you are required to market your product offline for two reasons. First, your targeted segment may not be tech-savvy enough to leverage internet access. Second, your customers might want to make their orders offline, depending on your product nature.Furthermore, there are many ideas to market your product offline while adopting cost-effective methods. For instance, you can distribute your brand’s promotional materials such as business cards, coupons or pamphlets in any local events. This will boost the physical connection between potential customers and your brand.Leveraging InfluencersTo operate a niche business, you must first figure out your customers’ niche interests. Once you are done with it, look for the Instagram influencers who appeal your target segment and have a large number of followers. Approach them. Send a few of your products for free and ask for a shoutout in return. This won’t only help you in increasing your audience but also builds trust about your brand.Segmented MarketingWell, targeting a specific segment of the market for your niche business isn’t enough. You’ll have to gather and evaluate data on their demographics, values, and interests. Then, you further segment it and approach each group within your targeted niche. In this way, you’re able to engage with your niche market. Doing so will help you to maximize your business.ConclusionAs compared to other businesses that target a wide audience with unspecific interests, a niche business focuses on the particular needs of a determined group of people. However, if you want your business to be flourished, you need to identify your niche market first.While focusing on your specific customers, there are plenty of strategies you can adopt to achieve your business goals. By implementing the tactics mentioned above, you’ll be able to maintain your budgets and maximize your business.In addition to that, you can also employ other strategies or new ways to promote your business. No matter what strategies you’re working in with, the main thing you have to keep in focus is your customers’ interests. It will surely help you adopt the right tactics for your business, increase profits and raise brand awareness.

The Dynamics of Co-Branding Strategies Within the Retail Sector of South Africa

The concept of co-branding as a branding instrument has been around for many a year. In the past decade we saw extensive growth in the use of co-branding as a brand leverage instrument.A study conducted by Johan Schwartz investigated the perceptions of brand practitioners towards co-branding within the retail industry of South Africa. This study found that retail brand managers perceive co-branding an effective and viable brand strategy.Academic authors suggest that co-branding occurs when two or more existing brands are combined into a new joint product or are marketed together in the same fashions.Co-branding also involve two or more firms that associate their brands together to create superior market offerings, or to engage in effective strategic or tactical brand-building program. The long lasting brand relationship between Wimpy and Engen is a classical example of joint ventures co-branding. Other examples of brands connections and the creation of a unique (and or new) products or service include: McDonalds and Coke, McDonalds and Disney, Shoprite and Computicket, KFC and Cadburys, House of Coffees and Russell Hobbs.In the past few years the use of co-branding as a brand strategy has excelled. National Retailers and financial institutions were at the forefront of the expanding this brand leverage strategy. Pick n Pay and Nedbank’s Go banking were one of the first well communicated co-branding ventures.Other retailers and financial institutions followed suit and a vast array of cross sector co-branding products were created. Examples of this inter-sectorial co-branding include, but are diffidently limited to, the following: Tiger Wheel & Tire and Hollard Insurance (Tire insurance), Shoprite and Capitech Bank (Money Transfers), Edcon and FNB (Home loans), Pep Stores and Nedbank (Pep Bank), Woolworths and Auto & General (Car & Home Insurance). In this research 112 retail brand practitioners were contacted and their perceptions towards co-branding strategies were measured though a structured survey (questionnaire).The result indicated that that retail brand managers perceive co-branding to be an important and effective brand leverage strategy. Brand managers indicated that in order for a co-branding venture to be effective, the venture must be a mutual beneficial venture and synergy must be created between the brands. The possibility of brand and sales improvement as well as the financial viability of the venture are also taken into account when proposed co-branding ventures are evaluated.The study firstly investigated the reasons why brand managers pursue co-branding strategies. Secondly the study investigated the preferred forms of co-branding. The study also examined brand managers’ main considerations when choosing a co-branding partner. Lastly the study investigated the sectors which retail brand managers prefer to co-brand with.Firstly the research found that the improvement of sales is the main reason for retail brand practitioners to pursue co-branding strategies. Secondly the research found that the improvement of brand image are deemed to be a lesser important reason for pursuing co-branding strategies.The research also found that reaching out to new segments of the market is another appropriate reason for brand practitioners to pursue co-branding. Extending the brand through a shared new product or service offering is deemed to be another appropriate reason to co-brand.The brand managers indicated that joint marketing co-branding was perceived to be the preferred co-branding form. Value endorsement and reach awareness co-branding were deemed to be the second and third most preferred co-branding. The research indicates that the possibility of sales improvement is the most important consideration when evaluating a potential a co-branding partner.The study also found that retailers consider the fit between the two brands as an important consideration when evaluating potential co-branding partners /ventures. The research results also found that companies in the FMCG sector are the preferred sector to co-brand with.The results suggest that the brand managers were not in total agreement and it implies that the when it comes to co-branding, retailers do not have particular preference towards sectors. When evaluating potential co-branding ventures, it seems that retail brand managers put more emphasize on the possibility of sales and brand improvement than on the sector they which to co-brand with.It seems evident that South African retail brand managers consider co-branding to be an effective and viable brand leverage instrument. Certain conditions and considerations were identified in this study. The perceived fit between the brands are deemed to be an important consideration when marketing managers evaluate potential co-branding strategies (and partners).Secondly managers aim to improve their sales and to reach out to a wider or new market segment when pursuing co-branding strategies. Thirdly the study found that joint-marketing co-branding were deemed to be the preferred co-branding form and retailers also indicated that FMCG companies were deemed to be the favourite sector to co-brand with.

Performance Measurement – Difficulties in Measuring Small Business Performance

Trying to measure performance, in general, is a difficult task for scholars; the difficulties intensify when the subject is the measurement of small business performance. In this article, which is the third in the series, an overview of the major obstacles for measuring small business performance is presented.Time is a substantial factor that needs to be taken into consideration when trying to measure performance in small business, because measuring the profitability of small businesses in their first years of operation can be misleading. Mcdougall, Robinson and denisi (1992) state, that small businesses are usually not expected to generate any profit in their early years of operation. Biggadike (1979) define a milestone of eight years in operation, in average, before new venture is expecting to generate profits.Growth rate is not equal in all businesses; moreover it varies substantially between businesses and across industries. Cooper (1979) has related to the potential influence of rapid growth, and noted that operational losses or poor profits in small businesses with growth orientation can’t be used as an indicator for management failure, if the cause for the result is heavy investments in new markets or products. If at different industries we’re expecting different growth rate, then as Miller and Tolouse (1986) states, the industry in which the business is operating in is affecting the level of business performance in general as well as the small business performance.Accounting measures consider as objective and more accurate then nonobjective measures, but even if such objective measures can be obtain it is very hard to interpret them in small businesses (Covin and Slevin, 1989, 1990). This statement reinforced by Rappaport (1981) and Stewart (1991) findings of weak correlation between accounting measures related to small business performance and the small business value. Dess and Robinson (1984) argue that the reason for the difficulty in interpreting objective data such as accounting measures may be due to different accounting rules for different types of corporation like proprietary limited company and partnership. Covin and Slevin (1990) relate to the small business owners’ salaries as another potential cause for problem, which is unique for small businesses. In many of the small businesses the owner salaries takes substantial share of the business profitability.