That concept is usually taught young, and then driven out of us, the older we get. Today, I ask that you look at your business through the five-year-old’s rose-colored glasses. Without trying to determine what makes your business special, you cannot accurately build an emotional connection with your customer base, and in turn cannot have an effective social media strategy. Without thinking about what makes you special, you cannot brand your business as filling a niche.
Sometimes, this means you’ve got to dig deep. As a teacher, it wasn’t always easy to figure out what character trait or skill I was going to emphasize with a student, in order to help that child feel special. It can be equally challenging for your business, too. For example, if you run a small retail establishment, similar to every other corner store, how can we define you as providing a niche?
If your business is so cookie cutter in actual goods and services, and you are unable to point out anything that we can market as a niche, perhaps you need to look at defining the personality of your business. Can your store be considered the most helpful, friendliest, personable? Think of all the establishments that have separated themselves based on a personality trait, rather than services rendered. There is even a restaurant in Boston called Dick’s Last Resort, who has created a niche by being rude to its customers! The expression, “To each his own” defines capitalizing on a niche market.
Companies often fail to capitalize on a personality niche because they try to define their own personality, instead of looking at how others view them. As a teacher, if a child wanted to claim a talent trait and state he was the next Andrea Bocelli, when in reality, the child sounded more like Biz Markie, it was the responsibility of the teacher to steer the child in a different way. Steer them not to demolish the student’s self image, but to point them in a direction that was realistic, and help them develop. The last thing you want to do is advertise based on a niche you do not possess. Just because you want to think of your business as “The most fun Store ever” doesn’t make it reality. Do some market research. See how customers see your business.
If you can figure out what makes you special, you can better advertise it. If enough people do business with you, because of what makes you special, then you have effectively created a niche that needed to be filled in the market. Doing this creates a loyal customer base, with lots of return business.
And you’ve made your kindergarten teacher so proud.