User login

Finding, Developing and Prospering From Niche Markets

(December 2006) posted on Fri Jan 05, 2007

Discover tips and techniques that can help you profit from untapped niche markets.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Mark A. Coudray

Let's compare the emotional purchasing of the niche buyer to the needs of a general market. For example, a customer is shopping for the lowest price on a two-color design on 144 white cotton T-shirts. There is no emotional connection here, only the satisfaction of finding the lowest price that meets the requirements of the job. Customers in the general market will consider your price and reply with something like, "You're seven cents more than the guy down the street. Can you come a little closer?" And so begins the death spiral of crashing price.

You'll often find yourself in this situation when you deal with volunteer clubs, organizations, or school groups. Volunteers who contact you haven't made any emotional connection to the process of marketing their group or cause. Their only motivation is to get the best price because they simply don't understand what really makes an effective garment promotion.

Finding the niche

Honing in on the market areas where you can set yourself apart from your competition is the key to not falling prey to the generalist customer. Begin with the areas where you know something—your own special interests. The more passionate you are, the higher your likelihood of success. Passion equals emotional connection, and this fuels the niche market. Let's build on our example of bird watching.

Bird watching is a definite market with specific needs. But is it big enough to support your marketing efforts? Your research will provide the answer. Head down to the local bookstore or magazine shop. You want to find one with a broad periodicals section. The more magazines, the better. A magazine can survive on a much smaller market base than a television channel can. Bird watching may not be part of the Outdoor Network, but it will have its own special magazine(s). Generally speaking, the thicker the magazine, the bigger the market. More people are looking, so more advertising can be sold. National magazine markets are 350,000 or less when you look at a specialized book. You'll find all kinds of magazines on bird watching, bird conservation, bird hunting, and so on. You've now determined that bird watching is likely a viable niche.


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.