Wednesday, 30 September 2009

What's Your Niche?

One big thing I’ve learnt in my career and running my own business is the importance of occupying a niche.

By that I don’t mean a gimmick, but an authentic offering that is more distinctive than aiming at the mass-market at large. I’ve seen too many executives and small businesses who try and be ‘all things to all people’, rather than have the courage just to think niche.

‘Niche’ doesn’t have to mean specialist; it can be the unique attitude that informs your approach to business or your brand personality. It’s about knowing who you want to talk to – who your target audience is - rather than just blindly trying to talk to everyone.

The skate store in my local town. Yes, that’s niche.
A marketing specialist focused on tech brands. Yup.

But it doesn’t have to be so obvious.

One of my jobs working for a organisation saw me soaking up the projects and opportunities the CEO didn’t know what to do with. That vacuum became my strength. All that weird and wonderful stuff that no one knew what to do with landed on my lap. ‘Special Projects’ became my niche – people knew that Ian Sanders was good at dealing with pioneering and odd-shaped projects.

So whether you’re an executive seeking a job or a start-up defining your market offering, give your offering that distinctive edge with a clearly defined niche that you – authentically - live and breathe.

So what’s yours?

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