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Tapping the Niche Market

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Casey ConradCasey Conrad

I was introduced to the slogan, "You get rich in the niche," in 2006 while attending a 3-day marketing course in Los Angeles held by Mark Victor Hanson. If you don't recognize the name, he is the co-author of the brand, "Chicken Soup for the Soul," which started out with a single book that offered inspirational stories submitted by others and put into a collection. That book became a series that has now sold more than the Bible! The books morphed into a brand that included food items, pet items, clothing and more.

Hansen's message was simple and clear: by marketing to a very specific niche, you can connect with the target consumer at a deeper level and build a business faster than trying to appeal to the masses. It makes sense. A personal trainer who markets himself to a very narrow population --for example, only individuals suffering from Multiple Sclerosis-- has a much easier time attracting his customers for a number of reasons.

First of all, consumers are crystal clear as to who the service is for. Second, the trainer is perceived as a specialist and, over time, will be seen as an expert (assuming he delivers what he promises). Third, referrals from happy clients happen much more organically because people with the same issue or condition tend to form greater bonds and communities. Fourth, and most obvious, creating marketing messages and making marketing medium decisions becomes very simple, because it's easy to ascertain if your target market is exposed to that particular source.

As someone who is fascinated with the psychology behind marketing, I always have my antenna up for interesting trends, strategies and techniques. Here's one that is TOTALLY RELEVANT to our health and fitness industry: "Health condition specific products." What I'm referring to are products that have been created specifically for individuals dealing with things like diabetes, low back pain, sleep disorders, etc. These are products that once were a generic category but are now very niche!

Now, before you say, "Duh, Casey, of course there are products for specific health conditions," let me take you on a journey of one product line that exemplifies this marketing trend perfectly: body lotion. Let's just work with one of the most recognized brands on the market: Vaseline (Total toxic crap, but that's another article for a different magazine!).

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