Do you know who your people are? Who you serve, how and why?
Niching is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business.
Most people are terrified of it; it feels uncomfortable, like slamming the door on a whole bunch of prospective customers and doing yourself out of work, and ultimately, profit.
But this comes from a scarcity mindset. Actually, as many brands, (ours included), have found, niching is the ultimate key to success.
You see, niching doesn’t actually mean you can’t, and won’t, work with people outside your niche, it just means it’s very clear to your absolute target audience that you are for them. It builds those connections between brand and audience far easier than hoping someone will find something amongst all the things you offer that appeals to them.
And you’ll actually find that becoming an authority in your niche, being known for what you do, will in fact draw more customers to you. And, guess what, they will be YOUR people. The ones you dreamt of working with when we started your business!
There’s a powerful saying from Ruth Soukup, which sums up the power of niching perfectly:
‘The reality is that when you try to talk to everyone, you’re really talking to no-one.’
Have you heard it?
You need to talk directly to your target customers as if you were having a one-to-one conversation with them. Know what they want, need, love, struggle with, and how your solution works and helps them. You can’t do that if you’re chattering away to everyone with no clear direction.
If you don’t have a clear niche right now I bet this sounds like madness, but it seriously works. Knowing exactly what your dream client’s problem is, and what your solution offers, means you can paint a picture of this transformation to them. Helping to build the know, like and trust between them and your brand.
So let’s apply this practically to business.
Say you don’t niche. You try to hit all the audiences possible and offer as many services or products as you can to suit the general market, targeting the majority, not the minority. In return, you hope for maximised profits and sales by offering something for everyone.
Reality check time. As a result, you, and your audience, don’t know who your products or services are for and therefore fewer people buy. So, this mass approach, in fact, has a negative result.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into why niching will positively impact your identity and your brand.
When you started, you believed you had an offer which appealed to a set group of people right? So, stay true to it. Yes, it can be tricky, especially at the start, there will naturally be peaks and troughs but stick with it.
This is where your PR activities, especially media relations, will pay off.
Every niche has tailored publications, and you know why they're successful? Because they stay true to their brand identity what their audiences want. They want the same from you.
They don't want a brand that's a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. They want to hear about specific, related stories & products which connect with and appeal to their audiences, as this helps them increase sales! So knowing your niche will also give you more media opportunities and success.
A leap of faith
You know that quote I shared above, "when you speak to everyone, you speak to no one"? Marketing guru, Seth Godin, translated this to quite simply mean, "everyone is not your customer." Or, it's vital to find your niche and stay true to it.
It may seem odd, perhaps scary and it may even feel like you are alienating your audience, but if you start to niche, you will develop an authentic, sustainable and organic brand which will thrive in the long run.
Remember, business (just like PR) is a marathon not a sprint. Especially when it comes to developing your brand identity and attracting your dream clients. It takes time but when you start to become known in your niche, magic happens.
Three inspiring examples
What do all the big, successful brands have in common? The answer is, they know their niche and stay very true to it. Here are three brands who know their audiences inside out, do not compromise on price and don’t apologise for standing firm and being true to who they are.
Barbour - a luxury high-end fashion brand defining the essence of British style. They know their audience is mainly young adults / middle-aged men and women who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. They use quality fabric and the price reflects this, they don’t try and follow fashion trends, they follow what their audience needs and wants to suit their lifestyle.
As a result, they are one of Britain’s most successful and loved brands! I’d go so far as to say they are a part of our heritage, purchased globally for those who want to add a piece of British country life to their wardrobes!
@barbour or www.barbour.com/uk
Holland Cooper - another luxury fashion house championing British made tailoring. This brand has recently branched into an even more specific niche, with the introduction of its equine technical performance wear; incredibly niche to suit the equestrian audience. But you know why it works? Because it stays incredibly true to the brand and its Founder, Jade. Holland Cooper doesn’t compromise on price because, after all, you get what you pay for, and this case it is luxury and quality.
What is great about this brand, is that they don’t have sales, they have outlets and this keeps that high-end feel. Their audience is clear – stylish women in the countryside, and I believe this is what has catapulted them to success over the last decade. @hollandcooperclothing & @hollandcooperequestrian or www.hollandcooper.com
Joules – Britain’s best-loved family lifestyle brand creates clothing for all the family using quality fabrics and fun colours. They have a reputation for being wholesome, fun and high end and most people will recognise a Joules item a mile away because they have created a recognisable brand through knowing what their niche is and what their audience wants.
Created in the fields of Great Britain is their slogan, and that in itself connects with its target audience. Country or coast, Joules is made for style and fun outside, and it delivers every single time making it stand out.
@joules or www.joules.com
Success awaits you
Niching is something I have really focused on this year. I’ve spent a decade honing my craft, becoming a PR expert. Combining that with my personal passion for nature and the countryside, and the brands at the heart of rural Britain has enabled me to really niche down. It was niching early on that I believe helped Garnet PR grow to the next level quite quickly, welcoming more dream clients and growing our team, with big plans for the future.
There are some businesses that I would have no hesitation suggesting an alternative PR expert or agency to if they weren’t in my niche. I want them to get the best results possible and I have no doubt that by saying no to the ‘wrong’ type of client, I’m in fact putting out a message to the universe that I am saying yes to the ‘right’ type of client. And they will come.
Don’t get swallowed up by the crowds; stand out and make people remember you for the right reasons.
Be a lion in a field of sheep.
I encourage you to think about your niche; if you find you've gone a little off track, do the mindset work around it and go back to your why. When you step powerfully into your niche, that's where success waits for you.