It’s one thing to find and operate within a certain niche. It helps you to find a core audience who will support you for years to come, and can give you needed exposure when the general public just won’t pay attention. Finding your niche and grabbing on where you can is very useful.
Beyond that, though, is where you start alienating certain people. It’s not just about the product being useful to, say, British nannies in their 40s. That’s a niche. If you go on to say, “My product is ONLY good for British nannies in their 40s and that’s IT,” you’ve now alienated everyone else who takes a look at your product.
Niche vs. Exclusive
The more I think about it, the more of a fine line there is between working within a niche and making something too exclusive. It’s easy to slip into one straight from the other without even knowing or realizing what you’re doing. Worse, you could easily get stuck there.
Why? If your exclusive little club actually starts picking up your product in droves, you’re bound to think you’ve hit your niche running. However, what you didn’t realize is you accidentally (and probably subliminally) told the rest of humanity you don’t care if they ever buy your product.
Let’s say your product is something that makes taking care of other people’s babies easier – like an instant bonding agent for toddlers. The babies fall in love with their nannies and never cry or fuss. It’s kind of magical.
This product has a million different niche potentials and would fly off the shelves anywhere. However, after doing initial test marketing, you notice a slight uptick with 40 year old and older nannies who are from the British isles.
It seems awfully specific, but you decide to go with it. All you talk about online and in your marketing is how it benefits that specific group. When other nannies (and babysitters, and aunts and uncles everywhere, etc.) see your product, they naturally assume it won’t work for them since they aren’t British or in their 40s.
How to Avoid It
Again, it’s all about walking that fine line. Try to shape your social media, marketing, and PR in a way that makes that specific niche feel super special but doesn’t ostracize the rest of the world.
Using the nanny example, you can look at your social media work and see you’ve dived so far into the British niche you’re using words like “bollocks” and “loo.” American nannies and other interested parties are automatically confused and turned off when they see the very first post on the Facebook page.
Try to change to use more inclusive language to start out with. This could go a long way to bringing in new customers. Now see what other ways you’re chasing customers away – for instance, perhaps you’re focusing too much on using the product in public transportation when a lot of your potential audience owns at least one car.
That’s not to say you should make every product for every person out there. Most products actually belong in a niche and thrive there. But if you’re not careful, you could end up costing yourself quite a bit of business if you make the product TOO exclusive.
What’s your product’s niche? How do you keep from excluding others who might be interested?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in press release writing and distribution. Download the free whitepaper The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/pinterest.html