Niches, Nooks and Crannies
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Last month we bought a truly niche product. A refrigerator. So what was so special about it?
Well firstly, it had to be a side-by-side refrigerator. That is the freezer alongside the fridge . If, you thought, there are lots of those around, you would be right. But we also wanted an icemaker. There are still a lot of side-by-side models with an icemaker. The icemaker also had to serve crushed ice. None of these requirements made a niche.
We had one further, non-negotiable requirement. It had to fit though the doorway in our kitchen into the alcove. While generous in size, the alcove would not take the more common size side-by-size refrigerators, and the kitchen doorway was for a standard door size.
Apart from this final requirement, there were probably half a dozen models we could have chosen. This last requirement narrowed the field to just one! Were we unusual?
No, the salesman had said he had done this research for these specifications for other customers. The salesman, of course, could have just been trying to sell me what was on the floor, but I had done some similar research online, and had trouble finding any other models as well, although my research was probably not thorough.
Further after we bought this fridge, a friend told us she had bought the same model, for similar reasons (from another supplier). So I tend to believe our salesman.
This model, truly niche in every sense of the word, gets far more sales than just about any of the other similarly feature models because it has literally no competitors in Australia in its niche.
Interestingly, when researching fridges online, I stumbled across US website with more options than just the single fridge we found in Australia, so potentially, there is an opportunity for a competitor to bring in a model of similar size and specifications and share the excess profits that this single model is currently harvesting.
In your marketplace is there a neglected niche. Something that everyone else has overlooked. A niche that you could occupy with a few tweaks of your current offer, and be in a market of your own.
May Your Business Be - As You Plan It!
Dr Greg Chapman - The Australian Business Coaching Club
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