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Small business marketing often hinges on the identification of a niche

niche promotional itemUnderstanding how to market a small business is as simple as grasping the identity of a company’s niche. Branding and marketing efforts can only truly succeed if businesses can set themselves apart from other organizations.

Every company has its own niche, but what some lack is a clear definition for it. This is the heart of marketing – to not only realize where a company stands relative to other businesses, but to be able to clearly articulate that position to consumers. Many elements of social media and search engines are making it easier for customers to do most of the work when it comes to exploring commercial niches that suit their needs, but successful companies will always be aggressive in efforts to share their identities with the world.

Here are some questions that ought to be asked in pursuit of spelling out what niche a business occupies or could occupy.

Who are my customers?
This is a difficult question to answer, but it doesn’t have to be. Every business should be able to come up with a rough outline of stereotypical customers. Their ages, jobs, income level and spending habits shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. This is the social aspect of a niche.

What would a company in my niche do?
Scientists can often speculate about animals that live in a certain area simply by the habits of other creatures nearby. If there is an abundant food source whose population doesn’t seem to grow too much, there must be a predator thinning its ranks. Small business marketers should observe commercial markets the same way and ask: what type of behavior could support the business that I want to run?

Where is my niche located?
Most small businesses are local and operate in a confined geographic region. Others use the internet and cater to certain sub-groups that frequent the online world. Some companies might even be based in the real world but travel often and deliver far and wide. However, a niche without a physical location is poorly defined and is difficult to identify.

Why is this niche unoccupied?
When companies finally discover their niche, they should be sure to make sure that no other company already occupies it. However, if none do, it is important to understand why that’s the case. Perhaps there isn’t a business with the resources available to execute a move to that niche. It may also be the case that the niche is simply unrealistic and that the organization’s ideal niche needs to undergo a redefinition.

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