Art of Marketing
Chapter 17. Niche Market Domination
Hold fast to dreams,
for if dreams die,
life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. — Langston Hughes
You use this strategy when dominating a deep niche
with a product or service that people want and must have.
You become the sole supplier,
a high-quality product or service
that everyone wants but no one else offers.
For example, smartphone users quickly switched
from writing e-mails to texting SMS.
But SMS messaging takes time and focus,
and that’s why it’s widely banned on national highways.
To fill the niche of the desire to communicate instantly and easily
with colleagues and friends of mobile phone users,
the two companies quickly developed new applications,
WeChat and WhatsApp.
With both apps,
you can tap the icon,
quickly tap the recipient’s name,
write the message
and send it in seconds,
anywhere in the world.
WeChat had more than 200 million users (mostly in China)
and WhatsApp became the dominant voice communication application
in the rest of the world.
“Good service is good business.” — Siebel Ad
Create what is needed
Another example of this strategy is called “toll gate niche”.
This is where you develop a product or service
that people in a particular business or industry need
to get the most out of the other product and service,
which is essential for the business and their personal lives.
My favorite example of a “toll station” niche strategy
is Hughes Drilling,
founded many years ago
by Howard Hughes’ father.
He was the first inventor responsible for the design,
development and marketing of diamond drill bits
for oil extraction.
Someone once asked him
if they really needed a Hughes diamond drill bit
(which was very expensive).
He replied that oil operators always have two options.
They could use his drill bit to drill for oil,
or they could use a shovel.
In a few years, every oil company in the world
had no choice
but to spend money on Hughes’ drills.
His drill bits are the perfect choice
for cost-effective oil extraction.
The intensity of your desire governs the power
with which the force is directed. ― John McDonald
Develop a specialized service
Another strategy helps you develop a specialized skill or service
that is so important that everyone needs it.
Microsoft, which has developed a suite of office programs
that everyone needs to be productive in their business,
is a compelling example in this section.
Microsoft is constantly improving that suite,
adding new features,
and at the same time reducing costs
so that no competitor can enter the market.
This strategy of creating a product
that is indispensable for efficient business operations,
and continuously reducing costs allows Bill Gates
to become the richest person in the United States
with a fortune to date.
The current (2014) is estimated at about $72 billion.
How can you reposition one or more of your existing products
so that it becomes indispensable
to everyone using another product or service?
Can you dominate a niche with a better,
and cheaper product or service
than any existing product or service?
Always remind yourself of the concept of demand
for “unique added value”.
You should focus on growth,
that what you offer includes a unique added value
that customers need if they want to be happy and satisfied.
For the resolute and determined,
there is time and opportunity. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson