Niche perspective

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I talk quite a bit about targeting niches when it comes to building your business. I’ve also asked the question of whether or not you should market a business if you’re not in the target market. If you find yourself in the midst of marketing to a niche that you don’t belong to you, you’re going to need a trusted “mini-network”. Why more than one person? Because niches may be comprised of like-minded individuals but there can still be generational concerns within the niche to consider. Below are two examples of not knowing the niche. One personal and one we’ve all heard of recently.

Sheppard Fairey is one of my favorite artists. I love his work and was quick to show it to my wife, who quickly let me know that his work scared her. I looked at her – completely confused – and noted the merits of his work. “Look at the texture he creates!”, “I love the reframing of Communist propaganda in the name of art.” And then it hit me. My wife was born in Russia and the KGB literally threatened to take her and her siblings away from her mother and father due to their religious beliefs. (No. My wife is not 90 years old. This was in the 80s!) Fairey’s work reminded her of Communist propaganda, which was a very real threat. As well as I knew her, I did not see that coming.

Re-Civilize Yourself , Nivea’s latest ad campaign (to the right) featured a graphic representation of a (black) man holding his own head but in a much more scruffy state. This ad proved to be extremely offensive to the African American target market and a public apology was immediately sent out. I would never have guessed that this ad would be received this way. If a white man had been featured in the ad, I wouldn’t have been offended. AND my family’s history is quite different from those that were offended.

The point is that no matter how much experience you have with a niche AND even if you are a member of that niche, you still NEED to have a multi-generational group who advises you. And please remember that these relationships need to be handled with care and complete transparency.

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I'm currently the Academic Director of the Denver MBA at the Daniels College of Business. I manage the student experience and enjoy helping our students acquire the leadership skills they need for the next phase of their professional journey.

I'm also an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. Since 2010, I've developed the 2nd most collegiate-level, digital marketing courses in the United States. I teach across a wide array of programs including Executive MBA, MBA@Denver, MS Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

I'm professionally passionate about digital culture, artificial intelligence and cognitive neuroscience. I'm married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, cycling, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive + surf.

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