Inspired by a recent talk at Stylus’ Decoded Future event, I’ve been thinking about whether ‘ niche is the new mass ’ when it comes to marketing. Some of the major trends that have come out of branding in the last 5 years are personalisation, bespoke products and individual focus and customer support.
When utilizing niche marketing, there’s a two-fold strategy: targeting an exclusive group, and making a mass consumer feel individual. Both are invaluable for building a returning customer base and a strong brand reputation. Could targeting small, defined groups mean brand success? Well, it’s difficult to say. What’s to say that broad targeting couldn’t have better results? So, dear reader, we have put forward some examples for you to ponder over, whilst considering your own marketing efforts.
The ability to personalize packaging is taking off. Pioneers of the cult product aesthetic is beauty brand, Glossier. Their signature pink packaging comes emblazoned with phrases and stickers that retain their brand tonality, whilst enabling the recipient to stick the Glossier brand everywhere. Using your customers to advertise for you- Smart. On the other hand, there is Papier, the Chanel of the e-greeting cards market, Papier allow you to personalize your cards as well as the interior of your envelope, making that last-minute rush to order your uncle a card that bit more thoughtful, as you demonstrate decades-old knowledge of his favourite colour. Yes, that green stripe pattern on the envelope interior WILL get me extra points.
Visit any kind of ‘club’ in London and it will have the words ‘exclusive’,’intimate’ or ‘secret’ involved. Like that secret friendship circle you could never infiltrate at school, the grown-up brands of London Town are still capitalizing on the hidden, speakeasy, exclusive nature of clubs, bars and even product prescription services, see: Sofar Sounds and Secret Cinema. Feeling part of a secret circle is a valuable tool for a marketer, enabling you to build brand loyalty.
Live web chat
A bit like MSN in the bottom corner of your screen, live chat enables you to ask questions about a product or company without having to talk to an actual human. A millennial’s dream, the live chat process is far more intimate that scrolling through FAQs for an answer. The immediate, personal feedback is highly priced in customer service, and in turn, means a customer is more likely to return to your company for that highly prized service.
So why are companies going mad over these niche marketing tools?
According to a Deloitte study, ’22% of consumers are happy to share some data in return for a more personalised customer product or service.’. All marketers worth their salt know that obtaining target demographic data is vital. Niche marketing builds brand loyalty and gets customer data for remarketing and targeting. It looks like we should all be jumping on the niche bandwagon. Or should it be the band bicycle for one with personalised pedals?