First the Niche, Then the Product

by Gareth
14 minutes
First the Niche, Then the Product

If you don't have a niche, you have no future. (Tweet this)

Recently, leaving a conference, two girls approached me to talk about a product they had developed. They told me all the benefits of the products, however they did not know how to answer a simple question I asked them when they had finished: who specifically would be interested in buying what they were offering?

On many occasions, entrepreneurs start the wrong way around, thinking about products before their niche. That rarely works. You have to think about niches and you have to think about needs. Instead of wondering what to produce, you have to ask yourself what you need and who else needs it. Then you have an opportunity.

Knowing how to define who our consumer is and in what business we want to participate seems like a simple task, but it is one of the most difficult questions to solve. If you do not believe me, ask Kodak, who invented the digital camera but always thought that they were in the photographic roll business and let their great discovery pass until years later when they paid the price in a monumental way... It was definitely NOT a Kodak moment (and screwed up more recently by dabbling in the security industry too!).

Is Coca-Cola in the carbonated beverage business? Of course not. For many years, the mission of the brand was very simple: We exist to refresh the world. What a way to understand your business! Currently they have added two more lines: "Inspire moments of optimism and happiness", and "Create value to make a difference", however they are complementary statements.

In another corner we have Pantone, a brand with which many designers have grown to love. Is Pantone dedicated to printing colour catalogs for designers? Of course not. Pantone's business could be defined as "providing the world with colour systems". Today, in addition to its well-known catalogs of colour, the brand has proven to know its consumers and has taken its colour culture to a series of accessories that nobody could have imagined, from iPhone cases to Barbie dolls, from toothbrushes to bicycles... even hotels!

Pantone knows very well what business he is in and who his clients are.

And you, do you know with perfect clarity what your business is and your precise niche? (Tweet this)

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