REFOCUSING - PART ONE
Sunday, July 24, 2022
Many years ago, I couldn’t remember where or when, or who the speaker was, but I remember the message vividly …
It was a conference setting, where a presenter with solid credentials explained how things worked in business generally and marketing in particular.
His message was to find a niche (or invent one) – not where everyone was, but where nobody was. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t advocating bringing back the hula hoop or horse-drawn buggies, but instead advocated finding a product or service you make your own, developing, presenting/positioning your product or skill set so uniquely, demonstrating that unique product and/or a unique approach that converts and scales to be an exceptional business that stands proud above the crowd and to do it so well that competitors will appear to be imitators or late-comer copycats.
It was much like a Tom Peters talk about his Pursuit of Wow book, with more emphasis on how than on wow, which makes sense to me – nobody is wowed by our hype or our resume; results wow them.
And yes, it’s almost always about the money too.
We all know the big-picture examples of this – Nike, Apple, Twitter, Medium, Facebook, ’ to name a few that everyone knows. Closer to home, we recognize MacKay’s Ice Cream in Cochrane, the Fudge store on Banff Avenue, Two Men With Kilts, and Skip-the-dishes. When doing that, we also recognize failures – familiar names that are no longer with us for reasons that seem mysterious to outside observers. Still, if we were inside those companies, we would know the failures as inevitable consequences of one or both of these factors: failure to adjust to a changing marketplace and losing focus on their key-niche business and what their customers wanted/needed.
And nobody wants to grab at a growing share of a shrinking market (i.e. buggy whip manufacturers competing for market share when the car came along – because quality and price didn’t matter when your customers had moved on).
What is your niche?
I know mine.
And I also realize I’ve strayed somewhat, but it’s not too late!