Let’s talk now about another way that you can differentiate and stand apart from the competition, in terms of mass market versus niche market.
This really comes down to specialization or lack of specialization. And, again, there’s no right or wrong but you need to pick a point of differentiation. And again, so that the customers when they’re thinking of something, they’ll think of you.
Let’s just jump right into a couple of examples.
We look at mass market. For the North American market, we really think about Walmart, for example. Those big box stores, the IKEA’s of the world, they don’t specialize in anything. They sell everything. So whatever you need, there’s a good chance they have it.
Maybe you represent a brand or a company that fits into the mass market category. That’s great. Thus when you’re appealing to customers, you can position yourself as a one-stop shop.
If you’re in technology for example, IT, ICT, Infocomm, or Telco, you could, for example, offer integrated solutions. This would mean you can help your customers from end to end. No need to look any further. One point of contact; one-stop shop. That’s a great way to stand apart from the competition.
Maybe that’s not you. Maybe you’re the opposite and you’re saying “I can’t help customers through end-to-end service. I only focus on one thing.” Great! It’s great to focus on one thing. You’re what’s known as a specialist. You’re targeted, you’re focused. Niche market.
Niche markets are interesting. Niche markets fall into two different categories. You can be niche in terms of the type of customer you serve. You could also be niche in terms of the type of product or service you offer.
If we look at just the products, maybe you don’t provide integrated solutions. You just focus on one particular product; one component, one part, or one piece. So if a customer’s looking for that rare, hard to find, hard to service, hard to maintain, hard to replace piece, you’ve got it. That’s how you can stand apart against those big, mass market players.
What you’ll probably find as well is that those mass market brands are typically also low cost brands; high volume, low cost, huge selection.
Well, on the opposite side, if you have a small selection, small inventory — you just specialize in a few parts or a few components — your prices can be a little higher because they’re harder to find.
iPhone covers for example. Maybe you work in a retail shop and you just specialize in selling iPhone covers. Something really unique. Or maybe you just sell phones and that’s all you sell. Maybe one brand of phone compared with mass market retailers that sell all kinds of phones, all kinds of electronic devices and maybe not just electronic devices.
You already know what you do well. The key is communicating that message to customers. Saying we are a one-stop shop, we provide full service to customers from end to end. Or we specialize in this one thing and this one thing only. And if you’re looking for this, we’ve got it.
Again, there’s no right or wrong. You just need to pick your point of differentiation: mass market or niche market. Choose.