Within the other post thus far we have discussed how a few layers are of what goes into a brand – no matter if it is a business or a personal one. The myth that folks put behind branding is that it solely should do with what you see within the shiny things. You can have an impeccable visual brand concept, but the layers beneath can be missing a few needed elements. Within my experience over the years of being in Corporate America, being a consultant and just a lover of brands – I have seen where the visual appeals of branding have over cast some of the fundamentals.
One of the things that brands need to do is research what their niche will be. While many feel that establishing a niche will cap their growth ability – it will actually do the totally opposite. In my opinion, a niche can be seen as a secret group of cool people who like this specific thing that this brand (product or service) does amazingly well.
The thing curating a niche is that it allows you to define your brand culture and allow the next moves should you scale (grow) your brand within that flexible culture. A prime example of this is Tesla; they established themselves as the cool kids within the electric cars/sedan arena. To the point, there was even a waiting list for each new rollout of the model. And then recently they decided to scale their brand to reach the solar market with their development of roof and complete homes.
The thing that Tesla and other brands do that establishes niche allows the brand to tap into what issue that their audience might have. From there they thing allow a dynamic formula of niche, community and solution development to obtain the buy-in from their consumers (among other things). Again, when this is done with persistence and consistently – when the brand sees the opportunity to grow, they will already know the market research and channels to grow within.
Niche Builders (with tips + brand examples):
Community: While this can be easily understood, the aspect of which I am speaking for is having a built- in focus group. Your community will allow it easy for you to understand some of your audience segment by your brand focuses on a niche audience. You will understand their likes, dislikes and ways to incorporate that with your brand.
Tip: Create polls or niche content for your audience to gain an understanding of what they are happy with what your brand does or doesn’t do. Doing this will allow them to see your brand as being receptive to their input and that it actually does care. The engagement will help in more ways that you thing.
Brand Excellence: CurlBox + Myleik Teele. The CurlBox brand started off as uber niche as one can get – in a good way. The brand streamlined products for those who had a trouble finding quality products to maintain their manes of hair. While the brand was geared towards those within the WOC or Curly textured hair, the brand over time as evolved to educate, enlighten and enhance the landscape of beauty products. While the brand is monthly subscription based, Teele & Co has built a stellar social media landscape. Have you seen their YouTube-based series that focuses on specific brands? Also, the Madam CEO has enhanced her own brand MyTaughtYou in the form of a younger Oprah who has been tried and true not just in business as well in life. See, entrepreneurs – you are a brand within your brand. That’s another story for another day. Do yourself a favor and listen to her podcasts!
Brand Culture: This kind of goes back to the community aspect of niche building. With not fully following the wave or a trend to the inch, you are able to create your own brand dynamics. Within the culture aspect of it all – you can bring in your mission and vision and develop ways of operating, thinking and efficiency. There are a million and one ways to create a culture and what you should keep in mind is to be flexible with doing so. As your company grows and branch out – you should allow your culture to flow with those changes. It keeps it fresh!
Tip: Take your brand mission and vision statements then create roughly 4 or 6 things that your brand does well. After doing so, find ways to thread these pillars throughout your brand. Find ways for those things to be noticeable in every segment of your brand – from customer service to social media to procurement. You get the point, yo.
Brand Excellence: Vaynermedia + Gary Vaynerchuk, duh. If you have been under a rock – Gary Vee has become one of the voices on creating a brand culture and the importance of doing so. From starting within his Dad’s wine business and growing its social media landscape – the company saw amazing growth in revenue and audience. From the amazing growth of that company, he went on to found Vaynermedia which does the same thing that he did for his Dad’s business for other companies + brands. Oh, and he is a dynamic speaker. Check out his YouTube for his mental gems.
Solution Development: One of the best things that a company can do is provide a solution to what their customer base is having issues with. From understanding what issues that people face, often comes the best products or services. This model has been seen throughout history – you are reading this post on a smartphone or on a computer. Someone saw the need to create smartphones to make people’s lives easier. Cars were created to make us able to get around easier – the list goes on!
Tip: Do you already have an established business? No matter if the answer is yes or no, you can still find ways to build solutions into your company. Making your business a solution- based model (or hold aspects of that), allows you to be ahead of the game – innovative. Oh, if you are a professional – you can do the same thing. Take stock of what companies you would like to be a part of has issues with. From there, see how your skill sets can make those changes and solutions easier to get to. Build that into your personal brand + interviews – trust me.
Brand Excellence: Google. I mean, I can write a novel of how this start-up turned mega giant has shaped how people find things and find easier ways to do things. Just looking on the Google ‘group’ on my phone I see everything needed to be efficient – from Music to Docs to Hangouts. One of the pillars of the Google brand is to be solutions-based while anchoring efficiency. Who doesn’t love that? Besides, Apple – who? Ha!
Let’s wrap this up: The thing with creating niches is that they help allow you to stand out in the interstate of life + information overload. While doing that, you should understand what your niche needs to have to do so. Don’t be afraid to be weird or not within a certain lane. Those who follow your niche will appreciate your weirdness because it speaks to some area of them that is just a weird. What are some brands you know that has a niche and thrives? Share!