Thursday, June 23

Finding The Right Niche

For some time, I've educated several business owners in Las Vegas that narrowing their target audience can increase sales faster than targeting the general public. A few have scratch their heads, offering up that they felt they had a product or service for everybody and how difficult it is turn business away in a booming economy like Nevada. The reality: no one has a product or service that truly appeals to everyone. There are dominant brands, certainly, but relatively few monopolies.

A good example of success by narrowing a niche can easily be found in the food and beverage industry. Several companies discovered that marketing food and beverages specifically to women was lucrative, creating a market that grew at a compound annual rate of 80 percent between 2000 and 2004. According to The U.S. Market for Women's Food and Beverages, a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts, this industry has grown to $4.6 billion.

Women's food was a nascent field in 2000, registering sales of $430 million. In this decade, the food and beverage industry realized that the nutritional needs of women demand special attention and despite some ill-fated, non-strategic, early efforts to market "women's" food, the category has since exploded. In fact, Packaged Facts forecasts that retail sales of women's foods and beverages will reach $58.7 billion by 2009.

The women's food and beverage industry ranges from many small companies to large international corporations, but for the most part, successful women's food and beverage companies are the mid-sized U.S. businesses. They've done incredibly well focusing on their target consumer and then distributing products through health food and natural foods stores. In time, this strategy could provide these companies an opportunity to develop new products or re-market existing products to the general public later (capitalizing on brand recognition established with women at speciality stores). In the interim, they are content with tremendous niche growth and, in some cases, a healthier profit margin.

If you would like to know more about this market, U.S. Market for Women's Food and Beverages has a comprehensive analysis of the U.S. retail marketplace for women's foods and beverages; demographic profiles based on Simmons data; and a thorough analysis of trends such as health concerns on women's purchasing habits. The report also describes the creative landscape, profiles key players, and reviews advertising and promotional efforts. The report can be purchased directly from Packaged Facts www.packagedfacts.com or MarketResearch.com.

If you would like to know more about narrowing your niche market, regardless of product or service, drop us an e-mail. We'll be happy to provide a few recommendations or suggestions to refine your marketing efforts. I'm sure I'll touch on this topic in the future too; for now and the next few weeks, however, I'm temporarily limiting new posts to Thursdays (last Sunday was Father's Day and I have business pending in Long Beach this Sunday) until my schedule opens up a bit more.

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