Make a difference to the right group
You might have probably identified who your audience is, most probably ocean-conscious customers but as you develop your differentiation strategy, you might find yourself catering to a smaller group out of that audience. If that smaller group is more open to your offer and you can be more relevant to that smaller group of people.
“If you try to appeal to everybody, you end up appealing to nobody”
A lot of entrepreneurs and new business owners coming to the market struggle with the idea of niching down and differentiating into a smaller group of people. The logic is understandable because why leave all of these potential clients on the table? there are more people in a bigger group and therefore more opportunities for potential customers compare to a smaller group. Effectively, yes there are more customers in the bigger group but they are also less relevant to your cause or product. Your offer is broader and you are competing with other big fish as well.
On the other side, if you narrow your target audience in a way you can differentiate you become more relevant to them, therefore you appeal to them more and you have fewer competitors as well. In this situation, you might be getting a bigger piece of a smaller pie but overall it might be bigger than the tiny piece of the pie that you are getting in the bigger group.
The same goes if you are trying to appeal to everybody you end up appealing to nobody. Differentiating is about exclusion, is about cutting out all the things that you can be to all of the people, in order to focus on one thing you should be most relevant people.
The fear of closing the doors to other potential customers is one of the reasons why many brands fail with their positioning. If you are more relevant to a smaller pool of potential customers and that pool is big enough for your brand to thrive, it could be the gap that you could call your own.
Niche Down by Sport
Water sports lovers are without doubt one of the most protectors of the ocean today. They truly advocate and are great loyal brand ambassadors if there is a major cause behind the brand that involves protecting their playground and what they have come to love. By identifying their interests, fears, where do they out, communicating etc you can resonate with your audience and become more relevant if you have a well-defined niche.
Sustainable brand examples: Outerknown, Mami Wata
4th Element, Aqualung
Free Fly, Patagonia
Kitesurfing / Windsurfing
Niche down by Industry
The ocean industry can be wide you should definitely niche down on this and become a leader of the very narrow market if you wish to enter, find your gap and succeed.
- Recycled fashion
Brands: Slo Active, Kampos, Outerknown
- Organic fashion
Casa Colo, Visla, Seea
Sanuk, Cariuma, healthy seas socks,
Dragon Alliance, Coral Eyewear, Costa del mar,
Brands: Akua, 12tides
- Eco-friendly utensils
Brand examples: The Bamboo brush society, the Bamandboo
Hydroflask, Oceanbottle, Ocean52,
The cornish surfer, Marilou
- Organic accessories
Sunbum, Amavara, Reefsafe, Oceanaustralia
Niche down by cause or Belief
One of the core roles of brand building is not to generate sales but to make connections that later lead to sales. Brands that understand who their audience is and speak directly to what they believe can make strong connections.
These connections often don’t provide an immediate ROI, but putting off immediate sales no to make a strong connection to produce brand loyalty over time is brand building at its purest.
- Killer whales
- Coral conservation
- Other species
Project Hiu, One Ocean Diving, Mantahari, All everything dolphin, Loggerhead apparel, Ocean refreshm
- Provinces / States
Bureo, Waterhaul, Bracenet
The Sea Shepperd
Niche down by cause or Belief
You can always blend all the ingredients with your what, how, and why and make your own niche 2.0. That will make your brand truly unique and distinctive from others. Remember, better be a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big ocean.
“Better be a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big ocean”