A niche market allows you to excel in your area of expertise, despite the changing economic conditions. Where people panic in tough times, it can be a turn over for you, where you can analyze your business strategies and plan something better. “Merriam-Webster” says that a niche market is “a specialized market.” The “Risk Management Curriculum Guide” defines niche marketing as “marketing a product or service in a small portion of a market that is not being readily served by the mainstream product or service providers. These niches can be geographic areas, a specialty industry, a demographic or ethnic group, a specific gender group, or other special group of people.”
Why find a niche market for your print business?
A niche can be anything like a specialized market, a specialized product, a technology, or services. You can either find a niche or be the niche; choice is totally yours. Finding your niche allows you to spread your wings in that particular market. The web to print unlocks magnitude of opportunities. You can either create products based on your customer’s demands or make developments in the current one that will get your more customers.
For Example, Custom Logo Cases that made changes in their system and were able to capture a huge market. They witnessed a 50% reduction in Pre-press job handling cost. Their prime focus was only customized cases of mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc. They made custom cases for their customers. However, they wanted to have a studio where they could allow the users to design their cases.
Integrating Design’N’Buy’s Design Studio with their website with multi domain set-up, along multi-lingual and multi-currency increased their sales by 10%, and gave them a remarkable increase in customer acquisition. They made their case design studio available to the customers to design their own cases. Earlier where they were only catering to B2B market, with this web2print solution they are now able to cater the needs of B2C markets too. Here service is their niche, where they give service to their customers to customize their cases.
Usually a company will find its niche by recognizing a specific customer need, not satisfied by the current print service provider. However, while you are identifying the need, you also need to make developments in your company to be able to fulfill that need and serve the niche.
Types of Niche
You can define a niche in three terms – technology, service, and social responsibility. Let us take a closer look at technology & service as a niche
Technology really drives printing business, but here it means equipment, software, workflow, methods, and ability to use the technology. Having a unique technology in your plant augments the chances of manufacturing unique products. Technology can be your niche by capitalizing on the exceptional potential of the cutting edge technologies in your printing company in form of automating manual process for accuracy & efficiency, improving customer satisfaction with the help of self-service printing storefront, printing niche products with new machinery and technology etc. Here is an example of the same:
Ascend Sportswear is one of the most competitive providers of customized cycling jersey and gears, but if you do not have a design or a logo and want one then they provide you with the same. Their team of designers will work to create a design that you imagined. Therefore, along with customized cycling jersey they also provide you the designing services. They integrated their current system with cutting edge web to print technology enabled with a 3D design Studio to design their cycling gears from the scratch.
Becoming accustomed to the new technology gave them wider options to explore the market. This is how technology became their niche because they were able to give a whole package to all their customers.
Where people think niche is only about products, printers proved this wrong. Like banks and other agencies, they can offer services too. Printing is not only a product, but it is also a service that if you have a propensity to offer, might be your niche. However, for that, you need to identify a particular segment in the customer base that is not getting the desired services well; you also need to see if you can offer that service. Let’s say if offer all business stationery and prints be it your company t-shirts, business cards, envelops, letterheads, banners and brochure etc so that customers get a one stop shop solution from you without the need to work with different vendors for varying printing needs.
Here is an example of similar successful printing business:
digitaaldrukwerk.be offers a very intuitive print storefront where their customers can order any business product for digital printing as well as offset too. While they offer excellent print quality with offset printing, both for text, illustrations and photos, their digital printing service has the advantage that customers can print full color in small quantity (as low as one) at an interesting price. In addition, most printing is done within 1 to 3 business days.
Image Source: www.digitaaldrukwerk.be
Finding your niche can help you succeed in a specialized and specific market. The strongest are those that are motivated by the customer demands to create new & specific products and services. But how can one find that “Niche Market” for their business is one important point.
Strategizing Is Important
Strategizing is very important to run any business and define your niche to get the desired results. You need to use the best strategies – the blue ocean and the red ocean strategy that can be more helpful when you don’t have much experience in capturing the niche market. These strategies were introduced in the book Chan Kims and Renée Mauborgnes “Blue Ocean Strategy” in 2015. You can read more about each of these strategies from this book.
Finding and embracing the niche is what makes printers successful, but hasty decisions can make you pay at times. So before you think of the profits, see the other side of the coin. Niche markets do bring in higher sales than before, help to increase you ROI, differentiate you from other companies in the market, but it is not the substitute to your good business practices like quality products, good customer services, reducing wastage and unnecessary expenditure.