Consumers are exposed to more than 5,000 brand messages every single day. These messages can be anything from a loud and flashy television ad to a subtle logo on the pen you borrowed from your coworker. Even if you’re paying attention, there’s no way to notice — let alone remember – all of them. As a consumer, it’s not necessarily your job to remember these messages, but as a small business owner, it is your job to make sure that people remember your messages.
To make your business stand out, it helps to find your niche. You might not be the only hardware store in town, but maybe you’re the only hardware store that sponsors a little league team or works with a local nonprofit organization.
Whatever is unique about your business – whether it’s a product you offer or an activity you’re proud of – makes your niche. Once you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to start leveraging it.
- Tell Your Customers
First and foremost, you have to make sure that customers recognize your niche. After all, it’s your niche that will help you stand out from the competition. If you sponsor a little league team, hang pictures of the team in your store. If you offer a unique product, direct your customers’ attention to it with a bold display, an in-store demonstration or an after-hours promotional event. Ultimately, your niche will only help you stand out from the crowd if customers can recognize and remember it amidst the deluge of messages they see every day.
- Rethink Your Existing Messages
While you’re coming up with new messages, don’t forget to think about what you’re already communicating. Your current marketing materials – be they paid ads, social media profiles or swag items that you give out – should reflect your niche in some way. Incorporate your unique angle into your logo, slogan or narrative. Otherwise, you could be missing valuable opportunities to leave a lasting impression on customers and potential customers. What’s more, conflicting messages could cause confusion and weaken your effectiveness.
- Make Connections Within Your Niche
Your niche makes your business unique, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re alone. In fact, your niche could introduce you to new neighborhood allies. For example, if you sponsor a little league team, get to know the team’s coaches and parents. If you sell a unique product, network with small businesses in other communities that sell that product to share best practices. Looking within your niche could lead you to new customers, new channels of communication and new strategies.
Your business’s niche sets it apart from the competition, making your messages and your business more memorable to consumers. Be proud of your niche and the connections it can bring you.
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