June 16, 2012

Niche size

Filed under: business,creativity,marketing,media — Erik Dobberkau @ 11:38

What’s the size of a niche, preferably one you can seize? Because they keep getting smaller, they need to be smaller the more you want to be the first or maybe only one who caters to and for it.

Sports, for instance. Do we need another sports channel? Maybe not. Okay, make it one step smaller. Do we need another football channel? Maybe not. One more smaller. Do we need a sports channel for the football team of one state? Maybe… or maybe not. Do we need a sports channel for the football teams of one single city?

You see where it’s going. The big “niches” have already been taken, in most cases in such quality that it’s not worth putting up with it. So the obvious thing to do is to find the niche inside the niche. Once again, somebody was having this idea before you, bummer. And in terms of big media, i.e. magazines or TV, doing another iteration often is no use, because the audience keeps getting smaller and smaller, or, to connect the issue to numbers, the cost per reader/viewer starts to increase significantly because attention doesn’t increase proportionally.

That said, the question “Do we need another…?” is misleading in economical terms. When it comes to consumption, we have barely a scarcity of anything. The point is, when you’re not able to make a profit of owning the niche, why have it?

Instead of this deductive approach maybe an inductive one yields better service. A doctor is of most value to those who hurt. And it seems in general, western societies don’t hurt a lot at first sight. But we do, and often we’re not aware of it, because, and this is where the fun kicks in, for every obvious pain we’ve been educated to have there’s a remedy. Well, of course they’re placebos, because those who make them don’t intend to cure us.

So where’s the beef? Well, I think we as human beings want to feel alive, as much as we can. It’s only frustration that lets us drug ourselves down with consumables of whatever kind. If you turn your focus on how you can make people feel alive, that’s where the fruitful niches are.

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