How niche brands can stand out in the mainstream

Niche is in. Niche is it. Niche is zig. Niche is woah! While it can feel like big brands are everywhere and trump everything, being niche is, in fact, make is much easier to position yourself… and, most importantly, market yourself. Because you’re not up against them. You can stand all by yourself, even in the midst of them.

Think about it. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘jack of all trades but master of none’? Well, the same goes for brands. While mainstream brands are targeting the masses, you specialise on one thing that no-one else is – and you kick ass at it.

So, let’s say you’re an artisan food or drink maker or a boutique winery. How do you make yourself heard, up against the big guns?

Show your personality. A sensory experience. Co-create.

There’s something I notice in almost every business. We’re too afraid to show our personalities. Our real selves. Our uniqueness. I don’t know why, but it’s one of the biggest marketing flaws I’ve seen. It’s like building a friendship with someone you’ve never met by showing nothing of ourselves. It’s next to impossible.

The same thing goes for brands. You’re a niche brand and you make things, your way, with your own two hands. You are the brand, so don’t be shy. Infuse your brand with your personality. Become a brand evangelist. Belieeeeve in your brand… find  your fans, and bring them with you  Infuse your essence, style and ‘voice’ and narrative into everything you do – from your cards, and emails to your brand’s packaging and online experience. It’s here that you’ll set your brand apart against the cold, soulless corporates.

Share your process. You make things yourself, so why not invite your audience to see and share in how you do it? Engage the senses by invoking texture or selecting images that create an immersive experience.

Another tip we have is to grow your audience by treating your business like a think-tank. Again, invite and listen to your customers and the feedback they give you. In doing so, your customers become collaborators, who push you to constantly evolve and take on new challenges.

How do you want to be known, liked & loved?

Have you explored how you want to be known? What do you need to leave behind? How does your brand ‘image’ reflect and drive your vision and mission?

Remember it needs to achieve the following:

  • Have soul
  • Be different
  • Spark people’s interest
  • Be relevant
  • Meaningful
  • Educate
  • Enlighten
  • Have impact
  • Be real

Depending on your brand, and the end user, it should also entertain and have the feel good factor. Where’s the joy?

Consider every connection point. If you have a physical space your customers visit, that’s a whole new discussion – on location, external signage, the atmosphere upon entering, using the front counter, and ‘telling’ your brand story. How are you making contact? What materials are you giving them, if any, when they leave? How long do they stay? How do you make the sale?

Getting a handle on your image

Identifying your underlying key principles are what make strong and memorable niche brands. Or any brand for that matter.

Take the time to critique your existing marketing, advertising, branding and promotional activity. What does it say about you and your brand? What are the key messages you want to communicate to your key stakeholders and what’s the best way to do that? What do they want to hear? How well do you understand them?

There are many moving parts to your business. A lot of these touchpoints, big brands don’t focus on, so your point of difference, or niche, could simply be a strategic communication or service delivery.

If you need help identifying your niche needle in your brand haystack, contact us.

At Kiikstart, we’re dedicated to helping people have more choice, influence and control about how they live, work and learn. If you’d like to hear more about what we do, contact us today on 0428 593 400 or