I’ve been asked to do a training for giant sized B2B companies that have close to a Billion Dollars in revenue about helping their sales grow. Of course, the only thing I’m always talking about over and over, year after year is the whole concept of super-niching. But does it apply to giant corporations? How could such a thing work? Well, let’s dissect it shall we?
What Is Super-Niching?
The definition of a niche comes from nature where there’s a small crevice or crack in the rock formation. In business and in decorating it means a really small area that’s been carved out of the bigger whole. In other words, for us business owners, it means getting really tight with your target market and your specialty that you offer to that buyer.
By virtue of picking a very specific industry and positioning yourself as an expert in a very costly and painful problem is the best way to stand out from competitors who are usually much less specific and much more generic. For example, when I managed the BIC stationery portfolio and had 720 skus to sell, I super-niched on the Adult office workers and the super-problem of their low-quality perceptions around the ink of our most iconic see-through, clear hexagon pen. I created a campaign around the ink-glide technology and made a story of our value added new pen range. The brand’s sales grew for the first time in decades, gaining share in a stagnant market for years. Super-niching allowed us to be different, to tell a story to get in with our existing buyers. It grew our business incremental to our existing volume.
Giants Have Needs Too
I’ve worked for giant companies like Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Frito Lay, Smirnoff and BIC pens for 18 years. They were, by all definitions, true giants and most were the leaders in their industry. The one thing they did share with their smaller counterparts though, was that they were ALL in desperate need of growth. Every year, they came up with new plans and new products and where possible, new distribution points to be able to hit the higher sales targets they had.
How Giants Super-Niche
The concept of growing through shrinking your focus has always come as somewhat of a hard thing to swallow for most business owners. Doubly so for Giants. What’s a Giant to do, leave off servicing their entire markets and go super-niche on just one industry/interest group and just one product or service? Well, I’m not telling them to do that. I’m telling them that repositioning their message down to a super-niche will grow their business faster in INCREMENT to what they’re already doing. Meaning, that the Giant would be Super-niching simultaneously in multiple areas with multiple teams and budgets and plans.
For example, I once worked with a company who used the super-niching model with 6 different teams at the same time. We developed different communication and outreach strategies for all of them. Each was manned by a different team and plan. They all grew the company’s top and bottom line.
So, that’s the secret. A super-niche in a multi-pronged approach is the best and easiest way to grow your sales, even if you are a Giant. Because remember, to grow, you have to shrink your focus!