Niche marketing works!

June 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm 2 comments

My wife has a dear friend that she’s known for decades. Claire is just one of those people that no matter what’s going on in her life she has a smile, but that’s another story. Claire’s son, Peter, lives in Wichita, as does his mother. Peter is a sharp young man who works for the county in a social welfare area. Here’s were the story begins.

Peter wanted a rain barrel for his home in Wichita. He checked out several commercial models that were offered at the local hardware and home improvement stores. All were too expensive to him and in his opinion didn’t offer the quality he was looking for. So Peter set out to design his own. He found a source of 65 gallon barrels that had been used to transport syrup to make soda pop. He went to the hardware store and bought the high quality fittings needed to complete his system. Once completed his friends and neighbors all wanted one. Peter had hit a niche market and didn’t even know it at first.

Soon, Peter had several requests. He set a reasonable price and offered colors. He put up a web site and named his enterprise, Wichita Rain Barrels (www.wichitarainbarrels.com). The website is not fancy, yet. However, Peter’s marketing is spot on. As a very small business enterprise with little monetary resources, Peter used every available method of niche marketing at his disposal. He defined his market first and then asked himself how he could tell his story most efficiently. Word of mouth worked at first but he wanted to expand.

First he went to the local Farmer’s market and set up a table. He showed his wares to any passer-byers that would stop and listen. He then was asked by the local Lawn and Garden show to set up a booth. Not having the money to cover the fee he negotiated a lower rate. Soon he was featured in the Home and Garden section of the Wichita Eagle with a feature story about rain barrels. That led to a TV interview. All this was for free.

You see Peter was smart. He identified a niche market. He created a product that filled that need and he marketed only to those interested. He didn’t take out radio and TV ads (though in time I can see that he might). He partnered with people who could help him tell his story like the Farmer’s Market and the Lawn and Garden Show. He utilized publicity and leveraged it to his advantage and his small enterprise is growing (sorry for the pun) like a weed! All because he focused his marketing efforts on his niche market and didn’t attempt the shotgun approach.

Peter is what I call visionary. He was able to see all the possibilities involved in his little niche and he used his vision to promote effectively and with little or no cost. Now he’s thinking of branching out into composting barrels and other organic gardening tools. Peter will one day be a big company because of his vision, his focus, and his smarts. There’s a lot to be learned from him. Visit his website and see his vision, follow his lead and grow your own business by his example.

Next week will be on the personal side. Be sure to check in and read it. I hope it will touch your heart.

By the way, if you are a visionary small to medium sized business that needs help telling your story to the world, I’m your man. If you have a niche product let’s get together and discuss the possibilities. My contact info is:

Michael Irvin
Creative Project Manager
913.677.7060 cell: 913.530.7030
mirvin1129@yahoo.com

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. โปรโมทเว็บ  |  June 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Good article.

    Reply
  • 2. Eric  |  June 22, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    This reminds me a little bit of how this Kansas City guy’s blog exploded over the Internet and in national media when he put up the recipe for Bacon Explosion. Except that rain barrels are healthier!

    Reply

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