The Riches are in the Niches

Excerpted from my upcoming book, Sweet Spot Leadership

A lot of companies manufacture high-tech glass, digital displays, and various screen technologies. Corning, however, has patented Gorilla Glass® and cornered the mobile phone market. Corning has been in the glass business for over 100 years. For most of their other products, there are countless competitors; for Gorilla Glass, they dominate the field.

How does Gorilla Glass apply to your situation?

The final area to focus on is the marketability of your product or service. You need to carve out the right niche for your company and find a way to reach those targeted consumers.

I am sure to some of you, the idea of limiting the amount of people you are offering your product to does not sound like a recipe for success. But being able to focus in on the customers who will most benefit from your particular product or service will allow you to get more out of a smaller segment.

In an earlier section, I discussed that you may need to let some aspects of your business go. This will help you find the value in your company without the distractions of too many offerings taking away from the sweet spot.

Be a Category Killer

A Category Killer is a term for a company that has such a distinct competitive advantage, they essentially eliminate all the other market entities. Think of eBay, Toys R Us, Best Buy. They have little-to-no real competition.

How does a new contender take on established big shots? By becoming a category killer.

Category killers try to elicit a certain response from clients and consumers. To do so, they build an experience from the ground up.

Is there an opportunity for you to become a category killer? Here are a few examples:

Sephora – Self Service With A Side of Luxury

LVMH, the parent company of Louis Vuitton luggage, is also responsible for the reigning royalty of cosmetics: Sephora. The company saw a fragmented market for its competitors and therefore an opportunity. As a luxury brand, they understood the importance of making customers feel special. When they purchased a popular French cosmetics company in the 1990s, they built upon the self-service model while increasing the customer service element and expanding into new markets. By emphasizing personalized service, frequent samples, and high-quality giveaways, Sephora unified and won. They are the strongest competitor in the beauty industry and have strong brand recognition and loyalty from their customers.

Go Daddy – Outrageous Advertising and Excellent Customer Service

You may be most familiar with Go Daddy from their risqué Super Bowl ads, but did you know they are a category killer? When Bob Parsons founded the company in 1999, no one expected anyone to be able to topple the domain registration giant Network Solutions. Yet through aggressive marketing campaigns and a commitment to low prices and great service, they are now the number one domain name registrar in the world. According to their Website, Go Daddy currently registers, renews, or transfers a domain name more than every second of every day, has more than 9.5 million customers worldwide, manages more than 49 million domain names and employs more than 3,300 people. Go Daddy is also the largest Web hosting provider in the world with more than 5 million active hosting accounts.

Becoming a category killer is a sweet victory. Maintaining focus on the brand promise is what prevents the business from turning sour.