Positioning Triggers: 26 Ways to Become a Leader of a Niche

How your product/service offering is positioned in the marketplace is extremely indicative of how well any digital marketing campaign can perform.

We’re more than confident we can run a great ads campaign, but that clients ‘positioning’ and their ‘offering’ are so important for the type of Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) you can expect. What you promote is just important as how well you can promote it.

Our belief is that any business that goes through a scaling period of fast growth, is the leader of a niche. For a segment of the market, they are the clear best choice.

It’s hard to 10x your business as a follower in any niche. This doesn’t mean you are leading the entire category, just a segment.

This is positioning. Finding the audience that you can position yourself as the best choice.

Below are a few triggers to help you ideate ways to lead a segment of the market.

Once you have the idea, step 2 and 3 are creating a winning offer for that audience, and setting up a killer campaign! But it’s all downhill once you have the right positioning…

Many of these may not be relevant at all to what you do, but you should have at least one of these that you think you can use to your advantage and become a leader in something that would better satisfy the needs of a portion of the market.

So, let’s dig in!

#1 – I want it to work this way

Sometimes the easiest way to become a leader in a niche is to create your own niche based on something you wish existed. If you’re thinking it then there’s a good chance others are too and it’s worth testing. Be the first mover as long as you feel it’s a defensible position once obtained and not too easy for main market leaders to offer the same thing.

Countless fast-growth companies have started this way, a customer wishes there was a better way and decides to create it.

As a business already operating in a niche, take time to think about all the things that annoy customers in this market, put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think about how you can create something people would switch to instantly if it was available.

In our industry, there are too many agencies with enough knowledge to be dangerous but not enough knowledge to get results consistently. There is no accountability for performance in this world of churn and burn, by the time they lose 1 client they’ve sold 2 more…

So pay per performance is something this industry needs more of. The volume of applications we get is evidence the market wants this.

What about your industry, what are customers craving existed?

#2 – Other places

Who is a market leader growing rapidly in another location (interstate or internationally) in this market that you can model and do locally? You already know the model works, the next question will be whether it works as well for your area, and whether the originator is planning on coming into your area. But it’s much less of a risk than a new idea from scratch.

#3 – Other industries

What is something another industry does that is working very well that can be adopted to this industry to help you carve out a niche you can dominate?

Often a concept that is killing it in and industry can be adapted to many other industries.

Who are the fastest growing companies right now? What is it about their model that is helping them snatch market share? Could a similar model be applied to your industry?

#4 – Go green

Can we be the leader of this market for the eco-friendly conscious? Being the ‘greenest’ option is enough to be the #1 option for many buyers in today’s world! This market is growing too…

#5 – Using the leaders advantage against them

Often there is a market where the leaders have a certain competitive advantage that makes it hard to overtake them, so instead of trying and failing, what model would make the leader unable to adapt because of their current advantage?

If successful, this means you can be the new leader and there is a serious obstruction from the current leader pivoting to your model. Which often means they don’t do it, or only do it if they’re about to go extinct.

For this to work the advantage has to be something they’ve acquired through investing heavily in and therefore would be reluctant to move away from.

A common prompt here is location, maybe they have the most locations or locations in the best spots in the main street. Then a competitor comes along and has 1 much larger location out of town that has much less overheads, and people are willing to travel to it because of better parking, cheaper prices, better experience etc.

Woolies and Coles have big stores and a huge range of products and brands, Aldi has smaller stores, less of a selection, mostly home brands and is stealing market share. Woolies can’t downsize stores, and won’t be offering less products, so they have to increase their range and find other ways to be cheaper including more of their own home brand ranges.

Who is your market leader and why are they the leader? What have they invested heavily in to become the leader? Can you do the opposite?

#6 – Owned vs rented vs fractionally owned

If the rest of the industry involves buying, can you be about renting? Or visa versa? Fractional ownership is gaining popularity in many industries!

If you’re selling something expensive that most people buy, is there a market that would rent it instead?

If you’re selling something most people rent, is there a market that would buy it?

Fractional ownership is the buzz word in the coming years (if not already), for any expensive asset.

#7 – For the home vs for work vs for leisure

If the leading products are for work, can you do a variation of the product for the home or for leisure? How would the product vary if it were to be used in a different setting than usual? Or if it were designed to be taken between all 3.

#8 – Total cost vs initial price

This one is very simple and very powerful. If the competitors are a large upfront cost, can you be an option with more attractive pricing terms?

Afterpay has proven attractiveness of this for eCommerce, but this is extremely relevant to services as well.

Our advice is that this one can improve conversion rates, but it can hurt the scaling process and how quickly you grow, as it impacts cash flow. If you have read our download ‘The Scaling Formula’ which can be downloaded via our website, you’ll understand why.

#9 – Expert vs inexpert users

Targeting your product or service towards expert or novice users will help your marketing speak to the audience better.

#10 – Personalized vs untailored

In every market there will be those who prefer the most personalised product or service they can get, and others who are happy with the off the shelf version for cheaper.

If your industry doesn’t have a super personalised product, then it could be worth exploring!

#11 – Diy vs professional service

If there isn’t already a DIY option within your industry, you should seriously consider becoming it. It will greatly reduce costs and increase margins and often increase the market you would have otherwise had access to.

#12 – Mass market vs niche

Are you in an industry where there is only a small select market for the wealthy? Take it a step further and make it a genuine mass market product or service. Cars, travel and eating out were all once for the wealthy only.

Is your industry mostly for the masses? The fastest growing section of the economy is products for the millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires.

#13 – Bigger vs smaller

Many industries have had a breakthrough product that is similar but smaller. Cars, phones, tomatoes, and loads more. Or supersize it!

#14 – Emotional vs functional

Emotional is warm and expensive, functional is no-nonsense, logical and inexpensive.

Depending on your personality, people make decisions differently and will lean to one of these.

#15 – Low vs high-touch service

If your service is high touch, how much could the customer handle themselves if the product or service was a lot cheaper? Or if the majority of the industry is low service, what extras could you look after for people to create a better service?

#16 – Go grey – over 50’s

The over 50’s market is constantly growing and often well-funded, how can you better serve this segment within your niche?

#17 – Minority groups

Can your product or service better cater to the needs of minority groups like LGBT or ethnic groups? Minority groups often have preferences that are not catered to as well as the main market and can be better serviced when thought of as a target market.

#18 – Masculine vs feminine

Could your product or service be exclusively for males or females, or could it be more masculine or feminine in nature to attract customers that resonate with that image?

#19 – Fixed vs mobile

Is your industry mobile enough? Could you make it more mobile? A little bit of creativity could achieve this in most industries.

#20 – Saving time vs extending time

Faster delivery, self-checkouts, lower wait times are all the way of the future, but some industries can definitely benefit from going against the grain and making it a time extension offer – maybe the rest of the industry is rushing and there is a market that would appreciate spending more time with you.

#21 – Convenience vs purity

Creating a business built around purity and authenticity can be difficult, but everyone likes things more convenient in today’s world and there are many industries ripe for disrupting if you can make it twice as quick/simple/convenient.

#22 – Safe vs racy

Do you buy a Harley or a Volvo? Racy products are expensive and profitable, could your industry do with a little extra sauce?

#23 – Healthy vs tempting

Vegan, organic, local are the biggest trends in food, but there will always be room for the super tempting treat. But this doesn’t just apply to food and beverage, it can also relate to travel and tours!

#24 – Upmarket/downmarket

Could you create a luxury segment of the market? This can work very well in markets that people don’t think are very glamorous, like what Starbucks did to coffee.

Create an affordable indulgence – creating a much better version of a boring, barely profitable product for a multiple of the price?

Or potentially an affordable luxury, a slightly cheaper version of an expensive product where the customer can get the majority of the benefits and appeal for much cheaper than the upmarket product.