A few weeks ago The New York Times published an article
about a small, Canadian energy drink company trying to gain a foothold in New York City (don’t yawn yet). While the article was primarily about the entrepreneurs’ pavement pounding—it missed a more interesting story—how these guys plan to penetrate a hyper-saturated market. With Red Bull, Rock Star, and scads of other successful energy drinks on the market, why would anyone try another new buzz drink with a steep price tag?
Surprisingly, the company hadn’t really tackled that question. By their own admission, their only selling point is that the beverage is “all-natural” (not exactly a novel concept—just Google all-natural energy drink). Never mind getting shelf space; these guys need a niche—badly.
The bottom line is that these days, having a good product isn’t enough—particularly in “trendy” new industries like energy beverages and Internet social networking. Specialization is critical. Trust me—no one wants another Facebook, MySpace, or Redbull, no matter how fantastic. Find your company or product’s niche, and then market the hell out of it.
Here’s an example of how one company, a job site called The Ladders, has set itself apart from more established career sites like Monster.com and Hotjobs.com. Their niche is $100K-plus jobs. Did they do it right?