Let’s say you want to buy a sled; you have a lot of choices. You can choose from a wide range of types and prices offered by a large sporting goods manufacturer, purchase a much more expensive handmade, vintage-style version from an independent woodworker, or choose the most advanced, modern sled made from technologically advanced alloys by a specialized design team.
Let’s assume you go online and search for “sled,” and these three types of businesses pop up in the results. If these brands are well-defined, you can quickly determine what they offer: the lowest price, old-world craftsmanship or the newest technology. The front page of the sporting goods manufacturer is going to present hundreds of products of many types. The woodworker is going to describe his painstaking sled-making process and what kind of wood he uses. The high-end sled designer will describe the advanced composite materials used in their manufacture and make claims about the sled’s performance. But you probably don’t have to read the descriptions to get a sense of what kinds of products each business offers — you can probably get a feel for each business from the logo and the style of type and images used on the home page. A high-tech sled designer will probably present a page that looks sleek and modern, and may include a photo of a famous sled-racing champion. The woodworker will present black and white images of kids on sleds alongside vintage typography. The large sporting goods manufacturer will present visuals that are appropriate for a wide range of sports.
Of course, there will be other businesses that have not defined their brands so clearly. If they don’t look like what you want, or if it’s not clear what they offer, why would you spend time learning about those businesses? You will probably gravitate to those that provide a clearly defined offering. If you don’t find what you want you might do more research, but if you find the right sled on the first few sites there’s a good chance you’ll stop searching.
Clearly defining your brand and simultaneously differentiating yourself from the competition is the key to securing customers in a crowded marketplace.
In today’s crowded marketplace, consumers have an almost endless array of choices. Therefore, to attract the customer base you want, you must clearly define your niche.