Niche Opportunity #1: Square Peg, Round Hole

400,000,000 PRODUCTS…and Yet Countless Niches for Your Billion Dollar Idea

How many different products exist today?  Do you know how many Amazon sells? 

  • Some sources indicate Amazon and Marketplace offer ~400,000,000 diverse products! 
  • Buy one each second for thirteen years to exhaust the list, but by then you’ll find millions more.

Despite this plethora of products, something different for each 20 people on Earth, there are limitless spaces for new and different, sometimes better products.

These opportunities for new billionaires are the NICHES in the market, large and small.

Our goal in this space is help you find or conceive and fill Niches by combining market research, creativity, and common sense.

If you can draw as well as a typical 4th grader, you can conceptualize niches in any market.

Let’s start drawing and find your first niche!   Colored ink pens or pencils or markers in hand?

Draw a box containing a larger circle and smaller circles.  Then draw a square (a brand) that fits in the large circle (a large market segment)  but not in the small circles (smaller market segments).

That’s the concept for your first niche, illustrated by the most dramatic example of Niche Marketing (and Anti-Marketing!) in history.  No, not Apple; much, much earlier…

From 1914 to 1925, to maximize productivity, Ford built only Model T cars, painted with quick-drying black enamel. 

In 1921, this single model satisfied 61% of all car buyers (the large circle), thrilled to have a reliable new means of transportation at a reasonable price. 

General Motors had acquired several vehicle manufacturers*, but its total share with five auto brands – brands that satisfied the smaller colored circles — was a mere12%.

Ford’s comfortable and immensely lucrative status would not last.

 

Ford Sales Ford % GM Sales GM % Chrysler Sales Chrysler % Total Detroit 3 Total Sales

Detroit %

1921

1,007,436 60.9 202,113 12.2 0.0 1,209,550 1,654,416

73.1

*Including Grabowsky Motor Vehicle Company, builder of the first truck, acquired in 1909 and origin of GMC Trucks.

Ford dominated the market, but…

Psychosocial motivations of consumer behavior began     to take hold of the auto market. 

Most buyers were thrilled to have any auto they could afford, but others already wanted “More”. 

Humans always want something “MORE” and Different.  Brands that ignore consumer psychology are destined to fall behind.

By 1928 the red-hot auto market more than doubled, but not for inflexible Ford, obsessively focused on the production line, not the consumer.

When Ford finally launched its Model A, with diverse models and colors, its share had plummeted to 16% …versus GM’s 42%!  Radical reversal in seven years!

 

 

Ford Sales Ford % GM Sales GM % Chrysler Sales Chrysler % Total Detroit 3 Total Sales Detroit %

1921

1,007,436

60.9 202,113 12.2 0.0 1,209,550 1,654,416

73.1

1928

550,034

15.8 1,447,681 41.6 364,827 10.5 2,362,543 3,479,175

67.9

1929

1,528,518 35.2 1,438,895 33.2 390,243 9.0 3,357,657 4,339,694

77.4

APPLY MARKETING LESSON LEARNED FROM FORD vs. GM:

Ford’s square peg would only fit one large round hole, none of the many emerging holes…Niches. Human beings are never completely satisfied, fortunately for the professionals who create new products and brands, sometimes entirely new categories. 

 

Here is your path to discover a new NICHE:

Consider some B2B or B2C market you know very well, whether as an assiduous buyer and user, or from your professional experience.

Draw large and small circles for diverse wants and needs of consumers or decision makers in that market.

If you don’t know those “NEED” segments (“What they want”) very well, you need Market Research, whether technically thorough research or simple and informal inquiries.

Even if you do know many need segments, good research almost always reveals new ones you had not previously perceived. 

With the circles or market-need segments defined, it’s time to add the squares.

Draw large and small squares for the existing products or brands with different marketing focuses , promises and claimed benefits (“What is available”).

How do they match up?  Visualize large and small gaps and mismatches. 

The Valuable Niche You Seek Is A Round Hole Surrounded Only by Square Pegs.

Next…NICHE #2:  “THE MEAGER DOUGHNUT” A Multi-Billion Dollar Case of Misguided Competition

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