Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Power of Niche

There is something to be said about catering to a niche market. Sure, you might not make as much as someone who is producing mass-sales to zillions of people, but I think the interaction can be more personal.

For something to be a niche area, it must have certain standards that define it. Not everything will meet those standards. There is a community identity that usually evolves from a niche, especially one that is seen as stepping outside of the flow of society.

So imagine being in that niche and searching for something that caters to your interests or appetite. How great does it feel when someone shows up with a product or work that not only meets those standards but satisfies-- maybe even excites? How awesome is it to have that connection with an artist who understands why you love and perhaps live in that niche?

Suddenly there is conversation around this product or work and it gains value not only for how it is celebrated but because so many identify with it. It becomes a community prize and, with time and if good enough, an icon for that niche.

We can create things that will win us the most money, and there's nothing wrong with that. But if value is weighed beyond revenue and defined by cultural significance, then playing to a niche market will have more lasting and intimate impact.

Sometimes the odd duck needs a hero too.

Photo courtesy of Flickr's AhnjF

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