Niche Markets Now and After COVID-19


We’re in a whole new world of business now, and will likely continue to change in one form or another for the foreseeable future. But, niche markets have always been the best way to reach customers and have success. Aaron and Terry will talk about new niche markets created by Covid-19, and new approaches to our traditional niche markets.

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New Niche Markets

Aaron:  We’re in a whole new world of business now, and will likely continue to change in one form or another for the foreseeable future. But, niche markets have always been the best way to reach customers and have success. Let’s talk about new Niche Markets and new approaches to our traditional niche markets.

Terry: It’s been a while since we’ve talked, let’s define what we feel niche markets are, and why they can benefit a company.

Aaron: Let’s start by talking about newly created Niche Markets as a result of the Covid-19 situation.

Aaron: I’m going to dive in because this first one is quick I think – If you don’t have an eCommerce set-up with your own line of products that you create, this is a perfect time to do it. You can get it set-up on a new Facebook Shops store, Etsy, or even your own ECWID site where you can have up to 10 products for free and have very little expense if any, but have your own line of predesigned items. Create something that speaks to you directly, and area of passion, and then set-up a few mock-ups. This will allow you to have something to hopefully put more marketing and effort into if another COVID or disruption comes around. So next time the customer orders dry up for a bit, you can run some Facebook ads, push in some Facebook Groups, do some Google Adwords or whatever your niche needs and boom you have created your own work to do during the downtime. 

Terry: Face masks – who saw this coming? Print samples for any local businesses that are open or about to open.

Would any of those businesses like to give away masks to their own customers… hair and nail salons, restaurants, bars, etc.?

The concept of donating masks shouldn’t be overlooked. A customer of yours may want to donate masks to the local police that just say “To protect and serve.” What about social workers, Meals on Wheels volunteers, etc.? A great philanthropic idea that will really matter! 

Aaron: So we always joke about 52 niche markets, so to best help us get as many in today, I’m going to bundle this one. Babies! In about 13 years we are going to have the quaranteens, and all this staying at home could produce a baby boom. Babys need blankets and onesies and hats and everything else for that perfect Instagram picture. 

Then let’s talk about our older kids, school was cut short for most and now it is summer break. I know my kid has traditionally gone to a summer camp and that has been canceled so parents and service providers have had to get creative to stay sane and to keep their kids safe. I know we are talking with our neighbor girl who would have been working at the summer camp about doing camp Mongomery, for Lewis and just his closest friends and families that we know well. So you might have to get creative, but get on those school Facebook Groups, messenger chats etc and see if some unusual spots need some gear or towels etc.

Terry: Too soon for quarantine shirts? We’re garment decorators. We live on the edge. 

“Self quarantined for six years!”

“I’ve seen every episode of Walking Dead. Available for quarantine consultations.”

Aaron: So I’m going to cheat a little bit because this is not really a new niche, but I think that garment decorators need to make sure they diversify a little bit more. I know the folks I have talked to that either can do other things like signs, or banner or have a good wholesale partner for those things faired much better. This is not to say you have to step out of your niche, this is to say you had better be tight with your niche and be able to pivot with your customers. But to get back to a new niche, think about package deals you could do with your customers. Some signs, a banner, and some apparel as a package potentially. 

::: Look for a Special Part 2 Episode on June 8th – Here are the notes below :::

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Aaron: Let’s talk about Niche Markets that have existed but have changed due to the virus.

Terry: Fulfillment markets are seeing a real uptick… as the non-contact delivery has become important. (Explain fulfillment) What makes you special (different than anyone else)?

Aaron: We talked about this a little in previous episodes, but the live event space has certainly changed, and I think it will be different possibly for good. I know people will get back to getting out and getting in crowds, but it is still going to be different. The take advantage of this space when it returns, you have to be different. I think it is going to take technology, like automatic texts when the order is ready etc. Make the experience memorable (My Office Max v Amazon experience)

Terry: Offer businesses a care package to send to their good customers with a t-shirt, etc. A “thinking of you in this trying time” sort of thing. You build the package and they take advantage of the good will that follows. This could turn into a real niche in the marketplace.

Aaron: My last one is going to be the school market. I think everyone who was in the school and sports market took a major hit with COVID so I think that is going to shake some things up. I think it is going to push people to get new payment arrangements made with schools. No more of these 90 days POs etc. I think it is going to make the space a bit more open when it does come back as some businesses didn’t make it or have turned their focus elsewhere. I think you are going to really have to make sure if you are going to be dealing with schools, you have the deck stacked your way as it is just too dangerous. Lastly, I think when it comes to donations and asking for support, schools are also going to have to get it together. Like for example, I know my kid’s school asks for money non-stop and we are happy to donate what we can because I know they support the school community. But those schools who have their hand out all the time and then go spend their money with some company outside of their community because it is a nickel cheaper might want to rethink the bidding process.

Also, I thought this data was interesting. It’s the top increasing and declining eCommerce category. Not specific to garment decorating, but I think creative businesses might be able to make some connections –

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