Home Article Features Columnists  Marketing Entrepreneurship

Marketing Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurships start small.

Tags: Marketing Entrepreneurship

BY Harish Bijoor  |  Oct 13, 2010 comments ( 2 ) |

As big consultancies break up with corporates suspecting value-propositions, niche boutique consultancies focus on individual specialty domains to become the order of the day! Private-label consultancy is here! The terrain is ripe for many a new entrant- More the merrier.

 

 

The Niche of Entrepreneurship

 

 

Most entrepreneurships that aim to be big, aim to be different. Entrepreneurships start small. Think big but start small. And that is the fact of an entrepreneurship at large.

 

This is the niche. The niche is always small. The niche is different. The niche is unique. The niche is boutique. The niche is all about that one salmon that swims against the tide. It is about that one offering in the market that is so unique that people will pay a good price for the offering, but there won’t be too many people partaking of the offer.

 

The niche is therefore that narrow wedge of marketing space that brands aspire to occupy not for the sake of volume, but for the sake of image and continued brand sustenance basis just that.

 

Marketing the Niche

 

How does one market the niche then? What are the primary challenges? And what’s so different in approach from marketing  a mass soap, a mass focused travel agency and a mass focused consulting practice for that matter like what the Big Four(or is the Big Two and  a half now?) do.

 

 

Marketing the niche brand is firstly a labour of love. Niche brands emanate from small little gaps in the market. At times, they are non-gaps even. These are small little gaps and non-gaps seen by evangelists. Evangelists who are reasonably tired of mass market offerings. Evangelists, who at times have themselves, experienced lack of service, frustration and a complete lack of fulfillment. The consultancy practice that looks at a zero-solicit model of business, where there is no advertising, no touting of business formats, no participation in market pitches for accounts and no brochure and no detailed website is one such example.

 

Major Challenges

 

The challenges then are three mainly.

 

 

  • There is no money to advertise. Might as well make a virtue of that. A non-advertised brand must be good, na?

 

  • Niche brands slip between the slots of public recognition. At times, too much recognition can be the bane of a brand in public space. Niche is boutique. 

 

  • Niche brands forever look maverick and small. And that’s an advantage in today’s world where everything big is considered that much less optimal in its service and delight delivery standards.

 

What to do and what not to do

 

 

Do’s:

  • Spruce up your brand image and be totally cutting-edge in what you offer. You need to be one step ahead of big competition. Remember, bigger organisaitons take much longer to change with their clients. Clients change faster than those who service them!

 

  • Don’t open up those offices all over. Follow a policy of the small office home office in every location till you have a minimum 5 clients in the kitty. It is better not to open a new office at all than close all of them one by one!

 

 

Don’t:

  • Don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Clients and consumers are tired of this.
  • Don’t be glib and slick at all. Don’t follow the big guys in this game. Be real. Be genuine. Be sincere. You will stand out like a loved sore thumb!

 

The Niche Gyaan

 

Wait! Even as I tap this onto my laptop, it strikes me that I operate in a niche myself.

 

Here is some niche-'gyaan' then from what I painted for my business practice eight years ago as a private label consulting firm with no MNC-consulting tag to it. Best way to talk the language of the niche. Best way to explore the challenge of the niche- My personal one.

 

 

 

Consulting! Possibly the world’s oldest profession

 

I had dealt with the big names in the Consulting business for a while now during my previous stints with Levers, Tata Coffee and finally Zip Telecom. I knew many an Anderson, a McKinsey and an E&Y! I knew many of the smaller names as well. Many a salivating consultant who would network at the parties I attended wearing the corporate hat.

 

The term Consulting has both a positive and a negative feel about it. The positive is that which talks of stellar strategy that creates many an alliance, many a turnaround and a domain that has been responsible for creating a wealth of wealth!

 

The negative connotation is best typified in the joke doing the cocktail rounds of a consultant being an entity that gets into your organisation, wants to meet the folks who work there, asks for your watch, looks at it keenly and tells you the time!

 

I have never wanted to be one of those kinds. And blissfully I am not! The first thing I did as the bug to get into bed with consultancy was that I did a thorough analysis of the turf at hand. Being a Market Research enthusiast all my life, I could do nothing better. I looked keenly at the inadequacies in the profession, and said I would never trample on the terrain in the same manner as many others have.

 

 

Defining USPs

 

I defined for myself a USP. Two actually.

 

One: My consultancy will never solicit business. No presentations to clients, no networking at parties, no presentations, no pitches and no brochures and direct mailers at all! I have had enough of that staring back at me from the other side of the fence when I was a Corporate for 18 long years!

 

Two: My practice would focus on walking the talk. Talking the talk is just not enough. The consultant must tread the path of his strategy and see it to fruition. I therefore adopted the Build-Operate-Transfer basis of business many a super-highway contractor adopts in his trade. I will build strategy; I will operate it for the client as if I am his own resource for a year. At point of satisfaction, I will transfer the business to the client CEO! Gives the profession a great deal of credibility!

 

This seems to work. It has kept me busy. My four offices are busy as well.

 

 As big consultancies break up with corporates suspecting value-propositions, niche boutique consultancies that focus on individual specialty domains will become the order of the day! Private-label consultancy is here! The terrain is ripe for many a new entrant- More the merrier.

 

Being a niche player is really an advantage today. If this is a David versus Goliath play, the consumer of the future is poised to look keenly at David. David is small. David is nifty. David is value-for money (most of the time). David is like me, small, real and vulnerable. The consumer emotes with small. B2B, B2C or to B2M (Business to machine) marketing, small is still beautiful. Schumacher was right!

 

 

Article by Harish Bijoor, CEO Harish Bijoor Consultants

Please add your comment

RAMESH MEHTA

January 30, 2011 at 7:53 am

PL LET ME KNOW PRODUCT RANGE OF NICHE. contact member@franchiseindia.com

Reply |

ravi

January 22, 2011 at 10:35 am

sir,I found this article an invaluable lesson in marketing for budding entrepreneurs. This is a pragmatic approach for startups. Thank you sir ! Regards, Ravi

Reply |

Rating
Not readable? Change text.
Enter the characters as seen on the image (case insensitive)
  Notify me of followup comments via e-mail   Subscribe for daily newsletter

Related Articles

How to pitch your biz plan

BY Nandini Vaidyanathan and Ramanan Subramani

Imagine you are in the elevator with Warren Buffet or someone like him, and you have this brilliant idea that you think can change the world, what ...

VC Funding on Uptrend

BY Arindam Ghosh

To begin a business and expand its reach in the market, finance is the most ingredients and to generate this fund, venture capital is one of the mo...

Test of True Entrepreneurship

BY Megha Poddar

Entrepreneurship- A word that everybody interprets differently. An aspiration that everybody wants to be but somewhere are reluctant to call themse...

Embrace technology at the outset

BY Bala Girisaballa

Not long ago, online presence was an after thought. It was also a luxury that only large companies indulged in because it involved hiring programme...

Teaming up essentials for new ventures

BY Sai Swaroopa

Teaming up essentials for new ventures Selecting the core team for your new venture is a highly critical start-up activity. Successes and failu...

Get Max from Social Media

BY Deep Banerjee

After you plan to use Social Media Marketing (SMM) for your business, the first question that strikes you is if you really need a blog. This is a q...

Do not Always Hire the Best

BY Ajay Wahi

Now do not frown thinking why am I saying this? Because the answer is simple- Talent, refusing to stay put in SME will fly off to greener pasture o...

GETTING MORE DONE IN LESS TIME

BY Tony White

We are all given the same 24 hours in a day, and yet, some individuals seem to be able to achieve a lot more in that time frame unlike others. ...

Follow the Rules of the Game

BY Seema Jhingan

Often considered the nucleus of expanding industrialisation in India, small and medium enterprises (SME) have seen a prodigious rise in the recent ...

Power of customer engagement

BY Deep Banerjee

In present times companies have only one option - 'customer engagement' to remain competitive and profitable! The term 'engagement'...

Entrepreneurship With Renewable Energy

BY Rita G. Chauhan

Recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that India is going to double its renewable energy capacity to 55,000 MW by 2017 as an effort to ...

Fostering Business Between India, US

BY Rita G. Chauhan

The US Commercial Service has been opening American Business Corners (ABC) in different Indian cities and offering new biz opportunities by connect...