When you were ten years old all any marketer needed to know about you, or the people in your street was that you owned a TV. In a world of limited choices big companies could afford to cast the net wide across the masses. No depth required. This tactic doesn’t work so well now that the masses have the power to choose, they have formed collectives and niches of all kinds. The market of everyone just disappeared overnight and that’s scary for big companies. But not for you, because your business can go ‘narrow and deep’.
The term ‘narrow and deep’ was originally applied to a retailing strategy where stores sold a few types of items across a wide variety of brands. A technological shift has enabled us to broaden that construct and to apply it to a marketing strategy that means less can be more. In other words, you don’t need the biggest market share, the largest product line or the most customers to win.
Size and ubiquity isn’t what’s important for brands any longer.
Significance trumps recognition now.
Hiut Denim doesn’t sell the most jeans. Good & Proper Tea serves leaf evangelists on the road and Silvano Lattanzi is doing just fine selling custom shoes that start at $7,000 a pair to the few. Even Apple doesn’t matter to everyone, the company’s smartphone market share has fluctuated between 13% and 22% in the past two years.
The power to ignore the masses and to touch one person at a time is not the short end of the stick. ‘Narrow and deep’ might not be as scary as you think.
Image by MTSOfan.