So much more than a Lucky Charm. Scale Lessons in Niching.
One of the most common challenges we face when working with business owners, is their desire to be everything to all.
Many have built a fantastically strong brand, with growing awareness and momentum in their market place, but they’re trying to appeal to too many, too early.
They’re getting ahead of themselves by constantly adding to their product lines or services, and instead of reaping the benefits, they’re at risk of diluting their brand and getting lost amongst all the competition in their marketplace and becoming another “me too”.
Don’t get me wrong, constant innovation is a must to stay in business; especially as we live in the age of specialisation. But in order to grow and scale, you need to focus on one crucial aspect of your business, own this space and become the absolute best you can in this.
This will give you larger margins and a blue print model to scale.
Fear of change – or of the unknown – maybe stopping you from niching and owning your space. Add to this our obsession as entrepreneurs to keep tweaking, adding, investing in the latest shiny new tool, which constantly distracts us.
Let me give you one of the best examples of Niching I’ve recently come across – Cereal Killer Café.
Their Product is simple and specialist: the UK’s first cereal cafe offering all types of branded cereals with milk, and you can even eat it on a bed instead of chairs.
Their Story is clear and relatable. The brothers came up with the idea of selling breakfast cereal after experiencing a morning hangover during a lunch break in Shoreditch and craving a “sugary cereal fix.
They researched the market in America, and then asked people on the streets of London whether or not they would buy into their concept. Over half said they would consider visiting their café.
Their brand taps into our nostalgia as a kid, and our early memories and relationships with Cereal. The interior is designed to reflect a retro style with exposed brickwork, formica furniture and 1980s and ’90s music. Among the decor are novelty cereal boxes, vintage milk bottles and other cereal related memorabilia.
Cereal maybe a Niche, but they’ve changed the landscape. Through innovative and creative menus, cereal is no longer positioned as a breakfast fix; they offer 100 different varieties of global cereal brands, 12 kinds of milk and 20 toppings. Plus…
- They’ve tapped into today’s eating habits by offering vegan and allergy-free alternatives.
- The menu offers savoury dishes such as sausages stuffed with Shredded Wheat and Cornflake Chicken.
- They’ve replicated the model of ice cream and pizza outlets with a create your own; choose 2 cereals, a flavoured milk, and toppings such as fresh strawberries.
- Cereal doesn’t need to be served with milk – you can choose ice cream or have a Poptart Ice cream Sandwich.
- They’ve tapped into the coffee café culture by serving traditional coffee, as well as lines such as Frosties Milk Iced Latte.
- They even serve cocktails after hours; the Drunk Leprechaun contains Vodka, Cream Soda, Marshmallow Syrup, Lucky Charms and Marshmallows.
Not only have they turned cereal on its head, they’ve introduced vouchers, party bookings and even a Cereal Killer Café Cookbook.
This has enabled them to scale from London (Brick Lane, Camden Market), to Dubai and Kuwait City – all located in quirky, arty, upcoming locations.
I am NOT a cereal man, but what these twin brothers have created REALLY wants me to head on down to Shoreditch, order some Bran-Fries and a Coco-Pops-Accino, and enjoy it whilst sitting on a bed dressed in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cover.
This week revisit the one thing you’re best at, what you’re most known and loved for, what makes you and your business tick. Then refine this, build on it, think big and look at how you can totally own and dominate your space.
Investor | Business Mentor at Advocate | Author of I don’t work Fridays
Image by Aline Ponce from Pixabay