Niche market examples and how to discover them


The riches are in the niches.

You’ve heard this from me and probably from some others along the way. However, like a lot of truths, finding one of those niches with promised riches is easier said than done.

The ironic part of this is that in order to think small, you first need to think big. Let me give you an example to illustrate this.

Music streaming niche market example

Music streaming on the Internet is a big industry. Spotify, Pandora, and Apple are some of the players. There’s no way you or I could jump into that market and start to compete with them. No matter what strategy I used to stand out, it would be impossible. However, let’s start to slice that big pie into smaller pieces and discover an area where an individual could compete. Let’s ask ourselves some questions:

What different kinds of music would people want to listen to over the Internet?

  • Pop
  • Soul
  • Christian
  • Classical
  • Jazz, and
  • Country.

My list is far from comprehensive and I apologize if I’ve left out your favorite genre. For the sake of this example, let’s choose pop music. However, it’s still a huge category, so we need to slice it up some more. Pop music has been a mainstay of the music industry for generations, so let’s divide it by age groups. To make this easy, I’ll use decades and skip the most recent era:

  • Pop music from 2000-2010
  • Pop music from 1990-2000
  • Pop music from 1980-1990
  • Pop music from 1970-1980
  • Pop music from 1960-1970

Those are pretty good divisions. I’ve been hearing a lot of people lately talk about the 1980s and 1990s with a certain aura of nostalgia and I could probably create niche market examples from each of those eras. However, for my niche market example, I’m going to make the point that the two decades of 1960 to 1980, coincide fairly well with when the Baby Boomers would have been tuned into pop music.

I would probably call this slice of the music pie, “oldies.” However, that’s still a fairly large category; I know that virtually every major city has an “oldie” radio station. So I’m going to make one more slice: Geography.

When we wax nostalgic for the music of our youth, we usually associate it with a specific location, such as the city where we grew up, the schools we attended, etc. This brings me to my final slice of the pie, and it’s an example a friend told me about not long ago.

How about taking the most popular pop-music radio station of the Baby Boomers in a certain geographical area and resurrecting it as an Internet radio station? This is exactly what has been done with the classic San Francisco Bay Area radio station KYA. Gary Mora, one of the station’s long-time disk jockeys, is playing the music the station featured as well as the old radio ads.

Slicing up the pie

You can take virtually any segment of commerce and start breaking it down like this to come up with your own niche market examples. Your final slices may not be age or location as they were in my example. They might be attributes like hobbies, profession, gender, income, heritage, health condition, or any number of other categories.

Before we leave all of our niche market examples behind for today, I want you to notice something. I started this by recognizing the fact that you could never compete with any of the big players in the market, but that’s not all I want to say on the topic of competition:

It’s also a fact that the big players can’t compete with you when you have a good niche market identified!

That’s why the riches are in the niches!

How about you? Do you have some niche market examples calling your name?

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PS – I came across this example of a niche product that I thought was so clever, you needed to see it. We all know about inflatables for kid’s parties. Why not an inflatable for adult parties? Read all about the inflatable Irish Pub on the Food and Wine website.