Monday, November 23, 2015

Ishtihaar- A market fit for your product || Gautam Gopal || IIM Shillong || September October 2015 edition


In today’s world marketers in order to gain more profit out of their product, promote the product and try to take advantage of economy of scale by standardising the product. So is there any scope for Niche market in present world? Why should a company go for Niche Marketing rather than Mass Marketing?

Above questions are really troublesome for a marketer and the solutions to them are never easy. There is no formula to define that either Mass Marketing or Niche Marketing is more effective. We can only analyse that under what conditions a Niche Marketing can turn out to be an effective tool to marketers. 

Niche Marketing is to target narrowly defined customer group in search of specific mix of benefits by dividing a segment into sub-segments. It is very important that a subsegment is being defined for the product where customers have specific set of needs and are willing to pay premium amount for the product. This is because the product is a specialised one, which is totally missing in Mass Marketing where a product is more standardised and less specialized. 

There is a lot of healthy examples of Niche Marketing with specified target group and making most of its product specialization. For e.g. Krack cream from Paras Pharmaceutical is one of the examples of having a niche market product. It clearly targets women with cracked feet and it is very specific in the sub-segment with minimal
competition. If one is allowed to think of a competitor, it would be hard to do so. Krack cream has been a successful venture in Niche market. As a 25 gram Krack cream tube would cost around INR 61 whereas 25 gram tube of “Fair and lovely advanced Multi Vitamin Fairness solution” would cost only around INR 47. This is a clear contrast effect of a Niche marketed product and a mass marketed product. Krack cream may not be as popular as Fair and lovely but earns more, makes more out of the same quantity, reason being it is a specialised product and the need for the two products are different so it exploits its Niche market presence in the segment. 

Another good example of Niche Marketing is “Vanish Stain Remover” which is applicable for the clothes with strong stain on them which are not easily removable with normal detergent. It may not be suitable for daily wash of clothes. Vanish enjoys its supremacy in Niche Market which it belongs to, as compared to any other detergent (mass market). Lack of competition and it being a specialized product give it a price premium advantage. A 900 gram pack of “Vanish Shakti O2 fabric stain remover” is priced as INR 320 where as one of the premium segment detergent “Surf Excel Matic Front Load’s” 1 kg pack is priced at INR 205: showing a clear cut advantage of a Niche market product over a Mass market product. There are a host of other examples i.e. Godrej Ezee, Medicines, organic or natural food (fruit juice etc.)

With the advancement of technology and globalisation the products will keep on becoming cheaper and better but Niche Market will keep on enjoying its premium position. Marketers need to keep on promoting their product in a creative and comprehensive manner. Marketers should also keep trying to bring some changes in the product with time. No market is safe against competition, as competition is bound to creep in and make a niche market product a mass market product, as has happened in case of “Iodex”. So it is very important that marketers keeps a keen watch on changing trend and keep positioning and repositioning its product in order to cater to larger consumer base in niche market before it gets crowded by fresh competitors.

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