The word ‘niche’ is one of the most oft used words in both offline and online marketing today. It is to emphasise that as one who is a marketer or the need to market a business, one focus’ on a specific target and segmented market channel.
Others will explain and teach you that you need to be highly focused on your market segment and with this in mind you will be able to serve a smaller, yet higher value target of clients or customers. By focusing on a narrow segment of a market, you as a business owner can emphasis more on providing value and giving a unique perspective based on your skills and expertise of solving customer issues or problems.
Let’s look at the market of pet ownership. The market has animal food products, grooming, healthcare, bedding, veterinary services, holiday care programs and kennelry and pet shows.
Now this is the pet market overall and as you see, there are market segments. If you take one of these market segments and break it down further, you end up with a specific market niche. A niche may be,
- A food product that is fully organic and available to cats only
- Safety walking collars and a leash in amazing colours for dogs only
- A feed, watering and walking service for clients when they are absent on vacation
A niche targets a highly focused and specific market segment. This helps you as a business owner to focus on the direct needs of your clients and help solve their problems within that market segment. This also helps you become the ‘go to’ known expert in that market segment of your chosen industry.
These segments or niche categories as they have become known are powerful business market focus. For most people, the benefits of a niche are known but talking about and using the word, niche, is a subject that a lot of you struggle to use because of pronunciation for a certain locale.
What I really love about this word is there is really no right or wrong way to speak and pronounce this word. It has become a pronunciation based on where you live. Here I feel we can shed some light on the word and maybe finally put to rest the ‘correct’ pronunciation of it.
Dictionary.com defines the meaning of the word as
- an ornamental recess in a wall or the like, usually semicircular in plan and arched, as for a statue or other decorative object.
- a place or position suitable or appropriate for a person or thing: to find one’s niche in the business world.
- a distinct segment of a market.
- Ecology, the position or function of an organism in a community of plants and animals.
In places like Canada and the United States the word is pronounced ‘nitch’. In places like Australia, The United Kingdom and New Zealand is pronounced ‘neesh’.
So there you have it, the most common way to pronounce the word, depending where in the world you live. Let’s finally resolve the pronunciation debate for once.
*bibliography – http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/niche?s=t definition dictionary.com of the word niche