Brand Strategy

Gaining traction in a peloton of brands

Tips for startups looking to breakout

If you’re a startup or small brand looking to breakout, you’ve gotta think about micro-specialization


Strategies for getting ahead of the competition are often based around the principle, be better than the rest. This can be an uphill battle if you’re one of many in a peloton of brands.

If you’re a startup or small brand looking to breakout, you’ve gotta think about micro-specialization. What do your customers need and how can you narrow your offering down to something you can become known for. If your brand were a cyclist, would you only fight for the yellow jersey when you have the opportunity to change gears and competently grab the polka dot?

Does this brand understand my problem deeply enough to solve it?

This is a question potential customers think about when making purchase decisions. Imagine for example, you crashed your bike and you need surgery on your left shoulder. Are you going to head to the nearest surgeon, or would you rather visit the one who specializes in left-shoulder surgeries?

By concentrating on a niche, you can stand out amongst the competition, give your prospects the confidence to listen to your pitch and seriously consider your offering. Eventually they’ll decide to purchase from you instead of the more generally-focused competitors. The expertise your brand offers makes it the first and often only stop for your customers.

Gaining traction in a crowded market

Let’s take a look at the boutique bike brand Franco for example. This sleek and elegant roadbike brand based in SoCal is one I hadn’t heard of until recently, and it begs the question, how can a boutique brand imagine competing against the big brands like Specialized and Giant?

Nevertheless, Franco is gaining traction and popularity. Franco’s strategy? A hyper-focus on customer service. Franco pride’s itself on making no compromises when it comes to personal service, tailored builds and top notch performance. When you order a Franco, everything is custom. Each bike is built from the ground up according to each customer’s specific requests regarding all components, from custom colour to drivetrain, saddle, stem and handlebars.

So rather than buy a bike off the shelf and drop an additional wad of cash on upgrades, with Franco you get the bike exactly the way you want it, out of the box. Plus they’ve dialed their consumer-direct business model so you are knocking out the middle man to save you some moola for maintenance and cafe’ stops.

Hyper-specialization creates connection

By narrowing your focus on a niche, you can get you closer to your customers. From this closer vantage point, your brand can become indispensable and a pacesetter for a specific offering.

Hyper-specialization allows for price setting

When your brand can offer a unique product or service to a niche audience, you have the benefit of setting prices to increase profitability. The price reflects the exclusivity of the offering, and there’s no argument because you’re in a position to be sought after for your expertise.

Tips for finding your brands niche

Look for low hanging fruit. What do your customers want that other companies don’t currently offer? Are there common services or products you can put a creative spin on? Some examples could be:

  • Specialized services for a specific industry
  • On-site service
  • Payment methods
  • Theme-ingredient food or cafe’
  • Accounting services for athletes
  • Mobile therapy dogs
  • Mechanic services for women
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