The next time you find yourself telling a story – maybe you’re at the sink, washing up after dinner with your family, or maybe you’re stuck in the awkward small talk portion before every ZOOM call really gets going – try this: describe one portion of your story with very specific details.
For example, don’t say, “I was walking down the street and got caught in the rain.” Say instead, “I was walking down 6th Avenue when the storm clouds rolled in.”
You’ll notice people engage with the story a lot more. This interesting psychological phenomenon happens in human brains whenever we hear a description – the more specific the details, the more we can connect with the experience.
What does this have to do with promotional products and catalogs? A lot more than you might think. Common sense might tell us that to hook more prospects and close more sales, we need to cast a wide net, but in fact, the more specialized you become, the more people you’ll connect with on a deeper level.
And as we know, connection is everything in this industry.
Back in February 2021, Target released a line of dresses based on the classic series of frontier living, Little House on the Prarie. Seriously, these were some retro dresses, and at first, most people dismissed them as a total fashion flop.
But then they found their niche: backyard chicken farmers. (Yes, it’s a real thing.) These dedicated fans of all things prairie-like took to the internet, and the #TargetDressChallenge was born.
What could have been a total disaster became a viral sensation. Why? Because the dresses had found their niche, and instead of fading away into obscurity, the apparel flew off the racks. Was it planned? Probably not. Is it still an excellent example of the power of appealing to a niche? You bet your egg basket!
Finding your perfect niche is like finding true love: when it happens, your entire life changes. For distributors, when you connect with a specific community – whether that’s a particular demographic or a vertical market – you increase the strength of your business exponentially. Maybe you decide to focus on dentists or hair salons, health clubs or event planners, HR departments, municipalities…you get the picture.
Whatever your niche, you’ll grow to understand the particular challenges of that specific group, and when you understand them, you’ll be able to solve them. And when you’re known for solving problems, oh boy, will the clients come knocking.
Curating your example catalogs to fit your niche is essential. Focus your search on the products you’ll need. Know the inner workings of your vertical. Search using specific keywords, and you’ll be headed in the right direction.
Here are a few examples of searches based on niche markets: Made in the USA: This has universal appeal but can be very crucial to political groups, manufacturing groups, unions, activist groups, and more.
Eco-Friendly/Sustainable: Searching for “B-Corp” or “Sustainable” is a great way to find products for environmentally-focused groups.
Blue Ink: If you are selling to financial institutions, you know blue ink is critical.
Union Made: Unions are very focused on buying from union-made facilities. There are more union-made options than you would think.
Finding a niche isn’t just for distributors. Suppliers fill specialized niches too. It’s just sometimes the larger companies fill several niches at the same time. Here are some specialized suppliers you can check out, but be sure to search ZOOMcatalog for many, many more.
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