In brief, a Power Niche is a small-sized niche within a bigger industry that no one else yet dominates or owns. The niche isn’t obvious so you have to figure it out and “create” it. You step in and learn everything about it and everyone in it. You tell everyone about what you are doing – incessantly — and become the real “owner” of the niche merely by staking out your homestead in virgin territory. This then becomes a virtuous cycle as the more you know, the more you do, and the more you do, the more you know. Before long you are the world’s unquestioned expert in this (smaller) niche. All of this enhances your bargaining power within that niche. Instead of begging for business in the bigger industry, you now have eager clients paying you top dollar within this smaller Power Niche.
One of the most important things for any real estate business and, indeed, any business is a successful marketing program. Of course in our hearts we want to believe that if we just do something great then everyone will figure it out and be impressed. But alas, that is just not true. Indeed, Einstein flunked physics and couldn’t land a job. And everyone has an example of a super-talented person that ends up just toiling in the trenches for someone else. Like it or not, the world belongs to the marketers. And I believe that this will increase more and more over time. Someone – but I cannot find the exact quote – said something like this:
“The world will increasingly belong to those who create the ideas rather than those who execute them.”
If you have a great “brand” (which of course is built by a successful marketing program) you typically succeed – and the converse. This is the basic reason why Warren Buffet – arguably the world’s most successful investor – focuses on brands; namely, for their long-term premium pricing power.
So how do you create a strong brand? The simple answer is by creative and intelligent marketing.
I have become a student of marketing over the past ten years, including both reading everything I can lay my hands on and at the same time analyzing what works and what doesn’t work and delineating the reasons for success and failure. After thousands of hours of study, I have come to the conclusion that the secret of a successful marketing campaign and, concomitantly, the essence of building a successful brand (almost) always centers around what I call:
a “Power Niche”
This is a concept and phrase I have invented and coined; however, for any intellectuals reading my writings, you will quickly realize I am building on the works of Peter Drucker and Michael Porter and other great intellectual giants in the business world.
As an aside, I note that there are certainly other ways to be successful, such as being the low-cost-producer; however, generally the other angles (including being the low cost producer) are typically much more difficult to effectuate and maintain; however, just about anyone can build a Power Niche.
A Power Niche is often difficult to identify and at the same time counterintuitive, and indeed kind of scary, but once figured out is very easy to accomplish and can be crazy-lucrative. Indeed, just about anyone can create a Power Niche successfully.
Indeed, for my law firm, I am a lot better off as The Pure Play in Real Estate Law® than I am trying to be all things to all people. It was surely an unsettling decision, to become The Pure Play in Real Estate Law® as when we enacted this we were theoretically scaring off the 99% of clients in the world who are not in real estate.
But consider that in the (smaller) real estate world my firm is a major player. We are able to know everyone and everything. This makes my partners and me very useful to our clients in ways that are in addition to “just doing great legal work”. This of course includes effectuating our mission of “helping our clients build their business” due to our connectively, contacts and industry knowledge. If I tried to make my firm full service, I would be competing with multi-thousand-lawyer global behemoths and I have no idea how I could convince a client we were the optimal, or even a useful, choice.