When we hear the term "niche market", we have a tendency to immediately think small. However, niche markets more than small are specific, and that specificity is exactly what makes marketing to them worthwhile. A clearly-defined audience is far easier to understand and thus, much simpler to please, than the masses are. One of the best ways to access niche markets is by sharing in something that is important to the members of that niche--and holidays present the perfect opportunity to make a particular niche group aware of your products or services. Below are three examples of holidays that help can you establish ties with new markets and grow your business.
Think global, act local
Expatriates, regardless of how long they've lived in their new country, are always nostalgic for home, and holidays not celebrated in the place they currently find themselves are often the hardest. In early January, for example, was the Epiphany holiday that French people take great joy in celebrating with a pastry called king's cake. French bakeries around New York gear up for the two weeks surrounding the holiday and make the traditional treat, but smart non-French bakeries have started offering up their own versions of the cake, and in the process are able to entice the French expatriate community to not only try them for the once a year specialty but for their usual offerings as well.
Ethnic or religious groups are another interesting segment with specific needs your company might be able to meet. In early March, for instance, Jews the world over will celebrate the Purim holiday. In addition to sharing special food and drink, revelers will dress up in costume in keeping with the Purim idea that things are not always what they seem, much like celebrants of Carnival. For a costume shop that traditionally does the bulk of its business in the fall, this might be the perfect reason to reach out to the Jewish community. Contacting temples and other Jewish associations to let them know about the decorations and disguises available for both community-based and private parties is a straightforward marketing effort that will likely have a high return on investment. This simple outreach will generate business for itself during an off-season, and perhaps give community members a reason to shop there throughout the year for other occasions like birthday parties and Halloween.
Hobbyists and celebrations
Special interest groups are another great niche, and finding out which ones mesh best with your products or industry is sometimes as simple as asking your customers about events or celebrations happening in the places they live and work. At Metal Mafia, we sell our body jewelry to piercing and tattoo shops year round, but there are a few out-of-the-ordinary "holidays" that get celebrated with extra gusto by our customers. One of the biggest celebrations happens any time the 13th of the month falls on a Friday. When a Friday the 13th pops up it is feted by the underground like a national holiday. My company helps our clients make the party go off with a bang by creating special kits of merchandise celebrating the occurrence. Although our number "13″ and other related jewelry is available throughout the year, it gets extra attention from both our merchandise managers and our customers in advance of this date, and our sales soar as a result.
Growing your business doesn't always have to imply spending a lot of money on fancy marketing to reach the masses. Simply expending the time to research which niche groups have needs that cross-over with the products or services you offer can give your sales an extra boost without a lot of extra expense.