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  • Suzy Wakefield

The Great Pink Peep

The value of niching in a sea of sameness


It’s a question that we often get from founders and one we have even pondered ourselves in our own business. In fact, it is the main question that I hear when I preach the value of finding your product niche and target muse or audience.

The short answer is no. And the slightly longer, more nuanced answer is that it is tremendously valuable to niche as long as you can validate the need for it with some real qualitative, and if possible quantitative data behind it.

It’s scary to think about targeting a specific group of people with your product because initially, this feels like you are turning away volume. Instead, you are actually building a foundation from which to build cheerleaders who will sing your praises, create brand awareness, and even more volume in the long run.

Why do we believe in this strategy so wholeheartedly and why should you?


1. Who needs another T-shirt?

There are too many products in the world right now, especially clothing. Too many of these are already going into landfills by the tons. Unless you are developing something new, not only will you not be able to compete because of the crowdedness of the field, but you are not doing your part as a sustainable citizen. Wasting our collective resources and your own time and money is not a burden that anyone needs.

2. Your focus needs more focus.

In the immortal words of Mr. Miyagi, you will not succeed unless you perfect what you are doing, and how you are doing it in order to make what you are making really well. Chances are as a new founder, you are in learning mode on development, So the best path is to create a solid foundation and a very clear target audience. Talk to them, get to know them, and get them to love you and what you produce. Once you have a product and voice that are in sync and superior to what is out in the world, they will be dying to tell their friends about you.

3. If you only serve one flavor of ice cream, it better be good.

And, it better be in a market that likes cold sugary delights, even if they don’t know it yet. After you have drilled down to the most narrow version of your offering, talk to people. Without giving away the farm, you can certainly ask open-ended questions to find out information on the sector you are diving into. Put product out into the world and get thoughts.

4. Consistency is King.

Whether you have one product for one person or 100 products for many more, your message, product, and fundamental values must be in line. From brand attributes to product innovation, keep asking yourself if your target market or muse would want these. If the answer is no, even if you have a great idea for someone, it will need to be shelved for now, if that someone isn’t your target. Otherwise, you will just confuse the message.

Did you know that over 10 MILLION PEOPLE have applied to start a small business in the last two years?

That is a whole lot of competition across a whole lot of categories. The businesses that will be around 2 years from now, and 2 years from then, will be the ones that are laser-focused on solving a problem or filling a gap. And doing so with a quality offering.

Nike did it. Apple did too. And for those of us who can remember, so did Amazon when they just sold books. All these brands took a niche start, to build infinite possibilities. You have that potential as well, building from niche to category killer over time.

Many years ago when I started the studio, I too was concerned that I would be too niche in my services. We were worried we would be too specific. Instead what we found is that our clients realized that if we can design and deliver production-ready garments in the most complex apparel categories there are like intimates or swimwear, then yes we can do your (fill in the blank) also. All these years later we have a very healthy business because of it.

Need some help figuring out your niche? Or still, have some questions about why it’s so important to have one? Reach out to us and we will be happy to schedule a complimentary 30-minute chat.

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