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Quality Over Quantity: 5 Brands That Succeeded by Targeting Niche Audiences

At one time, marketing your product or service to the widest possible audience was considered the best way to succeed. Today, digital solutions prove that even niche audiences drive growth. When you market the right product or service to the right demographic, it’s far easier to acquire, engage, and retain loyal customers.

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With a marketing campaign that emphasizes unique selling points, even the most specialized business can benefit from a niche audience. Consider the following examples:

BritBox reaches one million British TV fans worldwide

Shortly after Netflix launched its streaming service, it was clear that streaming would soon become the default method of consuming video content. Today, the market seems to be coalescing around large competitors like Hulu and Disney+, each offering massive mainstream selections. Yet even now, niche streaming platforms can attract and sustain audiences around the world.

One notable example is BritBox, a digital subscription platform managed by ITV and BBC. Of all streaming services, BritBox offers the largest selection of British television series, many with limited viewership outside the United Kingdom. It’s seen massive success in North America — recently hitting one million subscribers — and is planning expansions into other countries such as Australia.

BritBox’s success, however, isn’t attributed solely to a unique product but also to targeting a specific audience. The platform’s content and marketing campaigns cater to female anglophiles 45-years old and up, a demographic traditionally underserved by mainstream North American television producers. By reaching this audience, BritBox was able to achieve impressive growth and maintain a single-digit churn rate — an impressive feat given the industry’s 18% average.

Customer marketing challenges and opportunities

Procter & Gamble creates 350 personas

Reaching out to niche audiences isn’t just a strategy for startups. Enterprise brands can adopt the technique as well, provided they implement it at scale. The consumer goods brand Procter & Gamble is a great example: when its marketing and innovation pipeline saw a marked improvement in 2019, P&G attributed the success to highly specialized “smart audience” targeting.

P&G’s efforts were part of a broad attempt to optimize against direct-to-consumer competition, but the apparent resource investment remains impressive. According to CEO David Taylor, the brand’s marketing team used one billion customer IDs to create approximately 350 audience personas. This resource allowed for specialized messaging, and it let P&G test business ideas and products among target markets. “We are going from generic demographic targeting, like women aged 18 to 35, to more than 350 precise smart audiences, like first-time mums, millennial professionals, or first-time washing machine owners,” Taylor said.

While competition with DTC brands remains fierce, Procter & Gamble did experience notable growth that year, including an organic sales increase of 7%. When brands are versatile enough to target distinct audiences, the results speak for themselves.

Lefty’s San Francisco

What’s the biggest niche market you could target? While there are many candidates, the left-handed sector might be the safest bet. Left-handed individuals make up 10% of the population, but require specialized products to match the same day-to-day functionality as their right-handed brethren. Unfortunately, it’s not always cost-effective to serve this demographic equally — making lefties loyal to brands that do.

Enter Lefty’s, the San Francisco retail store that . Lefty’s found great success in collecting and creating left-handed product, from stationery to kitchen equipment. Along with offering specialized items, the store attracts a fair amount of organic foot traffic and draws online users through Google Search advertisements. Throw in design and messaging elements that reference renowned left-handed people from history, and Lefty’s will be on customers’ right side for years to come.


In our social media dominated world, it’s easy to forget that Facebook wasn’t always a mainstream platform. When Facebook was first created in 2004, it almost exclusively targeted college students; profiles were limited to Harvard students before the service extended to higher education students worldwide. Even Facebook’s name comes from “face book” directories commonly used in American universities.

University and college students were an ideal fit for Facebook for a few reasons. During their undergrad years, many are far from home for the first time and separated from friends and other contacts. Facebook provided a central platform to manage their relationships — hence the popularity of the infamous “relationship status” notification. While Facebook now targets people of all ages and demographics, refining its features and brand appeal with students paved the way for it to become a worldwide phenomenon.

Vermont Wooden Toys

Depending on who you ask, wooden toys are charming, quaint, or even embraced ironically. Yet there is a market for non-plastic playthings without digital bells and whistles. A little over a decade ago, this market exploded in size when lead poisoning prompted a mass recall of toys from mainstream brands. All of a sudden, the simple toys of yesteryear were far more appealing to parents.

Vermont Wooden Toys was well-positioned to fill this gap. This business offers over 125 handmade items, each produced using locally-sourced wood. Its natural production process and lack of chemical wood stain attracted a wide array of customers — most of whom found its small website organically. As customer-conscious shopping practices continue to grow, VWT continues to thrive.

Reaching a niche audience requires a great deal of effort, since you can’t necessarily rely on curious mainstream users to seek out and find your product. But once you manage to attract these customers, their loyalty can help your brand grow and thrive. For all the challenges they represent, that’s well worth the risk.

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