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Niche market strategy for a mature marketplace

Erin D. Parrish (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
Nancy L. Cassill (North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
William Oxenham (North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 1 December 2006



To examine how companies in the maturity stage of the product life cycle can implement and maintain a successful niche market strategy to increase competitiveness in the face of new competition, with particular reference to the global textile industry.


Responsible executives in eight firms in the textile and apparel/clothing sector in the USA were interviewed face‐to‐face or by telephone, or completed an online questionnaire. The sample contains leaders in the industry.


Research results suggest that niche marketing is an effective strategy for countering price competition in a mature industry and can use a niche market strategy. They identify key success factors, the most important factor of which was found to be a thorough understanding of the targeted consumers. It is concluded that the marketing mix plays a more important part than is generally suggested in the literature, by communicating non‐price product attributes to the niche market.

Research limitations/implications

The small sample limits generalization beyond the companies that participated in the study and comparable firms in the US textile and apparel/clothing industry.

Practical implications

This research study shows, within its limitations, that niche marketing is a promising global competitive strategy for mature industries. The study proposes practical guidelines for putting it into practice.


This study generally confirms the literature, but comes to some original further conclusions.



Parrish, E.D., Cassill, N.L. and Oxenham, W. (2006), "Niche market strategy for a mature marketplace", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 24 No. 7, pp. 694-707.



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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited