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Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2018

Steve Fairbanks and Aaron Buchko

Strategy Question: Now that my market is sized and segmented, how do I better understand segment niches?Summary: The Segment Niching Tool gets to the next important level…

Abstract

Strategy Question: Now that my market is sized and segmented, how do I better understand segment niches?

Summary: The Segment Niching Tool gets to the next important level of detail in the understanding of an organization’s environment. We use the Market Segmentation Tool output as a starting point. Here we further carve out key niches for further understanding related to product or service offerings. We add a scale to the segment columns of the Segment Niching Tool, and break the column further into sections whose size represents the percent of that niche to the segment. Like the segmentation tool above, understanding niches within the segments provides important information within the competitive environment. Here is where people can get mired down in infinite ways to niche a segment. We introduce our approach, based on numerous scars of wisdom, of niching based on only two questions: (1) “Why they buy?” — the main reason the product or service is purchased, and (2) “How they buy?” — the main way the product or service is purchased.

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Performance-Based Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-796-8

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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Chethan D. Srikant and Patrick Donovan

Companies may spend capital and effort to ensure the survival within their niche but have limited capacity to expand into other niches or broaden their target segment…

Abstract

Purpose

Companies may spend capital and effort to ensure the survival within their niche but have limited capacity to expand into other niches or broaden their target segment. This paper aims to provide insights into how they can overcome this niche entrapment – companies becoming trapped in the very niche they have cultivated, the weight and inertia of their investment shackling them to its continued existence.

Design/methodology/approach

Cedar Fair’s acquisitions and its organizational structure are carefully examined to illustrate the need for considering niche entrapment as a concept. To understand the complexities that firms face in their attempts to overcome the niche entrapment, this paper analyzes Cedar Fair using the concepts of categories and inherited identities.

Findings

The following important lessons are elaborated for helping business organizations overcome niche entrapment: embrace the organizational complexity; use gateway and complementary identities; consider brand disassociation; and achieve ambidexterity through a portfolio of offering.

Originality/value

This paper deviates from the traditional treatment of niches as a focus strategy that firms can select to build competitive advantages but instead provides insights into how those very niches can become constraints. It also conceptually evaluates the attempts to overcome these constraints from an organizational perspective instead of an industry perspective. Apart from using categories in a novel way, it also introduces a new concept of inherited identities, which are the organizational identities that firms inherit as they acquire and assimilate other firms.

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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2006

Antonella Zucchella and Giada Palamara

Small firms can approach foreign markets notwithstanding their limited resources by adopting a niche strategy. This permits to understand how SMEs can reach high levels of…

Abstract

Small firms can approach foreign markets notwithstanding their limited resources by adopting a niche strategy. This permits to understand how SMEs can reach high levels of export intensity and broad geographic scope. Moreover, a global niche approach permits to explain – among other factors – why and how infant firms can be international or even global since their inception. The case studies analysis shows a positive relation between niche strategy and high international performance, in terms of export intensity, precocity, speed, and scope. The international expansion of niche firms is based on an horizontal micro-segmentation of the global market: they move internationally following global customers, independently from the psychic/geographical distance, and compete mostly on a non-price basis.

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International Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-369-3

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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2004

Maritsa V. Poros

The role of social networks is central to the phenomenon of employment and ownership in ethnic businesses, ethnic enclaves, and more generally ethnic economies. Social…

Abstract

The role of social networks is central to the phenomenon of employment and ownership in ethnic businesses, ethnic enclaves, and more generally ethnic economies. Social capital within migrant or co-ethnic social networks is generally viewed as an aid to niche employment, in other words as processes of network inclusion. This article examines both processes of inclusion and exclusion in the social networks of Asian Indian migrants in and outside of ethnic economies. Evidence from the life histories of these migrants in New York and London allows us to see the role of social networks in producing cooperation and conflict within modes of economic inclusion and exclusion.

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Diversity in the Work Force
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-788-3

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2012

Noel Longhurst

Over the last 30 years, a range of different complementary currency models have been developed and diffused across the world. Such currency systems have been researched…

Abstract

Over the last 30 years, a range of different complementary currency models have been developed and diffused across the world. Such currency systems have been researched from a variety of different perspectives, such as policy tools (Williams et al., 2001) and social movements (North, 2006). Many of these have explicit links to sustainability objectives and the green movement (Helleiner, 2000; Longhurst & Seyfang, 2011; North, 2010a; Seyfang, 2009), and some environmental writers argue that monetary reform and the development of multiple currency systems are critical factors in achieving environmental sustainability (Douthwaite, 1999). This chapter explains how such a ‘green’ currency emerged from within the environmentally focused Transition Town social movement. This movement has given rise to a range of locally based grassroots enterprises that deliver local services and goods. However, it is argued here that such enterprises can also act as instigators of radical innovations, such as complementary currencies. As such it conceptualises currencies as a form of technology and uses the empirical case of the Totnes Pound currency as an example of a technology that has emerged from civil society. Adopting this framing, the chapter draws on theory relating to the formation of innovative technological ‘niches’ to provide insights into the challenges that they have to overcome in order to survive and flourish. The chapter therefore argues that exploring complementary currencies through the lens of innovation theory can provide valuable insights into their development, and that such an approach may prove useful where grassroots enterprises are engaged in other forms of innovative activity.

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Enterprising Communities: Grassroots Sustainability Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-484-9

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Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

John W. Mohr and Francesca Guerra-Pearson

Miller McPherson's approach to measuring the inherent duality of organizational forms and the environmental niches that they occupy is adapted and applied to an analysis…

Abstract

Miller McPherson's approach to measuring the inherent duality of organizational forms and the environmental niches that they occupy is adapted and applied to an analysis of the institutional field of (outdoor) poverty relief organizations operating in New York City (1888–1917). In contrast to McPherson's approach that emphasizes how organizations are differentially arrayed within “Blau space,” this chapter focuses on how organizational forms are distributed across an institutional “logic space” that is itself dually ordered and defined by the kinds of organizational forms that are understood to exist. The resulting niche maps are employed to trace out the jurisdictional conflicts that erupted during the Progressive Era between two competing organizational forms – scientific charities and settlement houses – each of which embodied a particular vision and practice for delivering social relief to the poor.

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Categories in Markets: Origins and Evolution
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-594-6

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Book part
Publication date: 3 October 2006

Henrich R. Greve and Hayagreeva Rao

Learning theory explains how organizations change as a result of experience, and can be used to predict the competitive strength of individual organizations and…

Abstract

Learning theory explains how organizations change as a result of experience, and can be used to predict the competitive strength of individual organizations and competitive pressures in organizational populations. We review extant learning theoretical propositions on how competitive strength is affected by experienced competition, founding conditions, and observed failures of other organizations. In addition, we propose that niche changes are an important source of learning. We test these propositions on data from the Norwegian general insurance industry. We find that historical density increases failure rates, contrary to some earlier findings, and also that the effect of founding density supports the density delay rather than trial-by-fire hypothesis. We find that failures of others before and during the lifetime of the organization reduce failure rates, and niche changes reduce failure rates for joint-stock companies but not for mutual firms. Overall the findings suggest that organizations learn more cheaply from the failures of others than from their own experiences, and that the stresses of competition can overwhelm the learning effects of competition.

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Ecology and Strategy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-435-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2020

Jake David Hoskins and Abbie Griffin

This study aims to focus on the role of niche brands in online retailer assortments and the general market positions of niche brands, no prior study has explicitly focused…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on the role of niche brands in online retailer assortments and the general market positions of niche brands, no prior study has explicitly focused on if and when brick-and-mortar retailers should include niche brands in their category assortments.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors empirically analyze the category performance implications of focusing assortments on niche brands, at the expense of mainstream brands, in two product categories that have significant niche brand presence, namely, coffee and beer. The empirical data include sales, distribution and marketing tactical information for 50 US geographic markets from 2001–2011.

Findings

This research finds that a mainstream brand focus has a generally positive impact on category performance. However, a store’s strategic shift toward niche brands is beneficial in certain cases such as when a store has higher average prices or product form variety or when they are part of a powerful chain. The authors also find that a niche brand focus strategy is becoming increasingly viable over time for brick-and-mortar retailers.

Originality/value

Little is known about the parameters that might make a brick-and-mortar retailer more or less likely to pursue a niche brand focus strategy and when doing so might improve category performance. This analysis helps clarify the conditions under which a brick-and-mortar retailer may experience category level sales increases from focusing assortments on niche brands.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2003

Murat Kasimoglu and Bahattin Hamarat

Competition and attempts to increase market share between organizations play an important role in business ecology. It has been determined that intensity in the…

Abstract

Competition and attempts to increase market share between organizations play an important role in business ecology. It has been determined that intensity in the institutions and death among organizations especially are of great importance. Intensity and homogeny among the organizational population are very important in the evolutionary process for them to create modern forms of institution. We have used parametric variables to collect a set of data in order to understand competition and niche among organization population. The study investigates how competition and niche affect the cluster of hotel population and their survivability. The founding of each hotel organization is differently constructed internally and different segments of the hotel population respond heterogeneously to the general process of competition. The findings show how niche and different segments of hotel population affect new organizational establishment and the evolutionary dynamics of modern organization structure, using the city center hotels of Canakkale in Turkey.

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Management Research News, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Tobias Schaefers

This paper aims to define the niche market concept and to investigate the extent to which purchasing niche products represents a form of conspicuous consumption. Consumers…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to define the niche market concept and to investigate the extent to which purchasing niche products represents a form of conspicuous consumption. Consumers increasingly seek products that differ from the mainstream, and companies regard niche markets as a promising opportunity beyond saturated mass markets.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on survey data that combines self-report scales and actual purchase decisions, the effects of different dimensions of conspicuous consumption on niche product choice are investigated using binary logistic regression.

Findings

Choosing niche products over mass market products is mainly influenced by differentiation tendencies. Moreover, consumers use niche products to strengthen their role as opinion leaders. Choice of mass market products, on the other hand, is influenced by assimilation tendencies. In contrast to common assumptions, status-seeking consumers are more likely to choose a mass market alternative over niche products.

Research limitations/implications

Based on the conceptualization of niche markets, this study reveals that niche products are a means for consumers to distinguish themselves. Limitations include the focus on a single product domain and country. Future research should replicate the study for other types of niche products and in other cultural settings.

Practical implications

Niche firms should explicitly consider the social effects of conspicuous consumption as a key driver of demand. Specifically, the unique nature of a niche product should be highlighted and recognizable to increase the acceptance among potential customers. Moreover, instead of focussing the status of niche products, marketing activities should address opinion leaders’ desire to maintain their standing among the social group by providing in-depth information and enhanced customer experience.

Originality/value

This paper addresses the call for a conceptual definition of niche markets. Moreover, while previous work focussed on the company perspective, this study allows for an improved understanding of consumer behaviour with regard to niche markets.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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