How to develop your unique brand niche within the boating industry and claim your stake in the market
One of the most powerful marketing tools that your business has is your brand… what it stands for and the promise it delivers to your customers.
A strong brand will drive your business – fueling partnerships, sales and market share growth. But developing your brand takes time and dedication, with consistent messaging and business execution.
Define Your Brand’s Niche in the Market
I think a first important step to building a strong brand is identifying your business niche in the boating industry. What unique offering does your marine product or service deliver that no other company can match? You need to carve out your niche in the market and take ownership of that niche.
That niche may be an entirely new product or service, a new way of doing business, special unique services, or maybe a special focus on a specific segment in boating. For other companies, their niche simply becomes as aspect of their business that they do really well, and it makes them stand out from the competition.
Whatever your niche, you need to stake your claim on it to build your brand positioning.
In some cases it may be necessary to secure patents to be sure that your market niche is protected from competitors. For SureShade, we invented a product unique to the boating industry with our self-supported retractable sunshade technology. We knew we had invented a solution that would be filling a specific and important niche in boating (a better marine shade solution), so securing patents for our technology was important to protect the brand we were building. Then, we went full-speed ahead in positioning our company’s brand as the new standard for boat shade.
I believe that it was SureShade’s brand, strong messaging and aggressive PR push that positioned us in a way that no one could try to steal, claim ownership, or even attempt to copycat our product niche. The combination of our branding and patent protection secured our position in the market.
Invest in Your Brand Positioning
An investment in your brand positioning doesn’t necessarily need to be monetary. It means a dedication to building your brand in everything you do – from public relations to social media, to your website and customer communication touch points (such as email, sales proposals, business cards, trade events or boat shows).
Many boat builders are beginning to position their brands within specific niches with varying levels of success. You see builders attempting to corner a boating segment by investing in a boat style, size or price point. Other boat builders are continuing to raise the bar with new options and features that position their brand as innovative.
Marinas and boat dealers also have great opportunities to position their brands within their local markets by offering customers value-add products and superior customer service.
If you are an entrepreneur trying to introduce a new product or service in the boating industry, start with some thorough competitive analysis that involves brand positioning in addition to market potential. Defining your brand early on is the best way to build your business fast and really stand out.
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