Today we live in a culture where celebrities are almost treated as gods. Their every move is documented by the mass media. The public seems to be almost mesmerized by these celebrities. The clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the places they go all become famous overnight. In a nutshell, any member of their adoring fans aspires to be just like them.
Our entire Western consumer culture is built on aspiration. People aspire to live in certain neighborhoods. They aspire to travel to certain places for their vacations. There is a feeling of keeping up with the Joneses. People take notice of the latest fashion, the latest trends, the latest gadgets and aspire to have them and to be seen as being “cool” by others.
How can a small business tap into this endless need that the public has to be “cool”? There must be thousands of niches that can be derived from this culture of aspiration that we live in. Some are really obvious like the fashion and celebrity examples I have mentioned above. Some aspirational goods have a very short life span of mere months and are really fleeting. The latest electronic video games are one example. Some are sustainable and will be around for a while. Lately the green and environmental movements have made major inroads into popular culture. This is one niche that could be sub-divided into hundreds of mini niches which would be easy to capitalize on.
The beauty of goods that the public aspires to have, is that cost is not as important as other purchasing factors. These products “must be had” and cost can be higher. The perceived value is not linked to the price, but to the feeling of owning the latest and greatest thing.
Just look around you. What do kids that you know want? What is being written about in popular magazines? What are people doing with their homes? What electronic goods are they buying? By answering these kinds of questions and taking into account your area of business, you can start to understand where new opportunities may lie. This is a different kind of market research, but one that is no different to the focus groups and surveys that the larger corporations do constantly to get a feel for where the wind is blowing with regards to their customer’s needs and desires.
Currently slimmer LCD and plasma sets are the “must haves” in any household. So perhaps new styles in wall units and other complementary furniture, new sound deadening materials, new types of cabling, new types of sound equipment are areas that could provide opportunity. People will need product reviews on all this new equipment. People will need simplified “how to” manuals and the list goes on and on. All that one had to do was look around for the latest “must have” stuff and see where your business can fill a gap.
The whole idea is to follow what the public is following and eventually become the supplier of goods and services that the public has decided it “needs” and just “must have”.
Mark has 30 years in business experience, covering a wide range of industries and areas of expertise, including business consulting.
He advises businesses and helps enhance their marketing and sales message. Mark shows prospects the value companies bring to them… converting prospects into leads, leads into sales.