Does your Niche Message Suck?

Have a look at the photo for this post. Planning a lunch?

The photo depicts a man eating what appears to be cantaloupe. He looks happy.

Take a quick Pop Quiz. What is the target market for this advertising, what is the business and what do they sell? 

You may have guessed the advertising was aimed at people planning to prepare a lunch for family or friends

You may also have guessed the business might be a supermarket or a greengrocer. Maybe a deli.

And it would be logical to think that the business sold fresh fruit and vegetables.

Sound logic.



The photo attached is a billboard advertisement placed on the side of a petrol station. Yes that’s right. A petrol station.

I was so curious I walked in to find the typical drinks, potato chips and emergency toilet paper. 

But no fruit or anything fresh. 

I asked the checkout operator if they sold any fruit or vegetables. He shook his head. No. 

I asked him if they sold anything I could prepare for lunch. He shook his head again.

“There’s some pies in the warmer” he pointed. 

I asked him about the big ad on the side of the station that referred to ‘Planning a lunch” with a guy eating fresh fruit. He looked surprised and said I’d have to ring head office marketing and ask them.

So here’s the thing.

Think of your guesses to my earlier question.

Target market - People preparing or cooking a lunch. The business – fruit and vegetable grocer. What do they sell – Fresh fruit & vegetables.

Now let’s look at the REAL answers.

Target market - People buying petrol. The business – Petrol station and convenience store.

What they sell – Petrol, cigarettes, soft drinks and potato chips.

A very different picture to our happy cantaloupe eating friend I would suggest.

So what can we take away from this?

Don’t get lured by misleading advertising and hope to buy fresh produce at a petrol station.

Yes but there’s more than that.

The niche message sucks. Doesn’t it?

So let’s pretend we are the marketing department for the petrol station and look at it with fresh eyes

The target market are predominantly people that are refueling. These people have been on the road and are tired. Perhaps thirsty or hungry. They are in a hurry and want to get home. 

The business is a petrol station AND a convenience store. So let’s stick to these two offerings.

What they sell. Petrol and convenience store items.

So here is the two pitches for any advertising.

Petrol offers. Discount fuel or bundled discounts on fuel plus in store purchases of convenience items.

Convenience Store offers. Discounted items. ‘Treat yourself’ teasers for ice creams, chocolate or drinks. Discounted ‘emergency rations’ for tea, coffee, milk or staples.

Don’t confuse your niche market by confusing them with mixed messages and offbeat communication.

It will confuse them, annoy them and send them packing.

So stick to these simply three steps.

1.    Identify your niche market (target market)
2.    Understand what your business is
3.    Have clarity around what you sell to your niche market

Then make sure all your marketing messages and communication is bang on in communicating a clear, concise and consistent message to your niche market.

And don’t expect to buy fresh cantaloupe next time you’re refilling!

Darren Bourke

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Cheers, Darren K Bourke