Mercy College of Ohio, USA
Niche marketing is a popular concept among both academics and practitioners. Indeed, niche marketing has been applied to numerous industries, products, and services over the last few decades. However, at a fundamental level, it remains unclear whether niche marketing is a theory, a generic strategy, an applied marketing strategy or an extreme case of a marketing segmentation strategy. Further, no single conceptual definition of niche marketing is widely accepted. Most definitions are based on versions of Dalgic and Leeuw's (1994) definition: “positioning into small, profitable homogeneous market segments ... ignored or neglected by others.” Since the late twentieth century, researchers in the field of marketing management have made little progress in developing a more generally acceptable definition of this term. One reason for this might be that the concept is studied in other fields of general strategy and segmentation research. More recently, Toften and Hammervoll (2013) suggested a more comprehensive definition of niche marketing: “The process of carving out, protecting and offering a valued product to a narrow part of a market that displays differentiated needs.”
Marketing strategy in general involves identifying the desired customers and deciding how to get these customers to purchase the firm's offerings. This view is supported by traditional textbooks (e.g., Kotler and Keller ...