Finding Your Natural Niche

Do good brands grow in silence?

In response to a discussion about last week’s post ‘Creating Brand Love’, The Eminence Grise lifestyle blogger Nigel commented that “nowadays it seems more brands are built up on being the loudest and not being niche”. Do you agree?

Is being a ‘loud brand’ a bad thing; or is it just the natural evolution of a brand to make a racket once it reaches the tipping point?

Take Luv Naturals for example.
While going for my hair braiding appointment, a friend of my braider was visiting and noticed that I had natural hair once I took my hat off. In a flurry of excitement she asked me if I had seen Kimmaytube.

Kimmaytube? What’s that I asked.

Let me show you she shrilled with delight as she grabbed my ipad and searched youtube. You have to watch these three first she instructed. As I had a piece of synthetic hair attached to my head with the braiders hand at the other end; I was in no position to make any sharp movements so I compiled, plus it also meant I was spared the delights of a 4 hour Nollywood movie session.

She was right. The channel was an awesome resource of information – memerising in fact. If you know anything about females of African descent than you would be privy to the obsession with hair styling, growing hair, the merits of processed versus natural hair and the ongoing debate around the appeal to the opposite sex of a ‘rent a length’ style otherwise known as weave, wig or extensions. Black hair products and increasingly natural black hair products is a massive market but as it is not considered ‘western mainstream beauty styling’ it is usually seen as niche.

What was fascinating about Kimmaytube was the passion and commitment that Kim Love had devoted to teaching herself about the 8th wonder of the world – ‘Black girls with natural long hair’; and taking her knowledge packaging it and sharing it with her community which stands at over 2 million subscribers. Just the other day Kehinde was sharing a story of another ‘how to…youtube phenomena’ called Lauren Luke from South Shields who through her YouTube videos was able to launch her own make-up range.

If you watch any one of the hundred videos she has on her channel then you know that Kim lives and breathes her brand. Kim Love definitely has ‘Triple S’ appeal. Over the last 6 years of documenting her hair journey she has been able to carve out a niche for herself and build a personal brand that she has been able to structure into a business and launch it at the tipping point of when the natural hair industry is about to explode.

In the sentiments of a Jay Z rhyme, She doesn’t just run a business – she is a business, [wo]man.

You could say a natural niche brand.

Don’t you think that is something worth shouting about, Nigel? ; )