No matter which profession, personality or vision the client I am consulting with has, or industry she / he is in – extremely often we land on what I would call one of the golden questions in Marketing: “which niche and target group should I pick (especially if I can chose from several)?” Expressed differently: “Should I be a specialist or a generalist?” “Reach many people with a versatile service portfolio or reach ‘a few’ with a concise, smaller service offering?”
You can’t be everything to everyone.
Often the core question above is accompanied by the statement “if I pick THIS target group & niche and specialise, doesn’t that automatically mean I will lose, or rather – not reach – OTHER target groups and not be present on OTHER markets! Doesn’t it mean, I will give away a piece of the (sales) pie?”. Yes, you are right, it does mean that. But not getting that piece of the pie now, doesn’t mean you will never get it. You are just not getting it right now. Picking and sticking with a target group & niche and narrowing your service offering down to what actually makes a difference for that group can be one of the toughest things to do. And one of the – if not THE- most essential decision for your business.
Enter: the magical „Halo Effect“.
This is where one of the most overlooked and at the same time most essential and effective approaches in Marketing comes into play: The “Halo Effect”.
Without going onto a journey into the wide land of semantics, a “Halo” describes the ring of light rays or circle of light around the head of a “sacred person” or “hero” (haven’t you also seen one live yet?). So, what the heck does that have to do with the target group or niche you are picking? Answer: a lot. Mainly and most importantly two things:
- Think of the target group and niche you are picking as the “holy” segment, the segment you are the hero in
- Now, as the target group and niche you picked has the halo around it, that halo radiates on other niches and target groups (because that’s what a halo does – it radiates…It just can’t help but radiate)
In consequence, if you specialize in a picked niche with a clearly defined target group you become an expert in this niche and for the people in this niche. Once you became a specialized expert there (and are perceived to be an expert by other people) and decide to enter a new niche and target a new group of people with a new service, your expert reputation will radiate on that new niche. Chances are high, you will be seen as an expert and knowledgeable person in the new niche too. Like it or not, but as a cognitive bias the Halo Effect is deeply rooted in our Psychology.
The Effect can make a huge difference for your business – if you let it.
I want to emphasise that the discussion of either becoming a specialist or a generalist is probably as old in Marketing as the ‘chicken or the egg’ discussion in ancient philosophy. You can debate forever if it is „better“ to pick the specialist or generalist approach. Point is, you need to consciously decide which of the two is right for YOU (and YOUR business). And knowing the Halo Effect can make a heroic difference for that decision.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What are your experiences? Maybe you have a completely different perspective? Connect with me on LinkedIn or via Email via the buttons below – happy to hear from you soon:).