Today’s global marketplace is changing very quickly. We’ve entered a period where the mass market is disappearing and being replaced by lots of niche markets.
Don’t underestimate the size of niche markets…many of them generate billions of dollars. Some examples include weight loss products for women ($60 billion+), Guns and Ammo ($13 billion), Home Health Care ($355 billion), Hearing Aids ($2 billion), and hundreds more
A licensed IP is, by its very nature, ideal for niche markets, because it’s an opportunity to create a series of markets for your intellectual property. Through the licensing process, you can simply change your core product or service for these different niche markets. A good example is modifying or customizing software to fit a specific type of business or service, such as modifying a CRM system for medical offices, and licensing rights to sell and distribute the modified version to the specific niche market.
Many big consumer beverage companies own a strong portfolio of widely known brands that can fit many niche market opportunities. One example is brands that appeal to the Hispanic population. For a small business looking to reach this market, licensing one of these brands brings instant recognition. Rather than using their limited resources to reach a broad market, they can focus their resources on selling to a market that fits their manufacturing and selling resources and ability.
Another example is white labeling apps. I had a client who used a variation of this “white label” license strategy to launch their new app into a niche of the automotive aftermarket industry – new car maintenance service. The app targeted new car buyers and was designed to build brand loyalty for the car dealers.
You’ve got to think beyond just a single application or use for your IP. Begin to look at more niche or segment-oriented strategies, such as toys or apparel for a specific character, or toys or apparel for a specific sports category. In the collegiate market, there are opportunities to license non-apparel products for some of the smaller colleges and universities. Sports brand owners also like innovative products that fit unfilled niches because they help keep their brand refreshed at retail.
Don’t underestimate niche markets as being simply a small market. On the contrary, these markets are maturing. Many niche markets generate huge revenues, and you can take full advantage of them through licensing. There are plenty of opportunities in today’s marketplace and they are constantly evolving – whether it’s in niche products or services, new ways of distribution, or a shifting retail environment.
Rand Brenner is an IP professional whose passion is helping inventors, startups, and businesses of all sizes use licensing to turn their IP into income-producing products, services, and technologies. His decades of experience run the gamut from medical devices to food technology to consumer products. He’s licensed some of the biggest Hollywood entertainment blockbusters including the Batman Movies (1 and 2), and the number one kid’s action TV show, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Rand speaks about licensing and is a featured speaker at investment conferences, trade shows, colleges and startup events. He’s a published writer with articles appearing in several prestigious trade magazine including The Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India. Rand also mentors at the Cal State Fullerton School of Business and Economics and is a judge for their startup business plan competitions.