Photo Courtesy of Apple

Most luxury real estate marketing professionals think of branding as a creating a new look for their product or service. But, the realm of branding actually occurs in the minds of your target market.  And, it occurs in product or service categories.  Whoever comes up “top-of-mind” in a category becomes the market leader. 

For every product or service category that is meaningful to us, we have a category. Often there are many sub-categories in our mind. For example, personal computers have a sub-category for desktops, laptops and tablets.  Some sub-categories even have their own sub-sub-categories.  

For example, when Apple introduced that Mac Air, a very slim and light-weight laptop that runs on a Flash drive (not a hard drive) a new sub-sub-category was born. As Intel and many other companies jumped on the band-wagon to copy the success of the Mac Air,  the category was given a name: “Ultrabooks”.

 It can also be said that ultrabooks are a niche within the product category of computers.  A niche is a specialized but profitable corner of the market Identifying and dominating an uncontested or under served market niche is the fastest route to market leadership in that niche.  The operative word in the definition of niche is ‘profitable’.  A niche would simply not exist if there was not a market for it that was profitable. 

The iPad actually redefined the category of tablet computing, as there were several attempts at creating this new category prior to its launch.  Apple has so outdistanced any of its competitors in both quality and quantity of units sold that it is next to impossible for any other company to catch up.   

Only Amazon’s Kindle Fire which uses Android as its operating system, has been successful at making a dent.  But, the Kindle Fire can only complete on price (not on features and not on the the number of available apps).  Because, Amazon sells their tablet at cost or below they have made it very difficult for other Android based competitors to enter this category.  And, other tablets using alternative operating systems, such as Windows 8, will have a very tough time entering the market. 

We offer this discussion of market categories to get you thinking about potential uncontested or under-served market niches, as luxury real estate marketing professionals.  Here is why:  What is the first brand to come to mind when you think of the category of tablet computer?  For most people tablet and iPad are synonymous.  What would it mean to you if your name was synonymous with the profitable niche that you decided to dominate?


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