top of page

Niche offering vs Broad offering

Recently I’ve been working on a massively challenging project. A 100 year old global company, operating in the B2B space which has organically grown from a very niche proposition to now a ‘splintered’ offering which caters for the original offer but also has lots and lots of other extensions which are not exactly related to the original one. These new extensions are profitable in their own right. But it’s messy. Difficult for staff and customers to understand and hard to manage. Difficult to attract and retain top talent. Hard for leadership to plan ahead because everything is very opporuntity based. Customers are saying they have “lost their way”.

A new vision is needed. Something that's clear. The brand needs to stand for something again. It needs to own a place in the hearts and minds of its audiences and innovate towards a brighter future once a vision of that future has been defined. But currently it is struggling with this dilemma between widening or narrowing its offer.

This situation is not unusual and I’ve seen it many times before. As humans we seem to want to complicate and add to things. We have a desire to complicate in our ambition for progress. Over years businesses morph as opportunities arise. But without a clear direction they often end up in a place which is so complicated and hard to make decisions around that something needs to be done.

Basically, my client faces a huge decision. Do they continue to broaden their offerings around a “higher” purpose - finding a related theme for the offerings in place at the moment and packaging that in a way that makes sense? This would allow for scope and even new ideas and offerings to come to the table so that they could live into the new, wider remit of the proposition. Or, do they go back to their roots. Double down and focus on the niche offering that made them short they are. Go through the painful process of cutting off (or creating spin-out business and brands) of all offerings which do not fit the core idea. Market opportunities lie in both directions and so it is up to their leadership to really make a call on this.

With this all buzzing around my head though I thought it would be worth articulating the pros and cons of both niche and a broad brand offerings.

Niche brand offering

“A focused offering which solves very specific specialist problems for a very specific audience”


Enables a very clear proposition to a small audience

Less competition

Allows the recruitment of elite specialists in this space

Builds on past reputation (it’s what the brand is known for)

Enables the brand to charge a premium (higher profit margins)

Focuses resources

Higher customer loyalty


Will require cutting out current offerings which do not sit within the niche proposition

Requires the brand to say “no” to opportunities which do not fit the proposition

Huge requirement to stay relevant - if the brand does not innovate it will be doomed

Less room for error - customers will expect the best

Broad brand offering

“A wide offering which seeks to solve a large amount of problems for a large amount of customers ”


Opens up huge growth potential with more market opportunities

Increases resources allowing for the mitigation of risk and innovation

Gives the brand space to innovate radically new offerings and solutions

Wider brand awareness


May be difficult for customers to understand exactly what the brand stands for

Difficult to know where to focus

Difficult to manage - will need infrastructure and organisation design

May spread resources thin

Lower profit margins - seen as one of many

High competitive pressure

Less customer loyalty

Which way to turn?

My strategic head tells me that unless you have good reason to do so it is always better to niche. To have a clear offering and create maximum impact and value in a hugely meaningful way for a set group of customers. To focus. To have a razor sharp vision of what you stand for, why you do what you do, how you do it and who you do it for. To widen the offering could jeopardise this approach - its more complicated and potentially dilutes the meaning in the audiences minds. But the truth is there is not a right or wrong in regards to either of these directions. The key is to be intentional about the direction your brand is going. To have a vision - not for the next quarter or financial year but for the next 5-20 years. To put the customer at the heart of everything you do and to ensure you continue to innovate to solve their problems. Which direction is your brand headed in?


bottom of page