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The Advantages of Niche Product Design

Courtney Scharf
February 12th, 2013
Though many companies have been able to establish success developing fairly basic products, many leading companies have stayed on the cutting edge by focusing on niche product design. This kind of approach takes innovation, creativity and careful planning to execute, so what is it that makes this approach worth the extra work?

The novelty of niche product design can put creative companies on the map due to the sheer amount of attention this kind of work can generate. By inventing or even reinventing a product, particularly in a way that's innovative, a company sets itself apart and opens up opportunities to gain coverage and notoriety. Nouveau Motley is a company that created many steampunk style products, but put itself on the map with its Kafka Clocks. These were handheld watches with insects built into the design. Highly unusual, the product generated a great deal of attention for the brand, and the amount of coverage established the brand in a meaningful way.

By addressing a customer need in a way that's never been done before, a company not only stands out but establishes a tie to a niche consumer base. Companies that focus on niche products have a stronger opportunity establish a strong and loyal fan base because these brands will resonate more strongly with particular market groups. The Walls Notebook, for example, is a redesign of the traditional notebook, aimed toward those involved in graffiti culture. With illustrated walls as a canvas instead of blank pages, this product stood apart and had an 'it' factor that made it appealing to young people. Niche products have a stronger chance of making a stronger connection a consumer base, and can be a huge help in terms of establishing a company's voice.

Adopting niche product design can be a way in which a company establishes itself as both distinct and innovative. For more inspiring design insights, take a look at Trend Hunter's Design Trend Report.