Focus on Niche Markets to Gain a Competitive Edge - Engine Builder Magazine

Focus on Niche Markets to Gain a Competitive Edge

From SEMA eNews

How are you supposed to compete with an Internet-only competitor
offering the same products online at a lower price among a sea of other
websites offering the same product? The quick answer: find your niche
and drive your business around it.

Customers are often looking for an expert to answer the burning
questions that cannot be answered by a database or
part-number-only-driven website. Sharing your knowledge and expertise
on a subject is the easiest way to gain trust in the marketplace and
help build a customer base for life.

Titan Motorsports was fortunate to find its niche early on. Titan was
originally founded as an outlet for owner Nero to help fund his
growing addiction to racing his ’94 Toyota Supra. Toyota discontinued
the Supra in the United States in 1998 as a result of poor sales. Its
over-engineered 2JZ engine made it a hit with enthusiasts and tuners
worldwide, however.

In 2001, Hollywood released the blockbuster movie The Fast and the Furious,
which featured the Supra as its hero car. With a new breed of
enthusiast racing to theatres to see the movie, Titan watched its niche
market for Supra parts explode overnight.

Suddenly people who had never considered purchasing a Supra prior to
the movie were calling wanting complete cars built. As demand
increased, the company was able to increase its inventory counts and use the
additional volume to develop exclusive contracts with our suppliers on
Supra-specific parts. Some 10 years later, sourcing replacement and
performance parts for this platform remains a large part of our
day-to-day operations.

Focusing on a niche is a great way to differentiate yourself from your
competition. It can, however, also leave you vulnerable to trends, fads
and sharp shifts in the general market place. As a result of these
shifts, it’s a great idea to develop parallel markets around your niche
to further increase sales and provide an additional growth platform.

In Titan’s particular case, they used their knowledge of turbocharging
developed from the 2JZ engine platform and expanded it to other turbo
vehicles. While the engines themselves were different, the
turbochargers and supporting parts remained universal. They were soon
shipping intercooler cores, blow-off valves and boost controllers
across the world and continue to do so today.

So, how can you take this example and apply it to your business?
Examine your existing profit centers and focus on the areas where you
already excel. Expand on areas where you’ve already proven superiority;
this will prove much easier than changing your entire business model in
search of growth.

Keep a close eye on your competitors and emerging trends, but stick to
your roots in the market place to maintain your competitive edge. With
a clear product focus and game plan, you can place yourself in front of
the competition.

Click here to see the original article in SEMA eNews. Titan Motorsports started as a Toyota Supra specialist tuner, a niche focus that paid off with that car's exposure in the first

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