WHY SUPER NICHING WORKS
BIRMINGHAM BAR THE BOTANIST.
Niche Branding. We receive many invites to media launches of new bars and restaurants, very rarely do we attend despite the lure of free booze and sometimes decent food. Why? Simply put, we would be groaning with the attempt to be another new type of bar or restaurant in Birmingham. A safe, mediocre, facsimile with zero innovation other than a slick, soulless but quickly passé fit out.
We think we are in the age of ‘Super Niching’. The online search world has created a wonderful by-product; it has changed the need to cater for all, the safe just-in-case, which at the same time appeals to no-one creating a landscape of Mediocre & Boring. Great concepts can be quickly developed, tested and launched with a clear purpose and absolute confidence.
Seven years ago we were approached to innovate and create ‘independent feel’ to an established pub chain, who were losing their laminated menu ground to ‘genuine’ independents. The solution was fantastic, researched, tested and proven. When it came to the approval a board level, the concept became sanitised to a generic compromised blob that appealed to no-one through the layers of management. Tragic as it was frustrating as we in essence solved nothing. But even then, the power of online not just online was only just becoming apparent and certainly not understood by business leaders making decisions.
The informed ‘hipster’ MD, CEO Entrepreneur type is now driving change; derelict inner-city pubs are being transformed into lively original and happening places. The Jewellery Quarter quickly becoming the ‘hip’ professional quarter is driving this charge with not only pubs but also enterprises like private nightclubs, rustic bakeries and even Whiskey specialists, clicks and bricks hardtofindwhiskey.com
The Botanist is great.
It fits a space that is missing in the city centre. It’s an example of a rare unsanitised well developed the brand concept, another great from The New World Trading Co. It oozes genuine love and attention to detail, from the clear and original proposition, the decor, the staff, the food, the lighting, even the toilets. It just so joined up and works so well. The staff look like they want to be there and feel like they have a stake in the brand. Everything has been carefully considered, from the reclaimed tables, the weathered wooden panelling to the beautiful chandeliers made out of various pieces of “found” eclectic glassware and the bespoke art pieces on the walls. I felt like I was in a botanically influenced Victorian living room/greenhouse/ orangery. The venue is themed, but elegant. Traditional, yet trendy, but not trying too hard.
We encourage organisations to do more homework, use research to be braver, pilot new ideas, become and expert and move away from trying to please everyone in a world of choice and expanding sub-cultures.
We have done this niching ourselves turning away random design projects, no matter how much we want to to them if they don’t fit with what with our offer and our purpose. So we can appreciate how hard this is to say no to business, especially after emerging from a hard biting recession. But the rewards are there as you become focused and excellent in your field of business, you reduce your marketing costs as you refine brand value proposition with laser accuracy, finding fame, appreciation and recognition.