• This strategy focuses on targeting and capitalizing on segments often overlooked by big brands. 
  • It helps build high customer loyalty, increased profitability, and a stronger brand identity. 

The “Pick the Segments Nobody Else Wants” marketing strategy is a contrarian approach targeting underserved and overlooked segments. This strategy allows brands to avoid competing for the biggest market share while prioritizing establishing dominance in a smaller and well-defined customer segment.

The primary advantage of this approach is that it faces less competition from established players who usually neglect a certain customer segment. It allows brands to carve out a strong market position with minimal head-on battles. Also, customers in these segments are often ignored by mainstream brands, and if you can cater to them, you could build strong brand loyalty, increase repeat purchases, and propagate positive word-of-mouth promotions. 

Even a tiny, well-defined niche or customer segment could be profitable. Understanding their specific needs allows marketers to develop targeted offerings and potentially higher margins. Focusing on unmet customer needs could also lead to product or service innovation that has broader appeal in the long run. 

How did Crocs Successfully Incorporate the “Pick the Segments Nobody Else Wants” Marketing Strategy? 

Crocs is a casual shoe brand known for its clogs, which feature bulky, brightly colored, closed-cell resin material called Croslite. Although Crocs has gained a loyal customer following for its comfort and practicality, it often must be more beloved for its unconventional designs and bold colors.

Embracing the Tag of the Unloved Shoe 

Crocs had a lousy image and were given the tag of the Unlovable shoe, as they were starkly different from traditional shoes and footwear, which were sleek, trendy, or aesthetic and dominated the conventional market. Instead of trying to fit in, they embraced their unique qualities and targeted a specific customer segment that prioritized comfort and practicality over fashion trends. 

Their selling proposition was comfort and practicality, not design. Plus, the shoes were made from Croslite, which is well-known for its lightweight, comfortable, and easy-to-clean properties. They offered a relaxed fit for all-day wear and activities requiring sure footing. 

These features resonated with people who were on their feet for long durations, such as nurses, chefs, gardeners, construction workers, etc. While catering to these individuals, Crocs also became a favorite among parents who valued practicality and easy cleaning for their toddlers. 

Finding & Targeting the Niche and Owning the Unconventional

Crocs understood that their designs could not appeal to the broader and traditional markets, so they started targeting people who prioritized comfort over fashion. The brand never tried to be everything for everyone; instead, it focused on the needs of specific customer segments and excelled at fulfilling their requirements. This approach allowed it to build strong relationships and loyalty among its core audience. 

Interestingly, Crocs never shied away from their unconventional designs. Instead, they embraced the fact that their shoes weren’t for everyone. This authenticity resonated harmoniously with the people who appreciated individuality and did not unthinkingly follow fashion trends. 

They even leaned into the concept of mockery and skillfully used self-deprecating humor in their marketing campaigns. Incorporating this tactic created a sense of community among Crocs wearers and revealed their appreciation for the comfort and unique style this brand offered. 

In conclusion, by embracing this niche and incorporating the “Pick the Segments Nobody Else Wants” marketing strategy, Crocs achieved remarkable results. They developed a loyal customer base and became a go-to brand for comfortable, practical footwear. This story shows that there exists a market for everything; the only requirement is to identify specific needs and cater to them effectively. 

What is the “Pick the Segments Nobody Else Wants” Marketing Strategy? 

This marketing strategy goes against the basic concepts of traditional marketing, where companies fight fiercely for the most significant and desirable customer segments. Instead, it extensively targets underserved segments, which big companies often overlook.

Why Should a Brand Pursue Unwanted Segments? 

They target segments that only want to offer multi-pronged benefits for any brand. The most significant advantage is facing less competition, as established players are already neglecting them. This leaves the brand open to dominating the segment. Also, customers in these segments often feel they need to be more noticed by mainstream marketers, and if brands cater to their needs, they can build strong brand loyalty. 

Even a tiny, well-defined niche segment can be profitable if approached strategically. Brands can capitalize on their specific needs, allowing them to develop targeted offerings with higher margins. Focusing on these unmet needs could lead to product or service differentiation and have broader appeal in the long run. 

Identifying Unwanted Segments and Developing a Winning Strategy

Marketers must look for groups with unique buying habits or consumption patterns to understand behavioral differences. This audience might prefer a different shopping experience or a highly valued product feature. This could allow them to identify the unwanted segment. 

They can also look for age groups usually ignored by giants in your target market, like senior citizens and young teens. Sometimes, these groups could be geographically isolated populations with limited access to mainstream products. Marketers could target specific interests, hobbies, or values not catered to by major brands. 

To develop a winning strategy and capitalize on this marketing strategy, marketers should conduct thorough research to understand the segment’s needs, pain points, and buying journey. Then, the focus should be on crafting a clear message emphasizing how your product or service solves the problem in a way that competitors do not. 

However, marketers should not waste resources on mainstream advertising and should utilize niche publications, online communities, or influencing marketing approaches relevant to the segment. The strategy should focus on building trust and fostering a sense of community with customers. 

Pros and Cons of “Pick the Segments Nobody Else Wants” Marketing Strategy

Like any other marketing strategy, this “Pick the Segments Nobody Else Wants” strategy comes with its pros and cons, as discussed below. 

Pros

The most significant advantage of this strategy is facing less competition, as established players have already overlooked this smaller market segment, leaving a wide gap to be dominated by a focused company. Also, customers in these segments often feel ignored by mainstream brands, and catering to their needs can build fierce brand loyalty, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Even a tiny, well-defined niche can be highly profitable if catered intelligently. With minimal competition, brands can command higher margins for their offerings due to the lack of readily available alternatives. Focusing on unmet needs also leads to product or service innovation that has broader appeal. 

When a brand solves a unique problem of a particular customer segment, it might discover solutions that have broader applicability. Owning a niche segment gives the brand a solid and focused brand identity. Eventually, the brand can become synonymous with solving the problem of that specific segment with a more explicit marketing message. 

Cons

Targeting a smaller customer segment often requires careful planning, which could result in higher customer acquisition costs to achieve profitability. Understanding a segment’s needs, buying habits, and pain points requires expertise, dedicated research, and ongoing knowledge gathering to stay relevant.

Reaching the target segment might require focusing on unconventional marketing strategies that are less efficient than traditional methods. This is because mainstream advertising might not be effective, and finding the right channel that connects with the niche can be a daunting task. 

Even if the niche market is profitable, it might have a limited growth ceiling. Expanding beyond a certain point might require targeting adjacent niches or developing new products or services to broaden the reach. Shifting consumer behaviour or technological advancement could disproportionately affect the niche market, and brands must constantly adapt and innovate to stay relevant. In conclusion, the “Pick the Segments Nobody Else Wants” marketing strategy can be a powerful tool for capitalizing on catering to the underserved customer segment. As big players already ignore this segment, it minimizes competition, increases margins, and opens possibilities for innovation.