What Is a Niche Market? And How To Reach One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

In this article, you will learn all about niching down to reach a unique market, where you can position yourself as an expert and how to do that through researching customer behaviour, trends, and analytics.

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A niche market can be defined as a segment of consumers who share characteristics and, because of those characteristics, are likely to buy a particular product or service. The consumer characteristics you would examine fall under three main categories: demographic, psychographic, and firmographic.

Demographics are specific socio-economic factors such as age, ethnicity, or income level. Psychographics are behaviours, attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological factors. Firmographics are factors used to characterise the operations of businesses and organisations, and can include the industry type, organisation size, and revenue.

Niche markets comprise small, highly specific groups within a broader target market you may be trying to reach.

Identifying a niche market and learning everything you can about it enables you to do several things:

  • Develop products and services that meet your niche’s unique needs and desires

  • Show empathy for and connection to your niche through your marketing messaging  

  • Build trust with your niche and turn them into loyal customers 

  • Compete with larger brands

  • Become a credible “go-to” brand for the specific solution you provide, and ultimately attract more customers

Consumer characteristics defined

When identifying a niche market, you'll examine three main categories of consumer characteristics: demographic, psychographic, and firmographic.

Demographics are specific socio-economic factors such as age, ethnicity, or income level.

Psychographics are behaviors, attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological factors.

Firmographics are factors used to characterise the operations of businesses and organisations, and can include the industry type, organization size, and revenue.


3 Niche market examples

Now that you have a clear definition of what a niche market is and why identifying one is important, let’s take a look at some niche market examples and steps you can take to find yours. 

Aspiring novelists

Think of aspiring novelists as a smaller segment of writers in general. Aspiring novelists might share some characteristics with other types of writers, such as journalists, bloggers, poets, playwrights, copywriters, and technical writers, in that writers of all kinds typically enjoy using language to express their ideas. 

As a niche audience, though, aspiring novelists would exhibit unique goals, interests, challenges, behaviours, and other demographic and psychographic characteristics that you’d need to take into account. Factoring this in, allows you to develop relevant products or services, as well as messaging, to appeal specifically to this niche market. 

For example, aspiring novelists might be interested in courses on how to build page-turning plots and unforgettable characters, or even apps to help them navigate a book-length document. Depending on the demographic and psychographic information you discovered, messaging could appeal to this niche market’s “dream to tell stories” or desire to “bring ideas to life.”

Long-distance runners

Think of long-distance runners as a smaller segment of athletes in general. Long-distance runners might share some characteristics with other athletes, such as bodybuilders or dancers. For example, athletes typically enjoy the physical and mental challenges of exercise, as well as the benefits. 

In researching the unique characteristics of long-distance runners, you might discover that this niche group places emphasis on building endurance, perfecting their stride, and staying hydrated during long runs. This niche market might be interested in group training events, hand-held water bottles, or even subscriptions to inspirational content. Messaging could appeal to this niche market’s drive to “cross the finish line” or “break personal records.”

Telemedicine physicians  

Think of telemedicine physicians as a smaller segment of health care workers (a group that’s itself a smaller segment of remote workers). Telephysicians may share characteristics with health care workers in general, in terms of their commitment to patient care. They may share characteristics with remote workers in terms of their comfort with technology and their need for flexible schedules.  

In researching the unique characteristics of telephysicians, you might discover that this niche market is interested in furniture or decor to make their home offices conducive for telemedicine, or even resources on how to exhibit “bedside manner” across a screen. Messaging could appeal to telephysicians’ compassion and mission to heal others. 

How to reach a niche market

In this section, you will learn seven strategies for reaching your niche market. While you may already have ideas about the product or service you want to offer, you’ll want to prioritise getting to know your niche: how they behave, what they want, and the challenges they face. This ensures you can develop offers in response to potential customers’ unique characteristics and eventually market these offers with greater success.

1. Start niching down from broader categories.

If you know the broad market categories of customers you’d like to serve, the next thing to do is “niche down” to discover subsets of consumer groups according to their unique qualities. For example, you could start narrowing down a broad market such as “university students” to “biology students studying at international universities,” “medical students,” or “students who are also working to support their families.” 

Ask yourself these questions to explore potential niche markets: 

  • What might you (and potentially other consumers) need that currently isn’t available for purchase?  

  • What specific problems do you want to solve?

  • What could you offer to consumers, based on your strengths?

  • What kinds of consumers would share your own values, passions, and experiences?

  • What basic demographic and psychographic details do you imagine these kinds of consumers share? 

2. Identify niche market keywords.

Another way to define a niche market is to learn what consumers type into Google or other search engines when they want to find solutions to problems or answers to their questions. Start typing a few Google enquiries and note the keywords and phrases that Google automatically suggests, based on what’s trending. 

For example, if you want to learn more about green consumers, type “non-toxic” into a Google search, and you may find that Google suggests, “non-toxic cookware” or “non-toxic cleaning supplies.” Typing these keywords into SEO research sites like Semrush and Ahrefs can reveal important metrics such as the search volume for a particular keyword and the difficulty of ranking high in a search result. These can offer clues as to what’s important to your niche market. 

3. Research interest groups on social media.

You can discover quite a bit about niche markets by searching interest groups on social media or community platforms, where people engage with, and post content related to their passions, interests, professions, age groups, and other demographic and psychographic information. 

For example, if you’re targeting developers, research them on GitHub, a platform that millions of developers and organisations use to create software and collaborate. Click around to discover the kinds of projects developers are working on, the skills developers are learning, and the connections GitHub users are making with each other.

If you’re targeting avid readers, research them on Goodreads, a platform where millions of readers post about and discover more books, join reading challenges, and track their reading activity. Click around to find out which genres, topics, new releases, and classes are trending, as well as how readers connect with each other through a shared love of books. 

Learn more about how to use social media to gather information about your customers in a specific niche through course three of the Google Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Professional Certificate.

4. Examine competitors. 

As you gather insights from keyword research and social media, you’ll want to find out who your competitors are and what they are offering consumers in your niche. For example, if you want to serve long-distance runners, what are the top brands runners currently follow on social media or buy from? What gaps do you notice?

With this information, you can devise a plan to compete effectively. This might include niching down even further, differentiating your products and services to fill gaps, and refining the messaging you use to promote them. 

5. Explore fast-growing occupations. 

As industries grow, you may find untapped niche markets amongst business owners, employees, and consumers within an industry you’re interested in. Currently, the fastest-growing industry in India is software and technology, with a 25 percent increase in demand for software developers [1].

As you gather information of this kind, ask yourself these questions:

  • What products and services could enhance the experiences of people in these growing career fields? 

  • What’s the best way to learn more about people in these career fields?

  • What niche markets can you identify, based on companies hiring for these positions? 

  • What kinds of marketing strategies would reach these niches most effectively?

6. Gather statistical data.

Statistical data about or relevant to your niche market can help you estimate its size, income level, and other purchase metrics. From there, you could use this information to determine your next niche marketing step. 

Here are two industry-specific examples: 

  • A search for “marketing manager” on Glassdoor yields 5,560 job listings in India, as of October 2022 [2], with an average salary of between ₹4L and ₹22L [3], suggesting that these professionals are in demand and can make high salaries as they work their way up.

  • Following the pandemic, the Indian e-commerce market is continuing to grow and is expected to increase by 21.5 percent by the end of 2022 [4].

Niche marketing tip: Bear in mind that becoming a known brand within a niche can eventually attract competitors who want to share your success. You may be able to mitigate this by niching down even further, refining your products and services, and adjusting your messaging.

Reach your niche market with Coursera

Taking a course can be a great way to learn effective business practices, including how to find your niche market and attract niche customers to your products and services. 

Reach new audiences on social media with the Google Digital Marketing and E-Commerce Professional Certificate. Learn how to develop marketing campaigns to engage customers using analytics to attract the right audience for your products and services.

Article sources


The CEO Story. “6 fastest growing sectors in India that are expected to boom in 2022, https://theceostory.in/blog/6-fastest-growing-sectors-in-india/.” Accessed November 2, 2022.

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