One of the most sought after skills in the world, the ability to take a repetitively unknown business or commodity and turn it into a household name. With the rise of the Internet age we’ve seen a rise in the trend of up and coming businesses become authorities in their niche. It’s not only the fact that the speed and quantity of companies that is causing people to take notice but it’s the model of which they are using. They are leveraging inexpensive sources of traffic to build a business for virtually nothing. I centered my case study around one industry.
The Rise of The Beards
I pulled this graphic from one the search analytic tools to show exactly what’s possible with the right knowledge and direction. This site is centered around beard topics such as hair growth and styling tips and a you can see the amazing part about it is that there is no large corporation backing it. It’s a very focused effort from a small team of expert marketers that built this brand.
People will argue with me on this and say by no means does that make it a brand but let me explain to you exactly why it does. Let’s start with this, if you search for anything and I mean anything beard related you will see this site on the first page. Everything from “how to grow your beard with Minoxidil” to something as off the wall as “what does James Harden look like with a beard”, this site will be in the top three results. What that means is they control the market share of the traffic and with that can leverage it however they want. Right now there are only currently using it to attract adsense click but if they ever decided to take the next step they would become a household name.
What’s The Next Step
I won’t argue that if you stopped here then by all means you are no brand, all you really are at that point is an asset. The next step to really solidify the brand is turning it into a product line or service. I say service even in this space because skill to take a site from relatively nowhere to the top in a specific niche is a highly sought after skill but for the most part I’m going to focus on building out a product line.
The fact of the matter is the traditional business owner doesn’t understand how valuable the data you have really is. Companies like Google pay billions to understand the intent behind their users to better enhance their experience, not only that but they invest just as much in market research. With a reverse business model like the one we are showing here you can back your way into a product like no one else can. For example, people might be searching for a “beard comb that doesn’t snag my hair” and they are consistently ending up on your site because you’re optimized for the search term “beard comb”. You have a wide open window into a market that wants a product and no one else is fulfilling your need. Instead of making something that competes with the mases, you’re serving up a new and exciting product/brand.
I interviewed a site owner in the space who is doing exactly this to see why he’s starting out this way.
“Really for me it was about the size of the investment, I know when the time comes I can make a product that meets everyone’s needs but until then I need to figure out what everyone want’s. It’s also amazing to be able to set your business up for success, for instance I could make a product just like everyone else and ignore what my users are telling me and still make money because the consumer is finding me first.”
Ryan Kelly, Beard Oil Balm – beardoilbalm.net
The moral of the story is that traditional marketing is dead and with that goes the way businesses are built. The new age of branding is upon us and it’s looking bright for those in the know.