Ah, yes. Springtime in the US– A time for baseball, time spent outdoors and of course Easter egg hunts. We can learn a lot about business by watching children during an Easter egg hunt.
Remember as a kid when participated in an Easter egg hunt? You heard the magical word “go!” and your heart raced as you headed for the middle of the lawn where the eggs were easily seen. However, since most of the other kids also gravitated to the middle of the lawn, you were often met with sharp elbows, pushing and shoving and other scenes that were better left for WrestleMania. If you were a bigger kid or a bully (heaven forbid!) you did quite well in the middle. However, most kids that headed for the middle of the lawn came away with little or nothing at all because the competition in the middle was fierce.
Contrast this to the children who looked to the boundaries of the lawn. They often found little or no competition. They were left to themselves to grab the hidden gems in the cool grass of the edges of the lawn.
Your market is like a large Easter egg hunt -most companies fight for the middle of the market, the mass market. The middle looks very tempting because of its size. However, there is nothing exciting about the middle. This market often only contains homogeneous, morphed products or services that try (unsuccessfully) to be all things to all people. Instead, look to the boundaries (or the extremes) of your market – become über-luxury (Starbucks), über-inexpensive (Wal-Mart), über-fast (FedEx), über-customer friendly (Nordstrom), über-small (the Mini), über-big (the Hummer) or über-different (Apple).
Whatever you do, just get to the boundaries first and become the best in that category. The boundaries are where the flagrant (or “obviously inconsistent from the norm”) products and services can be found getting most of the word of mouth on the playground.