Marketing to the Lone Ranger


Do you ever feel like you are marketing a brand that the world isn’t ready for? Then chances are you have a brand with niche appeal.

Say you’re a small company trying to market silver bullets. Research shows that your average hunter is not interested in your shiny little death pellets. Neither is your vigilante mercenary–– he’s a hollow point man, pure and simple. So what do you do? You target niche markets. Take the Lone Ranger, for instance. This masked dude is all about the silver bullet. He uses the things like calling cards. But before you can market to the Lone Rangers of the world, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Meet your unique audience’s unique needs. The benefits your product promises must have a special appeal to the market niche. Take this Lone Ranger guy. He is gaga for silver. He even named his horse after it. So you need to play up the silver angle. By identifying your niche’s unique needs you can look for ways to tailor your product or service to meet them. Consider all the product variations you might offer. The new and improved silver bullet with a hint of lemon. That sort of thing.

2. Talk his language. When approaching a new market niche, it’s imperative you speak their language. Remember, Tonto? He didn’t get very far with the Lone Ranger by speaking Comanche. He spoke English. He learned his target’s “hot buttons”. In addition to launching a unique campaign for the new niche, you may need to adapt like Tonto. If you are trying to market to the Latino market, make sure you have a tag line that translates and makes sense.

3. Spend some money. Save some money. The great thing about marketing to a specific niche is that most niche marketing is quite affordable. If you have a consumer product that you want to market to a sub group like, say, Hasidic Jews, you develop digital ads to run on––far more affordable than In most cases, your marketing dollars will go much farther when you aim for a specific niche. The best approach of course is an integrated approach. Add to these digital ads, small space ads in Hasidic publications. Run radio ads on Hasidic radio programming. Put up window clings in kosher delis. Surround your niche at every single touch point. It works. And that’s no sitting bull, Kemosabe.

4. Always test-market. Audit the competition. Who else is marketing silver bullets? How do you keep from being a me-too brand? How do you position your bullets against theirs? Are yours a better value? For an overview, it’s best to conduct a competitive analysis by reviewing competitors’ ads, brochures and websites. Look for their key selling points, along with pricing, delivery and other product characteristics. Always test-market carefully to gauge the niche market’s receptiveness to your product.

5. There is no such thing as failure. There are only false starts. Just because one attempt at niche marketing wasn’t a rousing success, it doesn’t mean you can’t regroup and come back great guns. In other words, if you can’t market silver bullets to the Lone Ranger, there are always werewolf hunters. Those guys go through silver bullets like they are going out of style.

We are a Dallas Advertising Agency specializing in integrated marketing.