In the capitalist corporate environment, small businesses have to compete with established companies for profits. Generally, well-established companies have massive financial capacities coupled with several other competitive advantages that make it difficult for small businesses to compete against them. To succeed small businesses have to develop unique business models and operation strategies that can enable them to not only attract and retain customers but also generate profits. Small businesses can adopt business strategies, such as niche marketing and customer satisfaction, to improve their profitability. Niche marketing and customer satisfaction are integral to the success of small businesses as they inculcate customer loyalty and guarantee profitability.
Niche marketing enables small businesses to focus their operations on a small segment of the market and thus attract and retain loyal customers. The business concept of niche marketing is concerned with the promotion and selling of a product or service to a specialized segment of a market (Armstrong & Kotler, 2013). Niche marketing enables small businesses to attract and retain specific groups of customers who can guarantee their profitability even with competition from established companies. The concept of niche marketing enables small businesses to tailor their goods and services according to the clients’ preferences thus enhances customer satisfaction. The success of the American airline company Nicher Allegiant Air is an example of how small businesses can leverage the concept of niche marketing to make profits and compete against established companies in the market. The operations of Nicher Allegiant Air are modeled around the notion of niche marketing and, thus, the company only targets customers from small American cities who have been neglected over the years by well-established air travel companies (Armstrong & Kotler, 2013). Niche marketing has enabled Allegiant Air to have a loyal customer base that has continuously made its operations profitable.
Small businesses need to model their operations on the concept of customer satisfaction to attract and retain their customers. Customer satisfaction is how customers feel when they are offered goods or services that meet their expectations (University of Minnesota, 2015). According to El-Adly (2019), customer satisfaction is integral to the operations of small businesses as it inculcates customer loyalty that in turn ensures long-term profitability. Small businesses can enhance their customer satisfaction by empowering their customer-facing personnel. Empowering customer-facing personnel involves not only equipping employees who deal directly with customers with top-notch customer skills but also financially supporting them to give special treatments to customers (University of Minnesota, 2015). Ritz-Carlton, a multinational hotel company, has modeled all of its services on the customer satisfaction strategy of empowering customer-facing employees. Employees of Ritz-Carlton are provided with an annual budget that carters for expenses such as paying for dry cleaning if a customer accidentally spills wine on his or her clothes while in the hotel’s restaurant (University of Minnesota, 2015). Through the empowerment of customer-facing personnel Ritz-Carlton has been able to not only satisfy its clientele base but also inculcated brand loyalty among its customers.
The business approaches of niche marketing and customer satisfaction adopted by Nicher Allegiant Air and Ritz-Carlton have proven to be massively successful. By modeling its operations on the concept of niche marketing Nicher Allegiant Air recorded massive amounts of profits over the past six years compared to any other American airline (Nicas, 2013). Moreover, the massive success of Nicher Allegiant Air came at a time when the American airline industry was undergoing one of the worst recessions in recent history (Nicas, 2013). Nicher Allegiant Air also recorded a profit margin of 19% success that enabled the organization to add 18 more planes to its fleet (Nicas, 2013). The customer satisfaction strategy employed by Ritz-Carlton has enabled the hotel to have a loyal customer base hailing from diverse regions globally. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is currently one of the world’s best hotel chains with more than 108 hotels worldwide (University of Minnesota, 2015). The success of both the Ritz-Carlton and Nicher Allegiant Air is proof that startups should base their business models on the notions of niche marketing and customer satisfaction.
The Ritz-Carlton and Nicher Allegiant Air case studies have enabled me to learn how customer satisfaction, loyalty, and customer empowerment promote business success. Customer satisfaction inculcates product loyalty among a company’s clientele base. Product loyalty increases a company’s revenue and sales, therefore, encouraging long-term business profitability. Customer empowerment involves giving clients the requisite information they need to make their decisions (El-Adly, 2019). Companies with strong customer empowerment policies empower their clients by giving them divergent options they can explore to improve their buying experiences. Customer empowerment is a form of customer satisfaction and also inculcates loyalty among a company’s client base. By improving customer’s buying experiences customer satisfaction and empowerment inculcates loyalty which is integral for business success.
Established businesses and their numerous competitive advantages provide stiff and unfair competition to small businesses. To successfully compete with established companies small businesses have to base their operations on contemporary business strategies such as niche marketing and customer satisfaction. The modern-day concepts of niche marketing and customer satisfaction enable small businesses to attract and retain customers and therefore achieve profitability. The landmark success of both Nicher Allegiant Air and Ritz-Carlton is proof that when efficiently applied the concepts of niche marketing and customer satisfaction can enable small businesses to outperform established companies.
Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2013). Marketing: An introduction. (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
El-Adly, M. I. (2019). Modeling the relationship between hotel perceived value, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 50, 322-332. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2018.07.007
Nicas, J. (2013, June 04). Allegiant Air: The Tardy, Gas-Guzzling, Most Profitable Airline in America. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324423904578525310460541592
The University of Minnesota. (2015). Chapter 14: Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Empowerment. In Principles of marketing. Retrieved from https://open.lib.umn.edu/principlesmarketing/open/download?type=pdf