The Quiznos commercials¬†we have seen in the last decade marketed Quiznos subs in an interesting (and perhaps to some, puzzling and disturbing) way. A bowler hat-wearing animal that appears to have the body of a hamster and the legs of a shrimp sings in a scratchy, off-key voice about how much he loves Quiznos subs because they’re so warm and tasty. Just in case you can’t understand the screechy rodent, speech bubbles from his mouth provide an explanation. A similar-looking animal wearing a pirate hat plays guitar in the background. While this commercial is certainly odd, it was successful in that it really got people talking. Trey Hall, the chief marketing officer for Quiznos, explained that Quiznos felt their marketing needed to be dramatic with the airtime they bought because they had a small ad budget. They were also seeking to gain awareness among the public, which shock value can be successful at doing.

The commercial’s weakness is that the shock of creepy singing animals could have potentially made viewers associate the idea of Quiznos with discomfort and unpleasant thoughts. While many viewers pondered how a singing rat-gerbil could possibly make them want a sandwich, some went so far as to say that the presence of the creature in a commercial suggested that Quiznos is rodent-infested and unclean. I personally avoided Quiznos for years after this marketing campaign – not for any reason that I could have articulated at the time, I just felt unsure about the place. It wasn’t until a friend suggested Quiznos that I ever ventured inside one. When I reminded her of the weird mutated marmoset commercial, she looked confused and said, “Oh yeah I remember that commercial…that was for Quiznos?”

Overall, the marketing strategy seems to have paid off. The company has seen rapid growth through franchises and has received numerous awards for their success. Their early ads were filled with shock value, from the bizarre rodents to a man suckling on a wolf. They then progressed to controversial ads that took on sandwich-giant Subway and suggested that “real women need meat.” This kept people talking and kept their curiosity up until Quiznos became a household name, at which point they dropped the shock value and started making more down-to-earth commercials like this one, which focuses on the value of Quiznos subs in our economy. Their marketing strategy, though criticized at times, has drawn the appropriate type and amount of attention to Quiznos throughout the company’s history.

This is considered an effective marketing – offline marketing or traditional marketing method. Although it may have been too risky to take a shot of at first, it was then followed by a lot of people talking and remembering about it. This can be applied to online marketing campaigns too. Some controversial articles tend to gain a lot of traffic and good value in return. It’s a mixture of being creative, being honest, being annoying (perhaps) and being strategic when you decide to make a scene in the internet world.

Unlike trying to go after an entire market, niche marketing details targeting a specific (and often tiny) portion of each marketplace based on a specific interest, product or service.

Niche marketing has begun to take off like a wildfire due to the high competition amongst major brands in the most common marketplaces. A perfect example is how it’s literally impossible to beat Walmart in a price war because of their stranglehold on the market and the ability to buy in massive quantities.

As savvy marketers have begun to realize, it’s much easier to target a niche market because users within a niche will often be more motivated to buy, highly driven and the competition is almost nonexistent since big businesses don’t take the time to go after such small marketplaces.

Let’s break niche marketing down into the fundamentals:

1. Finding passionate buyers

When dealing with mass marketing, you are blindly throwing out your advertisement and marketing toward a large group of people and hoping that a few will respond by buying your product or service. Traditional marketing methods which utilize these large markets can be seen every day through radio, print and television ads.

traditional-marketing-methodUnlike mass marketing, niche marketing only goes after a small group which are highly motivated and passionate about a subject. For example, it would be much easier to sell to a niche market such as “Red 4 Speed Mountain Bikes” as opposed to simply “Mountain Bikes”.

Because users that are passionate about “Red 4 Speed Mountain Bikes”, you will more likely be able to speak to them directly without having to spend a massive amount of money on marketing toward a larger market which most likely won’t be interested.

2. Comparing the competition

As the example above, it would be virtually impossible for a mom and pop store to compete directly with Walmart because it’s simply infeasible for a small store to stock all of the products that are offered by big box retailers.

But this doesn’t mean a small business can’t do great if they target only a select niche. Unlike big box retailers, niche marketing allows you to compete against other businesses that are on an equal playing field with comparable budgets.

When drilling down into a specific niche, a small business will be able to find a unique selling point that major businesses aren’t able to offer. This USP can be the competitive edge which sets the small business in a league of its own vs. its competition.

3. Filling a demand in the market

Because of the web and consumers wising up about their choice in the sales process, many consumers want unique items in comparison to generic products offered by most stores.

When a big box retailer goes into business they often only stock the most common items within a particular group. A perfect example is the lack of music selection and its restrictions to only a couple shelves.

A niche business which markets toward the right marketplace will be able to dive further into each product or service and fill a demand where other businesses have missed out on taking advantage of.

As big businesses continue to push generic products, niche marketing will allow you to find the cracks where customers have slipped through and sell directly to them without having to compete on a large scale.


The further you go into a niche, the smaller the marketplace will become. The flip side with smaller niches is that consumers will continually be more driven and targeted toward a business, product or service.

Through niche marketing, advertising budgets will be slashed in half, conversions will increase and only the most passionate customers will be apart of the overall experience for any small business which digs deep into the marketplace.