What’s In A Niche?

By Karen McIntyre, Editor | September 15, 2010

There’s no doubt about it. There are a lot of wipes out there. Everyone knows about the gold standards—baby wipes, floor cleaning wipes, disinfectant wipes—but did you know there is a wipe out there to grease a frying pan before cooking your morning omelette or a wipe specifically for cleaning off your children’s toys or relieving a runny nose? These are just a few of the examples of the many new wipes products discovered by associate editor Sandra Levy for her article, The Explosion in Niche Wipes (page 12). It seems taking a good idea from the concept stage to the marketplace is rife with obstacles and the many companies that have successfully launched a product share their tips and tricks for working with converters, developing a marketing campaign on a budget and more.

While most of these product launches will continue to remain in the niche category, stranger things than one of them achieving real sales success has happened. In the past couple of years alone, Boogie Wipes—saline-based wipes for runny noses—have gone from a boutique product to one that is found in most major drugstore chains and retailers. And, when you consider that it took Procter & Gamble only a few years to turn Swiffer from an obscure concept into a blockbuster global brand, it is certain that consumers keep turning to wipes in their daily lives.

Basically, the formula for success is simple. If there is a proven need and if the product will make consumers’ lives simpler, no matter what the task, a wipe will do well. It just takes some hurdles to get it to market.

In fact, the wipes market is one that has been born out of innovation and a knack for addressing consumer need. So now the only question is what else do they need?

Karen McIntyre
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