Niche doesn't mean small

Hillebrand is full of Extra-ordinary people.  This is Kevin Brady. The brain, leader and pioneer of keg management and the USA’s leading service provider in this field, Kegspediter. Here’s what ‘niche’ means to him

“Whenever I describe the business I built, which focused on creating solutions for brewers’ difficulties in managing keg assets, the word ‘niche’ almost always works its way into the conversation. I get the feeling that when most people think of ‘niche business’, they put it in the context of a small business. And while it is true that Kegspediter started as a small company, it became the most efficient and most widely used keg management system in the USA for breweries around the world.

In 2013 my company was acquired by Hillebrand, an international logistics company focused on the beer, wine, and spirits industries (also niche). They have offices in over 90 countries, hardly small!

So, if niche doesn't mean small, what does it mean? As it relates to business, Niche is defined as a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. Niche is a noun, small is an adjective. Developing a niche means providing services that focus on solving a unique problem by applying expertise and insights gained through intimacy with an industry.

In my experience, carving out a niche requires being passionate about understanding three things:

1. the nature of the industry

2. the nature of the product

3. the seemingly unsolved concerns of the segment

The next step is to translate that understanding into a particular kind of product or service.

The answers to these and other questions require a level of segment intimacy that generalists have a harder time achieving. The pursuit of these answers made us active members in the industry and in time earned us the privilege of being considered a member of their community.  

It was and continues to be a result of a relentless curiosity to discover why things work the way they do, and more importantly, listening to the customer to identify their constant frustration and pain-point.

Niche players, because of their relationships and focus on a particular segment, are in a unique position to solve complex problems. Hillebrand is a niche player for these reasons and offers solutions like:

  • VinLiner insulation(protective liners)

    While Hillebrand's competencies include air/sea/road/rail logistics, forwarding, customs, and warehouse services, it is our end-to-end solutions that make us a dominant niche provider. It is the WHY behind WHAT we do that differentiates us.

    We help our customers focus on the passion of their craft by focusing on the challenges of how the world enjoys it.

    If you’ve been wondering why you should choose a niche service provider to manage your next shipment, we hope you have found your reason why in this article.

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