Bet on the little guy: Lessons from space in PR

January 23, 2017

Three. Two. One. Lift Off! Last week, SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 carrying a constellation of 10 Iridium satellites, months after an unexpected explosion. While companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are aiming for bigger and bigger rockets and even hoping to send people to Mars, there’s a new industry out there to help “the little guys” that just want to get an idea or concept up into space. This untapped market for small satellites and small launch vehicles will help new space innovators test the viability of a product or to develop completely new solutions for on-orbit applications.

 

Enter two Barokas clients: Vector Space Systems and York Space Systems. Two aerospace companies that know size doesn’t always matter to be the best. With missions to help small businesses and entrepreneurs get into space, rather than sending people to the outer edge of the universe, Vector and York provide launch services and space segment solutions to all kinds of commercial and military customers. By going against the grain and developing smaller and smaller products, both organizations understand the importance of carving out a niche and owning it. To me, the resident space cowgirl, there are many parallels between commercialized space and other brands that differentiate themselves by catering to a unique market.

 

Whole Foods

When it comes to finding sunflower seed butter, soy-less soy sauce and vegan raised non-GMO meat, no other grocery store comes close to catering a specific niche group quite like Whole Foods. While the supermarket itself boasts that it solely sells foods without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats, other competitors like King Soopers, Safeway and Sprouts focus on serving a larger customer base. Whole Foods owns the clean eating space and with their ride or die health-nut obsessives, they will continue to dominate the category.

 

Lush

For all the ladies out there who have tried Lush beauty products, they know that in comparison to Sephora, Ulta and MAC cosmetic stores, Lush stands out among the pack. Lush is all about ethical buying and purity in the handmade products they sell at their stores. Valuing social and corporate responsibility over a luxurious image, Lush appeals to very specific group of women (and men) who hold integrity in beauty products in high regard. Compared to bigger cosmetic brands that test their products on animals or use cheap materials that will make you break out, Lush understands their customers and has built a largely successful business off of catering to their specific needs.

 

Barokas Communications

Large public relations agencies that employ hundreds of people are always striving for bigger and better. While there are benefits to employing this type of agency, at Barokas Communications, our mid-size agency mentality has allowed us to serve both B2B and consumer technology companies in all sorts of interesting spaces including cannabis and space. This tech focus has also opened up many opportunities with clients that have tech at the heart of what they do, even if you may not see it that way at first. Tech is making its way into all facets of life and business including retail and hospitality, for example (more to come on that soon!). Our focus on ‘all things tech’ has enabled us to become the leading tech PR agency in Denver, Seattle and the surrounding regions.

While sending people to go live on Mars may not be the easiest case to compare against, businesses that have hollowed out a specific portion of the market to own are great examples of the kinds of lessons we can learn from our clients. Bigger may not always be better and stick to what you know! This will create the secret sauce that drives customers to your business, allowing you to kick you know what.

-Aubrey

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