Animal lovers could keep me busy with ideas for this column for the next 10 years. They, by nature, give me way too many opportunities to post my Weird Niches. 🙂 And, this week is no different.
Now, before I get too far into this, I do need to disclose that I am a total softie when it comes to dogs. In fact, I have two of my own:
This is Einstein.
And, this is Captain Eddy (aka Edison). I don't have a more recent photo as he's terrified of cameras. (I have crazy dogs.)
I also seem to attract ever stray dog in the neighboring county. They come right to my front door and sit and wait until we open the door. What is up with that? We even have repeat strays who find us multiple times. (I put their owners' contact info in my cell phone so I don't have to keep looking it up.) We just figure our organic dog food tastes better — or they miss playing with Einstein and Eddy so come to visit their friends. 🙂
ok. ((rubbing hands together)) With that disclaimer out there, let's get into this week's Weird Niche Wednesday!
This niche is just cool.
What is it?
Now, at first when I got to this website, I thought “These people are WACKED!” Because I just saw dogs in googles. Now, while Eddie won't get into the pool to save his life, my Einstein is a real swimmer. (In fact, he's neurotic about it and wants to be in the water alllll the time.) Einstein only has three thoughts “food”, “ball” and “swim”. He loses his MIND when we let him by the pool. I'm afraid if we lived on a lake, he'd give up sleep just to swim.
But, he doesn't seem to mind getting water in his eyes.
So, the Doggles didn't make sense to me at all.
Of course, I have to give you guys the whole scoop if I'm going to dish a site on Weird Niche Wednesdays, so here's the story. The doggles aren't just cute, but they are functional as well – preventing foreign objects from getting into the dogs' eyes in certain situations. They can also help with dogs that have light sensitivities to lessen the sunlight and glare.
Plus, look at these sweet babies! http://www.doggles.com/doggles.html
I wasn't fully convinced, until I got to this:
In the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy, we were one of the few companies that the
ASPCA contacted directly for protective gear for the Search and Rescue Dogs.
” You [will] be relieving unnecessary suffering of the dogs, and … facilitat[ing] this rescue effort.”
🙁 – ok. I give. I give. Doggles is a weird, but wonderful niche.
Now, looking at their website, there are a few things they're doing right, but a lot of things they could be doing much much better.
I love that they showcase their media exposure on the main page of the site “As featured on CNN, People, National Geographic, etc.” which adds a lot of instant credibility to a niche where you need to train people of the value of your product and why you need it before they'll buy.
They also have a number of testimonials on the site. I wish they'd have photos with them as well as video clips to make them more believable, but at least they're there.
They have an “about us” page which is good, but they don't have a story that draws you in and makes you want to shop there, unlike some of the other sites I've featured on my blog.
Also, as anyone with an ecommerce site knows, a phone number is critical to developing trust. While they do list a phone number and mailing address on their contact page, it isn't displayed prominently on the site.
Now, the product is good, but a bit of copywriting and some strategic positioning could do a lot to really explode this company's profits. Does anyone else have ideas? I have a bunch more but I love to hear from you, too.
Thanks for reading!