The right niche paired with the wrong context is why many designs don’t sell.

Yes, finding a good niche is important. But using the right context or messaging vehicle to express something about that niche is truly no less important.

Here are ten messaging themes / tones that you may want to consider if your current niche approaches aren’t working well.

Self-deprecation: Niche humor at the expense of the wearer.

Faux arrogance: Absurd expression of arrogance or self-congratulations over a matter not worthy of any legitimate praise.

Viewing audience-focused: Niche messaging that is meant to be seen by a specific audience, like a teacher’s students or personal trainer’s clients.

Longing and desire: Expressions about something within a niche that the wearer really wants or looks forward to.

Strong opinion / emotion: A message that expresses a clear opinion or viewpoint on a topic pertinent to the niche (the more debatable or controversial the better).

Just the facts: Simple expressions of interesting or little-known facts about the niche upon which the tshirt or product design is based.

Explanations and definitions: Dictionary or research-style messaging that provides basic, explanatory info about a niche or a relevant niche element.

Stating the obvious: A niche message that humorously states something that is already well-understood and doesn’t really need to be expressed.

Inside jokes and humor: A well-researched joke, pun, or message that uses language or niche references that general audiences won’t “get” but a targeted niche audience will.

What’s needed or unwanted: A simple expression of what the wearer desperately needs (more sleep for an exhausted night shift worker) or, at the other end of the spectrum, desperately seeks to avoid (negative people, hated vegetables, allergens, etc.).

If you’re confident you have a great niche but it isn’t converting, don’t abandon the niche without first experimenting with context and different ways of expressing your niche message.