These days the marketplace is becoming saturated with new brands, and so many are approaching this problem by casting the widest nets and diluting their brand identity to hopefully appeal to new markets. It’s important to remember what makes your brand unique. I explored this topic a few years ago and I think you’ll find it relevant today.
There’s an old adage that says “You can’t be everything to everybody.” Attempt to do so in your personal life, and you’ll constantly be trying to please everyone to the point where you stretch yourself so thin that there’s just not enough “you” left to go around for family, friends, and all those relationships that really matter.
Ditto when it comes to marketing your brand.
The cold, hard truth is not everyone will fall in love with your brand and you won’t be able to make them do so, no matter how hard you try.
Business owners hate this reality. They want to be able to sell their products or services to everybody all of the time. Cast a wide net and get lots of fish, they figure. Why limit my audience if I don’t have to?
That thinking is wrong. Attempting to market to the masses is like standing up in a crowded auditorium and trying to get everyone’s attention above the murmur of the crowd. You’ll shout yourself hoarse and barely attract anyone’s attention. All it amounts to is a lot of wasted effort and few, if any, results. You’re just another face in the crowd.
Smart business owners and marketers know that by narrowing their focus and their audience they are better able to develop compelling messages and concentrate their resources, effectively getting more bang for their marketing dollars.
SPEAK TO YOUR NICHE
BusinessDictionary.com defines niche marketing as concentrating your “marketing efforts on a small but specific and well-defined segment of the population” whose needs and wants align well with your brand offerings. In this reality, you don’t try to be everything to everybody. In this reality, by knowing your audience well and knowing their needs or “pain points,” you can better target your marketing efforts, your content, and your resources to drive the kind of results you want.
It all goes back to Marketing 101: know your audience and know what they need, make your brand appeal to this audience, and then deliver on your promise.
Author and professor Per Bylund sums it up well in a recent article on entrepreneur.com: “Catering to an audience that’s too large and diverse will ultimately make it impossible to identify pain points and close a sale . . . The more narrowly you can define your customer, the easier it will be to understand his or her needs and deliver relative value.”
Look at your competition. What makes your product or service unique? If you can’t articulate what makes your brand unique, perhaps you’re still thinking too broadly, trying to appeal to everyone.
For example, if you define your brand offering as “kitchen remodeling,” you run the risk of being seen by potential customers as just one of many service providers in the field. But if you narrow your focus to specializing, for instance, in modern/industrial kitchen design, then you’ve effectively carved out a niche. Now you can better define your target buyers, what appeals to them, and where they go to get the information, they need to make purchase decisions.
Suddenly, many of your marketing decisions get easier around the:
- Type of content you need to develop (written, video, etc.) and your core messages.
- Social media platforms you need to utilize to reach target buyers.
- Websites and blogs where you want to spread your content and place targeted ads.
- Networking opportunities where you’ll want a presence (expos, conferences, business socials, speaking opportunities, etc.).
Narrowing the focus of marketing efforts should not be seen as limiting your opportunities or your audience, but rather as being smarter about who you target, how you appeal to them, and where you concentrate your resources.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
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