“If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be anything
If you want to dominate a niche, you first have to know what your niche is. Do you know that when you try to be “everything” to everyone, you won’t be “anything” to anyone? You want to be a BIG FISH in a small pond, rather than a minnow in a huge ocean. So, who is your perfect target niche client?
My good friend and business consultant Ellen Rohr explains a simple way to find out. Think about your very best customers. You know them— they never complain about price, they always pay on time, and they are a pleasure to work with. That picture describes your target niche market. Of course in your phenomenal marketing plan, you will determine the demo- graphics (age, gender, income, etc.) and psychographics (purchasing habits, etc.) of your perfect target market.
Domination is a result of positioning.
In the classic marketing book Positioning by Jack Trout and Al Ries, they describe positioning as a slot in your target market’s mind much like a file in a file cabinet. To illustrate this, let me ask you a couple of questions: When I say laundry detergent, what brand first comes to mind? For most it’s Tide. When I say soft drink, what brand comes to mind first? Most would say Coke.
Regardless of what brand comes to your mind, the one that did is the one that occupies that slot—the file in the file cabinet of your mind. So your job as a phenomenal marketer is to have a system for positioning yourself at the highest place in the mind of your perfect target market.
Positioning and domination is a result of being UNIQUE.
Let’s look at three companies that have done this well:
- Whole Foods—they recognized the growing trend of natural food enthusiasts (target market) and decided to take up a position in that space.
- Starbucks—They created a unique experience around coffee—a commodity that has been around for thousands of years.
- Harley-Davidson—Whether you’re a biker or not, you must agree that there’s a unique experience around owning and riding a hog! That could be good or bad depending on your view! LOL! Being unique means you can charge more. Why do you need to charge more? Because working 24/7 just to barely
scrape by is not a phenomenal life. Remember, the only reason your business exists is to help you achieve your life goals. Why doesn’t the average person shop at Whole Foods? Because of “cost.” I personally love to shop at Whole Foods when I am home because they offer the natural foods that I want. I pay more, but I get what I want all at the same place. My wife points out that I could get certain items cheaper at other places, but I’m not interested in going to three different stores to get what I need, and none of the other stores have the natural food selection that I want.
How much can you spend on a cup of coffee at Starbucks?
I decided to find out, so I conducted an informal marketing survey. As I traveled around the country, I would go into Starbucks, walk up to the counter and say, “I want to buy your most expensive cup of coffee.” Almost always without hesitation (but with a curious look on their faces), they would typically offer a Venti Salted Mocha Frappuccino or something like that. “How much is that?” I asked. “$6.25,” they responded.
Then I say, “Can you make it more expensive?”
“What do you mean?” they ask.
“I want to buy the most expensive coffee I can,” I insist. “For example, could you add some shots?”
“How many can you add?”
“As many as you want.”
“Yeah, but the Venti cup only holds a certain amount, right?” “Right.”
So, they figure that up. Then almost without fail, another employee comes along and says “You could add some flavors.” They are quick to remind me that I won’t be able to drink it and I assure them that’s okay because I don’t want to drink it, I just want to get the most expensive cup of coffee I can find.
The highest price I have been able to find so far is $43.27!
Don’t worry, I didn’t pay that. In fact each episode ends the same way, “Never mind, I’ll just have a tall cappuccino.” They didn’t laugh either. But I do always gave them a big tip for playing along, and they liked that. I recently came across a video of a guy who did the same experiment with Star- bucks. He created a great video of the interaction and the actual sales receipt!
Harley-Davidson isn’t concerned about being the cheapest bike around, right? They have created such an experience around their brand that people are willing to pay a high price to own one. Recently we held a leadership retreat in Colorado Springs, and a couple who are in our coaching program rode their Harley all the way from Florida. They built a 17-day vacation around the event. I went outside to see their bike, and the husband was beaming as he showed it off. It had a nice trailer, and he explained how it was top-of-the-line and how it had all the bells and whistles.
“How much you got in this bike?” I asked. “Sixty-five grand,” he responded. He explained that the trailer had to be custom painted to match the bike and so on.