Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Strategy Laid Bare (Almost)

One of the most important aspects of strategy is knowing who your target is and who it is not. You can't mean something to everyone, so you better mean everything to someone. Such is the case with a few entrepreneurs that have decided to innovate in their categories by focusing on the hormonally active, serving their products with a side of skin. I'm not sure I'd recommend this as a business strategy for an accounting or law firm, but one thing's for sure, it's certainly going to generate buzz. Okay, so this is a crass example, appealing to the basest level of man's desire, but the principle here is solid.

Build fundamental differentiation into your business that's incredibly meaningful to a significant slice of your potential customer base and don't worry about anyone else. If you own a coffee shop and you get a majority of men 15 - 45 coming into your store every morning, you can probably make a living good living. Who cares if your mother, wife or members of the Mormon Church would never go there? Seth Godin calls this being a Purple Cow. Adam Morgan refers to it as creating a Lighthouse Brand. Whatever you call it, it's smart marketing. The pantheon of brands that have foundered by trying to be popular by not offending people is long and filled with storied names: Oldsmobile, Pan Am, Montgomery Wards, Howard Johnson's.

Don't become one of them. Differentiate or die.

1 comment:

  1. Differentiate or Die. That needs to be a T shirt. That makes a Mac a Mac and everyone else a dellacerhptoshibavaioEK.

    Oh well, it's definitely a snow day. Thoughts go toward to the Rally Championships that are being held in Finland, Norway etc. Citroen is currently first in team standings. Citroen! Time to start our own Rally Championships around the logging roads of northern Wisconsin. g