brands, marketing to right people, differentiate from competitors


How to make a brand appealing to the right people

One of the big issues that seems to affect many brands comes about as a result of their not being properly differentiated from their competitors.

This can lead to a confused brand identity that is crippled by fear of upsetting or putting their potential customers off. And the brand then fails to promote the key messages that would otherwise attract their target market like a magnet.

It might seem odd to suggest that you shouldn’t care about whether you are putting someone off wanting to engage with your business. You might even think that’s crazy!

But, actually, it makes perfect sense. To appeal to one cross-section of people you often need to accept that you’ll be unattractive to others. This is usually inevitable – unless, of course, your aim is to be ‘vanilla’, but the effects of that are often that you stand for nothing so you fall for everything.

Don’t be vanilla.

Know Who You Are

The first thing you need to understand is who you are and the things that are important to you and your brand. You need to know what you’re good at, what area you operate best in and what your strengths are.

After all, you don’t want to end up being the go-to person for something you hate doing!

Know Your Niche

Then you need to identify and know your niche. And there will be a niche. It might not be a big one but it will be there.

Once you’ve found your niche you’ll need to work out what particular parts of it you can target. And that means finding out what you want to own and be known for.

Know Your Ideal Prospects

Identify the people in your niche you want to work with. Are they the up and comers, the established top 5%, or the people that have sat in the middle and are a little lost?

Then consider which cross-section you’re going to market to. Who will be the ones saying “for ‘x’, ‘y’ is the only choice; ‘y’ is who to go to for that”?

Market To Those People And Only Those People

Now, this is where most people fail: they keep it totally vanilla. They don’t want to turn anyone away or upset anyone. They hedge their bets and try and market to everyone.

The problem is that by doing this they miss the biggest chance to make a stand for their target market.

You know who you are, what you do. You also know who your target market comprises, who they are, what they are trying to do and how they are going about it. Publicising this will be seen as much more attractive than moving to the middle ground and trying to appeal to everyone equally.

Why It Works

People deal with people. People like people that match their perceived image of themselves. How many times have you wanted to do business with someone you thought was a total plonker?

I guarantee that you will never use such a person unless it’s not your decision, unless they are the only choice and you can’t not use them.


Final Thoughts

It might seem as though this creates a false economy since, perhaps obviously, it means selling to less people, right? Wrong. It means you end up selling to fewer of the wrong people.

(This isn’t to say that every business will be ideal, since there will always be the odd one that slips through the net. The key is having the relevant steps and processes in place to deal with them quickly.)

The main thing to remember is this.

The more you are who you are and the more you express that and make that manifest throughout your brand, the more of the right people will seek you out; at the same time, you will naturally repel the wrong people.

On top of that you have less churn, your team is happier and so are your clients. Everybody wins.

Ben Norman has been involved in the UK SME market for over 12 years, working mainly with challenger brands looking to increase their market share.

Ben is the CEO and founder of Koozai, a leading digital marketing agency based in the UK. He is also the author of three marketing books, which have sold more than 50,000 copies worldwide, and has been featured in various media publications, including the BBC and Sky News.