I just bought a MacBook Air. It doesn’t have a CD/DVD reader and its hard drive has 10% of the capacity of my old computer. Apple knows that this computer is not for everyone. It’s for people who appreciate simplicity and are always on the go.
Yahoo! tried to be all things to all people. Google built a simple, clean and accurate search engine.
The Scion xB looks weird. Some people love it and some people hate it. Do you think Scion cares about some people hating the xB? Of course not. They’re happy counting the money they get from those who love the car.
A couple of years ago one of our clients needed a website and then he wanted to hire us to take care of their SEO campaign. We told him that because we are an Internet marketing agency, we were happy to take care of their SEO campaign, but we didn’t design sites. He said that in that case he was going to take his business somewhere else. In an attempt to please him, I agreed to do his site. It was awful. We screwed up so many times! We were trying to be something we were not and failed big time. You can’t please everyone. If you own a coffee shop and one person asks for french fries, just say you don’t sell french fries. If you keep adding everything people want to your menu, very soon the people who loved your coffee shop in the first place will start leaving when they see you’re no longer the nice coffee shop they once fell in love with.
Pick Your Audience
Last week I did a lecture at a local college. There was a woman there who sells the most gorgeous handbags using old clothes. She asked me how she should pick her audience. She didn’t know whom she should be selling her products to. After talking for a while it became obvious that she had to target environmentally-conscious hipsters (there are a lot of these in Portland).
Then she asked me, “but what about all the people I’m leaving out?” I told her that leaving people out is a good thing. If you break your knee, would you want to go to a knee specialist or a doctor that does a little bit of everything? Plus, just because you don’t target a specific audience, it doesn’t mean that someone in that audience wouldn’t buy your product. Most beer advertisement is geared towards men because they’re the main beer consumers, but women drink beer, too.
My best advice for success? Do one thing and be the best in the world at it. If you try to be all over the board you’ll have a really hard time standing out in your market.