I am currently reading an excellent book “World Famous: How to Give Your Business a Kick-Ass Brand Identity” by David Tyreman. A passage that struck me talks about the fallacy of being everything to everyone (which according to the author the big businesses do not even do):
For your business to join the ranks of World Famous brands, you must abandon your desire to sell to a broad, undefined market. Marketing to everyone is maketing to no one because your brand must resonate with consumers on an emotional level, and that can be achieved only through knowing your specific market very, very well.
This is a common mistake of small and home-based business owners. Even big businesses do not have the unlimited budget to market to a broad group of people. You can’t be everything to everybody — otherwise, you’ll spread yourself too thinly and worse, may be doomed to failure. This is not about limiting your market potential, as some would argue against focusing on a niche market, but funneling your limited resources more effectively to reach out to those people who are inspired to do business with you.
Unlike big businesses, small businesses do not often have the resources to really undestand their customers. Big brands routinely undertake extensive surveys to determine the demographics and psychographics of their customers. As such, it is not as easy to find a small business owner who can really tell you who their markets are, such as in the case of Ralph Lauren for example:
Polo Ralph Lauren Demographics
- Market: Global
- People of wealth and leisure
- People from affluent communities
- People with multiple residences
- People who sail, ride horses, and participate in sports such as rugby and polo
Polo Ralph Lauren Psychographics
- Wants: Prestige, glamour, luxury, privilege
- Values: Quality, exclusivity, style, fine living
- Aspires to be: Respected, admired, wealthy and worldly, and sophisticated
So what can small businesses do to get a better understanding of who their target niche markets are? How can small businesses inspire their customers? The author of the book recommends that:
In choosing a demographic, Iurge you to think about the type of customers or clients that you love to work with. When you enjoy working with your marketplace, you can fully express your passion for your business, reaching out to touch the hearts and minds of the people inyour superniche / market.
Read more about targeting to your niche market in our Niche Marketing and Branding Strategies section