By Howard Partridge
“If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t be anything to anyone!” – Zig Ziglar
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 demographics (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 a 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 trend of natural food enthusiasts (target market) and decided to take up a position in that space. 2. Starbucks They created a unique experience around coffee, a commodity that has been around for thousands of years. 3. Harley-Davidson Whether you’re a biker or not, you must concede 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 barely scraping by is not a phenomenal life. Remember, the only reason your business exists is to help you achieve your life’s goals. Why doesn’t the average person shop at Whole Foods? The answer is because of the 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 did 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 and with a curious look on their face, they would typically offer a Venti Mocha Frappuccino or something like that. “How much is it?” I asked. “$6.25,” they responded. Then I would say, “Can you make it more expensive?” “What do you mean?” they’d ask. “I want to buy the most expensive coffee I can,” I insisted. “For example, could you add some shots?” “Sure. How many do you want?” they replied. “How many will fit in a Venti?” I asked.
So, they’d figure that up. Then, almost without fail, another employee would come along and say, “You could add some flavors,” so we’d do that. They were quick to remind me that I wouldn’t like drinking it. I would assure them that, “It’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 ever been quoted so far is $43.27!
I didn’t pay that. In fact, each episode ended the same way. “Never mind, I’ll just have a tall cappuccino.” They didn’t laugh either. But I did always give them a big tip for playing along.
Harley-Davidson doesn’t try to be the least expensive bike around. They have created such an experience around riding a motorcycle that people are willing to pay a high price to own one. Recently, we held a leadership retreat in Colorado Springs and a couple that 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 have 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.
What makes your company unique?
One way small business owners advertise their company is how they do their work. Other than price, what could possibly be wrong with this? Let’s look and see.
Let’s say that Sue Smith is a CPA. When Sue introduces herself at a net- working group, it will usually sound something like this, “Hi, I’m Sue Smith with 1-2-3 Accounting Firm and we do taxes. If you need anything dealing with taxes, just give us a call. We do everything from soup to nuts from A to Z; you name it, we can do it. If you need anything, just give me a call.”
Isn’t it true that just about every time you hear someone introduce themselves or you see an advertisement for a company nothing stands out that makes them unique and different?
The problem is that everyone is saying the same thing. So if you do the same thing, why should people choose you over another company? Why should they pay you a higher price? They shouldn’t. This big mistake is repeated over and over by small business owners worldwide, every single day. In today’s competitive marketplace, it is not enough to just tell what you do or to just describe the features and benefits of what you do.
Next month, I will continue to explore how you can dominate your market by sharing a personal story that demonstrates how creating a unique experience for your customers, clients, or patients means you can charge more. ________________________________________________________________
Howard Partridge, President of Phenomenal Products, Inc. and International Business Coach, is the author of 7 Secrets of a Phenomenal L.I.F.E. and 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business. Get a Free CD that reveals the 5 Secrets of a Phenomenal Business by visiting his website at www.HowardPartridge.com/SBT.