HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE, Part III: BE NARROW-MINDED

In case you missed it: 
PART I: Don't Be Unique
PART II: Don't be a Wuss

You've heard it before: you've got to narrow your target market to be successful. But after encountering business owners time and again who still want to be for everyone, it seems clear many people aren't buying it. Here are 3 short explanations about why narrowing your focus will increase sales, and why being for everyone can be the number one reason your business isn't growing.

It's important to narrow your target market


"EVERYONE" IS NOT A TARGET MARKET

If your target market is “anyone with the money to pay” you are doing yourself a disservice. When you hire someone to redecorate your new three bedroom condo, would you prefer to work with someone who “works with all budgets, from small studios to large condos to retail stores and office space” or would you prefer to work with someone who specializes in decorating high-end Manhattan real estate? You might even be willing to pay a premium to work with a specialist. 


STRENGTHENING YOUR BRAND OVER TIME

You guessed it: it’s way more badass to be for a very specific group. You might feel like you’re leaving money on the table because every so often jobs will come across your desk that you certainly could execute, but the value you will be creating in your business will pay you back in spades.  Over time, you will become known for your specialty, and as your business grows, your competitive advantage will only be strengthened as you win client after client over your generalist competitors.


NOT AS LIMITING AS YOU THINK

Just because you are for a specific group, don’t think you are limited to that group. We’ve found that declaring a niche doesn’t discourage people from asking you if you would do work for clients outside of that niche. Why? Because they like what you have to sell, and they see you more as an expert over your generalist competitors.  Nasty Gal is a great example of a online fashion company that plays to a very specific kind of customer, but many of their customers don’t fall into that category. Instead, they are the go-to for super edgy, rebel style, and even the teachers pet will buy from them when looking for something different. They have become the go-to, and that’s powerful across all target markets.
 
Litmus test
What kind of clients do you say “no” to? Do you target clients that other competitors in your space don’t ?



CONCLUSION TO THIS 3-PART SERIES


WHY DO YOU NEED A BADASS BRAND??

Unless you’re Apple, Coke, or Walmart, you don’t have the resources to just be everywhere, which is how these huge successful companies stay successful. The rest of us are fighting for a piece of the pie against many other smaller brands. Being badass is essential to being successful in the long run because being known, liked, loved by customers keep them coming back for more, and bringing their friends to boot.
 

HOW DO I MAKE MY BRAND BADASS?

Badass brands are memorable. They stand for something specific or, even better, stand against something that people like. They might be very narrow in their target audience, be it the age group, gender, location, size of company, or better yet, a mix of a few. They are willing to sacrifice in the name of their brand. They are authentic. They are valuable. And because they are so well defined, they have little or no competition. 

You can't and shouldn't use all the techniques in this series for your business. Instead, see which ones are most applicable, and then commit! Committing is the hardest part for most because it seems to require sacrifice, but it's truly the strongest way to set your business apart and build a company with unlimited potential.