Why Your Business is Broken — You’re Trying to Appeal to Everyone

I was recently pulled into a consulting opportunity for a new product that was about to be released. This wasn’t a new company. In fact, they had been around for a while, but had, almost by accident, developed this great new product.

They loved it and thought it was a great idea, but there was just one problem.

When I asked who this product was for, I was told that everyone could find a use for it.

Although I understand that everyone could find a use for it, that’s not a target market. Everyone can find a use for Coke. Even if you refuse to drink it, you can clean oil stains from a garage floor, remove bugs from your windshield, and even clean tile grout. I’m pretty sure Coke isn’t going to be using any of these for their marketing campaigns anytime soon.

You can’t create a product and market it in a way where everyone could find a potential use for it. If you do it that way, it will never sell.

People must NEED something. Like so much that when they see your product it’s an exact solution to a problem they have. You’re not hoping they’re going to spend the time running down all the different ways they might possibly find a use for it.

Businesses struggle with this because it feels like it should work the opposite of what it does. After all, shouldn’t it be that if you’re too specific in who your product helps, then aren’t you leaving out potential sales?

Yes, you may have someone look at your product and think it’s not for them. However, you’re going to connect with that ideal client so much more easily when you’re specific in who you serve that it doesn’t matter if you’re shutting out someone who might be a fit. Your marketing must connect with and speak to the people who are a fit.

My simple rule of setting your target market is that it should never have the word ‘body’ in it: everybody, somebody, and anybody. If it has any of these words, you’re too general.

If you’re not being specific about who your business actually serves, then stop any marketing until it’s defined. Believe me, taking that step back and doing the right homework will save you tons of money in the long run.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.