Let’s face it. If your brand appeals to everyone, it’s probably boring. You have to make it REALLY appeal to a certain group of people for it to stand out. Sure, there are a few very old brands that cross the spectrum of generations and have mass appeal, like Coca-Cola but that’s in large part because they have been marketing to consumers for more than a hundred years. They cast a pretty wide net at a very high cost. They spend billions marketing their products so that everyone on the planet knows about them. If you don’t happen to have an 8- or 10-digit marketing budget, then you just might have to tighten your focus a little and choose which segment of people you’re going to go after.
If I were to ask you to look at your website design and and tell me specifically what you’ve done to appeal to your target market, could you answer that question? Is the color choice intentional? How about the words that you chose to use? Now, I’m not just talking about the fact that you might have filled your site with buzzwords and industry jargon that only your customers might understand. I’m talking about narrowing your focus beyond just your industry. How about making your offering appeal to just people that fit a certain profile even within your industry. For instance, rather than saying that you want to sell to anyone interested in industrial water filters, how about you say that you’re targeting men, ages 46-56 who are in upper management and make over $150,000 a year? Now, can you tell me what you’ve done on your site, or in your other marketing that is designed to appeal specifically to that guy? What makes the site appeal to him and not a 25 year old in the water filtration industry?
If you can make your site appeal to that specific guy, you’ll start to see a trend where your customers shift and they all start to fit that profile. The site will help to qualify your prospects. Sure, you’ll miss out on all of those calls from the 25 year old, but that might be alright with you because that guy may be too young still to be in a role where he’d make the decisions to buy your $500,000 filters. Would that be okay with you if he didn’t choose to call and waste your time? I suspect so.
Am I saying that you intentionally try to offend him? Not really. I’m simply saying that you can design your marketing messages to resonate with one group of people in a way that essentially doesn’t resonate with those that aren’t part of your target market. You don’t have to offend them, just don’t go out of your way to attract them.
Is it okay to offend a few people? Probably. If you want to be remarkable, you have to sometimes do some things that cause some people to disagree with you. Otherwise, you’d just be average. Remarkable doesn’t mean rude or obnoxious, just outstanding. Outstanding products and services are bound to get under some people’s skin, even if it’s just your competition that’s offended.