Have you heard: “We please everybody. They are all our customers” or somewhere around those words? In a conversation, I had with a CFO of a multinational sporting goods retail company I asked him who his ideal customer is, he spoke something like this: “A man or female between 15 and 45 who enjoys walking or doing sports” My immediate thoughts were: “You just targeted sixty percent of the population.”

The thing is, while this is broad and probably ambitious, it is rather bland and focused on selling. Which… At the end of the day, it is a valid strategy. I can see a bank focusing on this strategy. But, if you are looking to build a brand that matters. You have to stand for something. Or in my conversation with the CFO, if you have such a broad target, might as well have nothing. And if you stand for nothing, what do you fall for?
Throughout history, this has not worked for Chevrolet, Radio Shack, or even General Electric until they flipped their strategy and specialized.

How do you avoid falling into this?

Keep it tight. Keep it simple. Pick a person. A person is not 18-29, he or she is 25. He has tastes, he has challenges, he prefers some type of content over others. He or she has a Name.

Meet Elliot
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Psychographics: Wants to look stylish but unique
Challenges: Looking for sneakers in and out of the sport.
Channels: Social Media

Your brand ideals should treat individuals as individuals. Not generalize and try to please everybody. That is generally an easy way to lead to failure. Just like in life, you can not stand for everything. Pick and please the hell out of those individuals.

Image by Yunma N

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