January 13, 2012

What audience should you ignore?

A brand can only stand out if it stands up and stands for something.

Some one thing, ideally. It’s perfectly clear what Tiffany’s, Volvo, Will Ferrell movies and Las Vegas stand for – you have obvious expectations of any consistent brand. There are audience segments perfectly attuned to respond to their messages.

The logical corollary is that there are market segments that must be ignored. You should identify them as clearly as you do your sweet spot. That is to say, you must fiercely resist the temptation to “round out” your offerings to appeal to a broader and broader audience, fuzzing the edges until nobody understands what you stand for. Rolls-Royce does not go on sale. WalMart does not have valet parking. Renzo Piano does not design bungalows.

Having “something for everyone” is a symptom of MBWT, Marketing By Wishful Thinking.