I don’t know what’s up in Boston lately, but there has been a ton of traffic and not just any traffic, bumper-to-bumper, sloth-moving, stand-still traffic. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not used to the commuter grind like I used to be, but it feels like the volume of people on the roads has grown exponentially. While I cherish the fact we live in such an amazing city, I don’t cherish the gridlock that accompanies it. It’s virtually impossible to get where you’re going without becoming a master at switching lanes. But I gotta say, the thing that bothers me the most isn’t the driver who zips in front of me, that’s bound to happen. Nope, what makes my head spin is when someone is indecisive. You see it all the time. Someone starts to switch lanes, but then instead of following through, the driver hovers over the dotted line blocking both lanes. Or someone comes to a rotary where they have the right of way and instead of moving, they inch forward backing up everyone behind them. The reason it bothers me so much is because it stops the flow. Why make a move until you are sure of what you want? Just stay […]
Have you ever wondered if you are really in the right niche? Maybe you are just starting out and are unsure of which direction to go. Or perhaps, you’ve been in business a little longer and you’re still not completely clear if you have focused your niche in the right way. Every entrepreneur struggles with this at some point in their career. So how do you know when you get it right?
Many of you may already be familiar with the tv program called “Tanked,” but my first exposure to the show was on vacation this summer. Obviously, the kids had control of the remote in the hotel room! At first, I thought it was just another inane reality show, but as I watched I came to realize this was a great study of effective branding! The show is about two guys who build custom-made fish tanks. Yes, that’s it. Stay with me now. I’m sure you think this is a little fishy, but there is a lot to learn here.
Finding the right niche for your business is extremely important. It’s one of the things that can make a really big impact on your success, or lack thereof. It’s also one of the areas people struggle with most in their branding process. People are confused or unsure about what niche to focus on or perhaps they’ve tried one niche already and feel frustrated and disappointed because it did not create the results they were looking for. Finding the right niche can be challenging, but if you pay attention to a few key points, you can find the right match for your business. Here are 3 qualities a niche must have to be right for you.
I recently read an article about something called the “Snob Diet.” The idea is to be discriminating about what you eat. Instead of eating low-fat, processed “diet” food, you actually eat real, full-fat, scrumptious food. When you eat the real thing, the idea is, you are more satisfied so you actually eat less and lose weight. If you are like 99% of most of us, you are probably watching what you eat on a daily basis in an effort to stay as trim and healthy as possible, so the idea of indulging with Häagen Dazs may seem like diet suicide. But before you throw out the brie with the bath water, take a second look at the Snob Diet. It’s not about stuffing your face in a trans-fat frenzy, it’s about the experience of deeply enjoying the process of eating. As business owners we would do well to pay attention to the Snob Diet. Whether we are talking about eating or the process of shopping, most people have a strong desire to have quality experiences. As consumers we are bombarded with garbage, with a lot of loud junk. We long for the experience that will transcend the noise and fill us with meaningful nourishment. As business owners we need to ask ourselves not only […]
I recently heard an example of great branding on the radio. It was for a local auto repair shop that specializes in repairing European motors. The announcer got on and pointed out how they were different from their competitors who had lower prices, but less experienced technicians and also from their competitors who offered fancy chairs and lattes while you wait, but who had prices to match these extra luxuries. Their niche was a fair price and a good job for the regular guy. You may think that everyone thinks of themselves as the regular guy, but that’s not true. I for one would be willing to spend a little extra money to sit in a nice clean room, with a comfortable chair sipping a frothy drink while someone worked on my car. And there are people who always want or need the lowest possible price. What this auto shop did so well was effectively target their ideal client. They did not try to appeal to each end of the spectrum and everything in between. As a result, they did not waste time and money reaching out to the wrong audience.
As it is winter now, it is also cold and flu season so there is a lot of coughing, sneezing and sniffling going on out there. One thing you will probably need to stock up on is your supply of Kleenex. Notice I did not say tissues. I said Kleenex. I have to confess that I didn’t even know tissues were called tissues until I was an adult. My whole life growing up I thought those things you blew your nose into were Kneenex. I had no idea Kleenex was a brand name. I thought it was a noun. In my mind Kleenex is synonymous with tissues, they are one in the same. Now that is some powerful branding! Another example of this pheneomon is Coke. There are many places in the country where people call all cola drinks Coke whether they are actually drinking a Coke or a Pepsi or anything else. Coke is coke. It almost makes you feel sorry for the other guys. Their brands don’t even really exist in those circumstances.
I have sworn off watching the news during my daily 6:00am treadmill run. It bums me out too much. I have switched to reading client attraction, self-improvement or branding materials instead. However, the other day I forgot my book and resorted to watching tv again. I landed on the highly cerebral show of “America’s Next Top Model.” Hey, not only did it get me through the burn, it also reminded me of an important branding lesson. On this particular episode the girls were asked to pose nude except for one piece of clothing, jewelry or other accessory they would be trying to “sell” with the picture. Of course, most of the models were understandably nervous, who wouldn’t be, but it was so interesting to see how some of the girls succeeded in capturing the interest of the viewer and some did not. You have to remember ALL of these girls were gorgeous with near perfect bodies, so it wasn’t a question of whether someone was pretty enough or svelte enough to look good in the photo. It was more a question of what ELSE they brought to the scene.