It is tempting for business owners to think they have a product or service that has “mass appeal.” There are software companies that work hard to make products for the masses. There are sporting goods stores that try to carry products that almost anyone can use. But try their software or walk into their retail locations. You’ll notice something.
They feel generic. Theirs nothing special there for you. Their products or services feel like anyone could use them and that is the big problem.
- To Microsoft’s credit, they offer three different versions of their new Windows 7 software – three different versions for three different types of users.
- Walk in an Apple Store. They sell high-end computers. They are expensive, reliable and super easy to use. They sell products that aren’t for everyone.
- Starbucks doesn’t care that much that most people don’t really like coffee. They’ve created a great place and amazing products for those of us who do.
- Pinkberry sells premium frozen yogurt. It is delicious and costs way more than their competitors. It isn’t for everyone.
- Whole Foods sells premium natural and organic groceries. They care about the environment. And they work really hard to attract a particular type of customer.
Seth Godin recently posted a great article about the importance of “not treating your customers as if they are all the same.” In the article he talks about how we can start grouping customers and marketing to them based on their common interests. You should definitely check it out.
The point is this. Generic doesn’t cut it. No one cares about generic. No one talks about generic. No one does long-term business with generic.