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Why your brand is not for everyone (and why it shouldn’t be).

A fact’s a fact: your brand isn’t for everyone. Some customers won’t value it, others won’t understand or resonate with it, others will believe they don’t need your brand and still others will disagree or dismiss it outright – and that’s ok. It’s not for everyone. To all the business owners out there who are considering investing in their brand, get comfortable with this reality. In fact, if you want business growth this is exactly what you need to do. Sounds crazy right?

Each brand is unique and offers something distinctly different to the market (another brand challenge is to identify and communicate what that special something is) – whether it’s something about your product, service, pricing, marketing, customer service or delivery.

Your brand, however, will not be relevant to every customer out there. Being different to competitors and demonstrating how you are different is important but even so, you can’t appeal to everyone and nor should you try to. It’s true – your brand can’t ‘be’ for everyone. If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nothing to no-one.

Because not every customer will value your offering.
Not every customer will agree with the values, purpose or promise that your brand believes or stands for.
Not every customer will agree to pay the price you’re commanding.
Not everyone will appreciate the benefits of your new watch App that shakes when you’ve had one too many coffees.
Not everyone will ‘like’ your social media posts (Note: you want conversions as opposed to likes) – and please see a therapist to learn to cope with your rejection and/or validation issues.

Your brand, or the value it offers a customer, might not be obvious or forefront in your customers’ mind, in their field of awareness (perception) or on their radar. Tip: this is where marketing can help. Similarly their opinions, understanding, beliefs and outlook might mean they don’t ever see the value in your brand. And that’s ok too. They were never your customer. Leave them to get on with their lives. You’ve lost nothing.

This applies to each and any business whether you’re offering low-cost staple items or highly intangible premium services. It all comes back to an old business truism – ‘not everyone is your customer’.

Brand is also about cultivating a mindset. Focus instead on reaching your right customers who value you and your brand – these are your tribe.

Here’s a personal real-world example. I was attending a small business networking event recently where I encountered a business owner who recounted how they reacted strongly (negatively) to being handed a business card from a graphic designer.

On enquiring why the business owner had reacted in such a way, it was explained that it wasn’t the design but specifically the choice of material of the business card itself that repelled this business owner. It was a massive turn-off with the business owner visibly repelled when recalling the event – based, as it turns out, on a misaligned value system between the designer and the business owner. So you can’t please everyone. An extension of your brand (in this case a designers’ custom business card) visibly repelled a potential prospect. Fair enough. It happens.

Conclusion: the graphic designer was not this business owners ‘right’ customer – and vice versa. Evidence enough that a brand is not for everyone. Move on and find your right customer or connection – the tribe who love, value and appreciate the unusual and highly customised designer’s business card or the tribe who strongly align and resonate with more sensitive and environmentally aware business owners.

This is why your brand is not for everyone and why it shouldn’t be for everyone. Get laser-focused on a very specific, targeted group of people who are bound by similar values and beliefs and who appreciate what you do, why you do it and are willing to pay you for it. Then see your business bloom.

Be selective.
Be different.
Be your brand.

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I hope you learned something new, insightful or useful from this blog.

At The Brand Experts, we believe that perception is everything. Why people recommend you, why people know, like and trust you and why people buy you. This drives us to help professional services build a ‘brand blueprint’ for business growth. We do this through a series of brand workshops designed to help professionals realise what drives their ‘Why?’, identify their true identity, and what matters to them and their customers most. The ultimate reason? To make their difference in the world. Successful brands in the future care about customers, not branding. I believe that future is now. I’m passionate about creating brand stories & design assets that help businesses.

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