In the last email, we looked into basic desires as reasons for purchase. I mentioned that:

  • People may process brand message differently. For example, I may think that Brand X is cool, while you may think that Brand X is trying too hard.
  • Different or multiple basic desires may be "activated" by one single product. For example, some people buy Beluga caviar because they genuinely love the taste. Others buy it as a sign of status because Beluga caviar is expensive and hard to procure.

Looking at it like this can be overwhelming. If different people have different reasons and different reactions, how on earth are we supposed to appeal to them without going bonkers?

The answer is simple but a little hard to digest:

If you try to please everyone, you will fail.

I say that it's hard to digest because it's natural to want approval. To be liked. (Social approval, remember?)

That extends to whatever we create. The creation becomes an extension of ourselves. In this context, our business becomes a part of us. There's a phrase that goes, "It's not personal. It's just business."

Well for a lot of us, business is personal!

I'm going to break down what I feel about my business, Narrativity Consultants. See if you resonate with it.

  • Narrativity Consultants is my baby.
  • I've spent a lot of time and energy putting together the products (website, articles, branding package and social media materials).
  • I genuinely think that my products will help people and their business.
  • Eventhough it's my passion, I do aim to make a comfortable living out of it.
  • I was frustrated when some people diminished the importance of branding and questioned prices.
  • I spent a lot of time focusing on followers on social media to validate my business and products.

But after countless articles and podcasts telling me that I had to focus on a target market and a personal experience confirming it, I finally decided that enough is enough.

I can't please everyone, and I won't try. It's impossible and will bring my morale down.

People are so diverse in their personality, desires and circumstances. You can't get every single one of them. Your bestfriend might prefer a different brand than you, no matter how alike you both are.

But we can focus on people who are similar in personality, desires and circumstances. It is possible.

Let's say you're a customer of Fashion Brand X. A and B are also customers. Fashion Brand X is a mature label targeted towards female professionals in their 30s to 40s.

Some aspects of your personality, desires and circumstances are similar enough that Fashion Brand X was able to appeal to you, A and B.

In other words, Fashion Brand X managed to focus on your similarities and used them to attract more customers like you. Together, you, A and B represent the target market.

Your target market needs to be big enough in order for you to make money. Only thorough market research and actual results can point you in the right direction.

A recent article that I wrote is 6 Reasons Why You Should Sell to Only One Customer. I addressed why you should use the beachhead strategy when your business is still new and a little bit on how to find The One. I'll reiterate again the reasons, but word them differently.

You shouldn't try to please everyone because:

  • Everyone is different and require different approaches.
  • Different approaches require different preparations.
  • Different preparations require a lot of time and money.
  • The time and money you spend will be disproportionate to the profits that you will make.
  • Even if you make profits at first, it's not a successful long-term strategy.
  • For a brand to be successful for years and years, there needs to be brand loyalty.
  • In order to build brand loyalty, there needs to be consistency.
  • If you're trying to appeal to everyone's tastes, there won't be any consistency.

When put like that, it forms a neat little circle doesn't it? 

There can be a time where almost everybody will like you. But to be a household brand name, you'll need a lot of resources that's not available to a solopreneur just yet (not just branding).

Focus on the now. We'll get there eventually.