I met a friend and former colleague the other day. She asked me what reaction I had got to my last blog post and email I sent out to my followers. The reason she asked was that someone had come to her and expressed her dislike. That person did not know how to react to my email, whose subject was: “No one wants to be an ass, do they, …?” It was clear that this person was offended by this.
My friend did ask them whether they had actually read the email, and it turns out that they did not, so there was no way they were going to get the joke – oh well…
My reaction: Sheer joy! I thought it was great! OK – please don’t get me wrong. It was not my intention to make that person feel bad in any way and I am sorry for that. However, I am very very happy when someone really hates the stuff that I do. Why? Because if someone hates it, it is more likely than not that someone completely loves it! And that is what I want.
Eenie Meenie Miney Moe
I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Marketing is all about building relationships. The stronger a relationship you* can forge the more likely people are to buy from you, buy from you again and to create more business by telling others about you. You want some people to hate you and others to love you. Let’s be realistic – no everyone is going to love you – it’s just not possible! Those that love you will not want to do business with anyone else but you, and those that don’t, well, if they hate you enough, you will definitely be talked about ;)
If everyone thinks you’re just ok, you* won’t matter enough to people for them to choose you over anyone else. If you are ok, and that one is ok and the other one is ok as well, people may as well use eenie-meenie-miney-moe to choose who they do business with. Or even worse, make their choice solely based on price – and that is when business will start to get really tought!
* please note that when I say “you” that refers to your business, product or service – but can also refer to you yourself if you are what you are marketing.
When I first started my business a lot of people asked me what on earth I was thinking using this hot pink colour for all my marketing materials. “Don’t you think it will put people off?” they asked me, and “do you think men will want to do business with you with that color?”
The thing is, I didn’t just choose this colour on a whim or just because I liked the look of it. I put a lot of thought into choosing this colour. It is perfect for my brand. It is just like me: dynamic, powerful, strong, unapologetic, alive and in-your-face. It is also very different from most others in my marketplace.
If this colour is enough to put people off working with me, those were never the right clients for me to begin with. If people are put off by the colour, they will probably be put off by me :) And if the guys don’t want to work with me just because of the pink – well, those won’t be the kind of guys I want to work with anyway ;)
No-one ever got anywhere by trying to please everyone and if you try that, you won’t either. Be who you want to be, what you want your business, products and services to stand for, and you will not only cut through the noise and competition of the marketplace, but you will also be rewarded with stronger customer relationships with people who love you!
Check out my Pinterest board of Brave Brands for examples of people, businesses, products and services with definitive characters who people will either love or hate – and the lovers have made them a truckload of dough!: http://www.pinterest.com/thoranna/brave-brands/
– if you know of any others that deserve their place there, let me know ;)
Now go be brave!