Highest Common Denominator Marketing

by jchannell

Who are you selling to? Who is your “tribe?” Who are your “raving fans?”

There are mainly two approaches to this question; Companies and brands seek either the top or bottom of the market. The bottom of the market, I’d like to dub the “Walmart effect.” This means massive economies of scale, lukewarm followers, ease of access, and basically being a commodity. If prices go up, or things go sour, your so-called “fans,” leave in droves to whatever the competition may be, who has lower prices. Who’s loyal to Walmart really? Think about it. Is this a company that you’d buy a t-shirt with the corporate logo on it, have the slogan, or logo tattood on your body? No way jose! The only folks wearing Walmart shirts are those working there, and even then, they usually make a face about it.

The flipside of this are companies that seek an audience that really “gets it.” The products may not be for everyone, so these brands tend to be smaller, but those who understand, are die hard followers. This is a company that you buy the t-shirt, get the tattoo, and buy the underwear too. Think of the the best rock band ever Led Zeppelin, Apple, and my personal favorite, Harley Davidson.

harley-davidson-logoBeing an avid motorcycle rider, I see folks who ride Harleys, in the U.S. at least, almost having an “us vs them” mentality. In many Harley riders minds, it’s Harley then everyone else. ┬áThis is not a product of the bikes themselves, but more an extension of the marketing message, and company branding. Harley, unlike Apple, is famous for resisting change, really. They sell big v twin motorcycles, and if thats not your bag baby, then its not the company for you. Those who do however, buy the t shirt, boots, wallet, and a litany of other things. They are a decent motorcycle company, with an absolute Rockstar marketing department.

Think of the brand your building….what are you doing to stand out and build unique loyalty, so much so that your customers would buy a shirt, and wear it with pride?

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