Vanilla or Pistachio Ice Cream?

Over the years I've done lots of travel and one of my favourite parts of domestic travel is reading the Virgin Australia Magazine. Often it’s filled with interesting article and tidbits which are perfect for a short one or two-hour flight. You know the ones whereby the time you can turn on your iPad you have to turn it off again?

My other travelling essential is my Bose Headphone. They are by far the best investment I have ever made. You don’t realise what you are missing, until you have them. I can be lying in bed watching a movie or an episode of Bones, Criminal Minds or Body of Proof and literally jump. When using your Bose Headphones, not only are the sounds crystal clear - there are just so many of them. I’ve been know to swiftly turn my head as I think someone is coming into the room, only to discover it’s the sound in the show which you would have never previously heard!

On a to Sydney I was flipping through the Virgin Australia Magazine and saw an ad for Bose Headphones. I first heard about these headphones at a conference in Las Vegas. The speaker had them and said they were amazing and not just for the sound quality but for the noise cancelling ability. He would often wear them, with no sound, so he could concentrate on his work in pure silence.

In 2010 as mum and I were running through the airport in Las Vegas for our return trip home, we found a Bose shop and of course we purchased a set each. Mum loves music and got her set to enjoy more music and I really like the noise cancelling feature. Since that day my father and his wife both have a set as does my brother. That’s 5 sets in one family and I can tell you that while we are all similar, we are all very different as well.

So how is it that Bose was able to talk to us all and sell us their product. One of the biggest mistakes I find people make in business is that they are trying to reach too many people and have too many conversations. Just because your product or service is ideal for many people doesn’t mean you should market to all of them.

In this video with Marie Forleo and Sally Hogshead, Sally shares a story about ice cream. In her house they always buy Vanilla Ice Cream. Why? Because everyone ‘likes’ vanilla and will eat it, but no one really ‘loves’ Vanilla ice cream. They could buy Pistachio ice cream but not everyone will like it, in fact some people actually hate it!

If you have a big marketing budget like Coca Cola then you can market your business like Vanilla ice cream, aiming to be liked by everyone. However if you are like the rest of us who don’t have a huge marketing budget then you need to find your smaller market who will love your Pistachio ice cream.

The one thing that we (me, mum, dad, step-mum and brother) all have in common is travel. We love travelling and do it often for both work and pleasure. It was via our love of travelling that Bose was able to ‘communicate’ directly to each of us.

The Bose advertisement in Virgin Australia Magazine didn’t focus on all the benefits of their headphones. Just the ones you would be interested in right now, whilst you are flying. They used phrases like;

“Fly more quietly than ever before”

“Enjoy in-flight entertainment undisturbed”

They didn’t say enjoy watching crime TV Shows in bed with sounds you have never heard before or your music will sound amazing. Even the testimonial was ‘flight’ related;

“... a solid investment for frequent travellers”

I’m sure if you saw their ad in Music Monthly or Women’s Weekly it would use phrases such as “discover notes in your music never heard before” or “block out your noisy kids, and relax”.

So what should you do in your business? Start with one clearly defined target market and communicate just to that person. This is going to be the easiest way of getting fast results. Once you have mastered that market then you can find other segment of your market and add them to the communication mix.

I would love to hear if you found an ad either online or in print which you felt spoke directly to you or a market segment you can identify. Let me know on Facebook.

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