Could Your Brand Inspire A Gold Rush?
Have you ever experienced the frenzy of a gold rush? I have, so let me tell you a story of what it is like to experience the exhilaration of a gold rush!
My experience was not a gold rush in the traditional sense. You see, a traditional gold rush looks like this… I live in Seattle which has roots in the gold rush era, where 100,000 prospectors from Seattle and San Francisco raced to Alaska during the 1896 Klondike Gold Rush. In this gold rush, a select few of the prospectors got rich. Interestingly, it was the merchants in Seattle and San Francisco who got rich selling supplies to miners on their way to Alaska, who were required by the Canadian Government to stock-up on items such as packs, non-perishable food, denim jeans, picks and shovels.
My gold rush experience was far different, but was equally as competitive as the Alaskan gold rush. In the late 1990’s, there was a phenomenon knows as the “Dot.com boom”. I was one of the figurative miners, known as a Dot.com’er, working to figure-out ways to commercialize this new thing called the Internet or the Information Superhighway. I was fortunate to have worked for Microsoft during this period and learned the ropes from a big technology company. So I ventured-off, climbing up the equivalent of Chilkoot Pass (pictured above), and helped pioneer a company in the online advertising industry.
But did you know that there is gold just about everywhere you look, even today? What if you could create a gold rush for your products or services without competing in the fast moving business of technology?
The magic is right in front of you – in your brand. You’ll find customers just about everywhere. But until your brand addresses the needs of a SPECIFIC audience, you could easily wind up prospecting in the wrong place. All your effort will be wasted, and you could end up tired, cold and broke just like the thousands of men trudging through the Alaskan wilderness.
The reason behind a successful brand is simple. If you don’t know your customer demographics, you may try to make your brand appeal to everyone. An axiom which I teach in branding is that when you try to appeal to everyone, you wind up appealing to no one at all. When your logo, slogan, sales videos, website and marketing materials are geared toward the wrong demographic, you wind up turning off potential buyers.
In order for your business to hit paydirt, focus your company’s brand so that it appeals to the needs and desires of a select few versus the teeming masses. These select few will thank you for it with their wallets. Let me share 3 simple tricks on figuring-out what your audience looks like.
Know Thy Field
Before you brand your company, you need to know who your customers are – their demographics. Knowing your ideal customer’s profile is essential to your company, your branding and ultimately your sales conversions.
Knowing this information will let you focus on targeting the right audience and on their specific desires, setting yourself up for success. With a little research and planning, you will have the keys to branding success.
You can use this information to craft all of your promotions and messaging. When you know what your customer looks like, then you have found your golden customer-base.
Suppose your best customers are female, college educated, married, suburban, with an average age of 35. This population has a specific set of likes, dislikes, pleasures and pains. They tend to have a common perspective, even their own lingo.
Knowing this empowers you to speak to them in their language and address their desires. These people will want different things, even look at the world differently than blue collar men over 55, or urban college kids just starting out in life.
You need to know everything you can about your audience – their gender, age, amount of education, income, profession, geographic location, hobbies – everything that influences their buying decisions.
Without this information, you can’t put a face on your audience. Sales conversion becomes a roll of the dice. With this information, you can dominate your marketplace.
The good news is that others have had this challenge before you, and I’d like to share 3 tools for getting the job done is less than an hour. There are three benchmark websites you can use to figure this out, and we’ll cover them in a moment. Learning to use them in the right sequence will provide you with a 3-step system that sets up your brand for success.
Roll Up Your Sleeves and Start Mining
The way look for gold is to start looking. Take advantage of these powerful resources to get to know the sweet spot of your marketplace. Then start addressing their desires.
There is more good news…these sites are all free to use and do not require any technical know-how. All it takes to begin prospecting for your ideal customers is to roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Competition: Know your target market. Head over to Google.com to research your marketplace and locate the top five competitors in your field. To start, enter the keywords that are most closely related to your field or product, then review the top search results that Google displays.
Take a look at the websites of specific competitors, and get a feel for what they offer. How are they addressing the needs of your demographic? Your competition has invested heavily in market research, both time and money. Leverage their assets for your own advantage.
Traffic: Go to Alexa.com and look up your competitors’ websites. Enter the domains (the website URLs) of your top competitors into the search box. This will show you how popular your competitors are worldwide, as well as locally. Where is their traffic coming from? How are those traffic hubs satisfying the needs of your customers? Is there a lesson you can mine here?
Demographics: Go to Quantcast.com to research demographics for the sites you’ve found. What kinds of people are using these websites? How much money do they make? Are they married? Do they have kids? How long did they go to school? Where do they live?
Quantcast measures market profiles and displays the demographic information for free, which offers you a slick marketing advantage indeed. However, because the service is elective, not every website you research will be Quantified. That means the demographics you’re looking for may not be available. You might need to search for several sites before you hit paydirt and find real the real gold – market data. Keep digging. What you’re looking for is out there.
For the business executives who take the time to know their market, the job of mining for new customers comes naturally. No shovels or pick-axes are required!