Why everyone is actually no one

Lately, I've seen quite a few businesses whose key messages include things like:

"for everyone"


"for all"


"for you" (a.k.a everyone reading this).

But I promise you, no great brand appeals to everyone.

And you shouldn't want yours to.

In fact, I'm a fan of repelling people!

And trust me, it's hard because it's not in my personal nature.

But I know that my brand can't possible suit everyone - and nor should it.

I want my brand to turn away the people who we're not the right fit for so we can ensure the people who we are all about are REALLY attracted to us.

You can't have a foot in each camp.

And it's scary to choose.

But the words "by appealing to everyone, you appeal to no-one" really are true.

I don't know if we as consumers became fussier first first, or the offerings to us simply became better - it's a bit like the chicken and the egg.

But it doesn't matter - what we know is that we now expect MORE from brands.

Generic isn't enough.

We want to feel excited, a sense of connection, and that the brand 'gets' us and our values.

And the only way we as brand owners can do that is to get REAL specific about who we are appealing to.

Some tips:

Spend time researching and questioning your current and/or target audience and get clear around their values, their attitudes and their beliefs.

Then, ensure that your wording, your visuals and all that you are doing as a brand are designed to tap into these.

Your mission is to NOT play it safe.

In the words of Tom Fishburne, the author of Brand Camp:

"The world doesn’t need another blandly appealing mainstream idea. I think the real opportunity is to find a niche and give them something they will walk over hot coals to buy. Even if it’s polarizing. Especially if it’s polarizing. By giving something truly remarkable to a niche, the idea can still be appealing to a wide audience. But it needs a niche at the core. The mainstream is not a target market."