You’ve seen those nature documentaries before – the countless thousands of penguins crowded onto Antarctic ice, all looking the same, squawking the same, shuffling around in a barren landscape of sameness.
How would you pick out one particular penguin among the masses?
That may be how your business looks and sounds to your customers. Just another penguin. Until you rise above the noise and differentiate.
When Seth Godin wrote the classic marketing book Purple Cow, this was his main point. No one notices just another cow that looks like all the others. But if you spotted a purple cow in the field? That would stand out for sure!
One of the greatest challenges for every business is to stand out. To rise above the noise. And to do that effectively, we cannot parrot the language of all the other providers in our category.
“We provide end-to-end solutions to help leverage leading-edge technology toward higher-velocity bottom-line results.” Jargon. Biz-speak. Sounds like everyone else.
That’s penguin language.
To win in a noisy marketplace, we have to choose a very specific, differentiate market position. We have to have the courage to narrow our focus, define our bullseye customer, and choose our high-impact, memorable message.
In other words, we need to pigeonhole ourselves.
Now, I know the knee-jerk reaction that comes whenever that word is used. “We don’t want to be pigeonholed! We might lose opportunities over here or over there!”
Let me give you three reasons why you do, in fact, want to proactively pigeonhole yourself.
One of the best ways to pigeonhole ourselves in the minds of our existing and potential customers is to use a vivid analogy or metaphor – something that bypasses the brain’s filters and grabs hold of an existing memory hook.
For instance, there are thousands and thousands of business coaches, but if someone tells you, “I’m the Mercedes of business coaches for new women entrepreneurs,” we now know that a good referral is a specific demographic looking for high-end, top-notch services.
That’s pigeonhole language – a specific, memorable word picture – that rises above the penguins.
Distilling the focus and message of any business is the key, not only to strategic clarity, but also to making a business referral-ready.
The process of gaining that professional clarity has been the core of my consulting career for many years, and is now contained in my just-launched book, Clarity Wins, available on Amazon. My goal is that you will embrace your pigeonhole and prosper by activating the most effective business-building tool ever devised – the targeted referral!