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Wednesday, Jul. 11, 2007 at 7:13 pm

Is That a Hint of Wasabi in Your Marketing?

By Robert Gorell
July 11th, 2007

Wasabi peas, if you please...

Your customers’ tastes aren’t just changing, they’re evolving. And while it’s easy to stereotype our way into thinking there’s such a thing as a single “target market” for a given business, I’ve yet to meet someone who used that term to describe anything but a broad demographic range. People in business sometimes say ridiculous things like, “We’re going after college-educated females, age 24-36, who are either practicing yoga or are yoga-curious.” (Yes, someone’s actually said this to me before, to which I responded, “Really? So am I.”)

The thing is, the best marketers in the world can only accelerate your product’s ultimate success or failure. Why mass market when niche appeal is what attracts today’s “masses”? Offer something that some people like 10% better than what’s out there and you just might start a trend.

Today’s New York Times has some great food for thought:

Every food company and restaurant, large or small, profits through its ability to predict customer desire. Get it right — realize, say, that people are ready for Italian-inspired coffee — and you become Starbucks.

Get it wrong, though, and customers disappear, along with revenues.

At 2004′s TED conference, Malcolm Gladwell spoke about a friend of his who revolutionized the packaged foods industry by changing the way we experience spaghetti sauce. If you’ve seen this before, you know it’s worth 18 minutes.

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