Mike Rowlands, a Vancouver based marketing and branding expert is asking a group of thirty positive change makers one of the hardest questions they’ve ever been asked. He’s a very fun fellow but the question is serious.
“If you closed up shop tomorrow, who would miss you? And why?”
We’re all sitting in a circle in Olatunji Hall at the annual Social Venture Institute. And a lot of us are stumped. I’ve been teaching marketing to hippies for over a decade and I’ve never considered this question.
But it’s an important question because the answer to it helps you really hone in on the question of what makes your distinct, relevant and different? Why do people work with you vs. someone else offering a similar product or service.
It occurred to me that a lot of conscious entrepreneurs who are more political, locally minded and critical of today’s capitalist suicide economy would miss me. They’d miss getting marketing ideas from someone who shared their perspectives and take on where the world is at. They’d miss getting tactics and tips that didn’t feel gross or slimy to them, that fit within their ‘political analysis.’
It also made me think that some of my colleagues (to whom I refer a lot of business) would miss me because they love the kinds of clients I send them.
The things your customers and clients would miss most are likely the things that make you the most unique, different and relevant to them. And, if no one would miss you, it’s a good sign that there’s nothing different about you . . . yet. If there’s nothing they miss then there’s a good chance you’ve not found your niche yet.
I think about Remedy Café in Edmonton. If it died I’d miss their chai. I’d miss seeing all of my friends who hang out there. It’s a community hub.
When Edmonton’s Organic Roots grocery store died, I missed the opportunity to buy from an independent organic grocery store in town and support local.
If the Artery in Edmonton died, I’d miss the chance to support one of Edmonton’s quirkiest, coolest independent art’s spaces. I’d miss sitting on the stairwell that faces the stage and the incredibly cozy atmosphere it has like magic is happening there every night that the community is lucky enough to participate in.
If your project or business died, who’d come to the funeral? And what would they say in their eulogies?
Think about that. Contact that.
And then bring even more of it to your business. Build your initiative so that they’ll miss it when you’re gone.
Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program http://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/