I have seen some of the most outrageous analogies to tell stories about marketing. As a creative industry, I suppose it’s up to us to come up with engaging ways to tell stories you’ll remember. Mostly, I wonder how people come up with these things but now I can say that I have too, and it was really quite easy. I was folding laundry yesterday and had a thought about a discount store turtleneck that I’m not particularly fond of.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love style and fashion. And, as a well-made woman, it’s sometimes challenging to find clothes that fit just right.
While there is no truly ‘average’ woman’s body, it seems to me that skinny girls have a lot more clothing options than some of the rest of us. They can get away with clothes from discount stores and still look great in them. Make no mistake, that’s envy you hear in my words.
If I put those same pieces on, you immediately see the flaws or lack of detail. A curvy hip shows poorly stitched seams; a buxom upper half illuminates gaping where there should be draping. You go up several sizes to fit one asset (fantastic for the confidence, by the way) only to find whatever item you’re compromising for to be desperately ill-fitting in another area. These issues aren’t as apparent when the same clothes are on an ‘average’ woman; the clothes hang well because the form doesn’t push their limits.
Add to that the fact that there is no universal, or even common, sizing system for women and it makes shopping for something that fits and makes you feel good quite a challenge.
Well isn’t that little anecdote just the perfect metaphor for marketing your business?
On the other hand, if you pay a little more for an item of clothing, you’ll usually find that it’s better made and more forgiving. It very likely made of higher quality material and there has been attention paid to the details. Plus, when you have the patience to do the extra legwork to find that great piece, you might even find a store whose clothes seem that they were made just for you. Wearing anything you buy there will make you feel happy and confident and ready to take on the world. Rejoice and return often, I say.
Of course, the top end of the scale is haute couture, which, to those who don’t follow as closely as I do, is custom-fitted, hand-made clothing. It’s made to order for a specific person and is made from the highest-quality fabrics available by the most experienced dressmakers.
Couldn’t you say the same thing about marketing your business? While there are no truly ‘average’ businesses and no ‘average’ marketing needs, many practitioners would have you believe that what works for one business will work just as well for another.
There are definitely inexpensive options out there that will fit some businesses and they may even work great for them. Your friend or colleague may recommend, sometimes with uncommon vehemence, that you examine the services of Marketer X because they did such great things for that business.
And maybe you engage with that person but it’s unlikely you will see exactly the same results and that’s because the solution didn’t fit your business the same way it fit your friend’s business.
Most businesses can’t afford haute couture marketing. The big brands can, of course. That’s who it’s intended for. For most other companies, however, it takes some extra legwork to find the solution that’s most appropriate. It doesn’t always mean paying more; it just means taking the time to find what fits right for your business. It’s easy, and quite enticing, to choose the most obvious option because it’s immediately available and easy to find. However, with a little more work on your part, there’s a very good chance that you’re going to find something that suits your business much better (pun sincerely intended).