The beanie hat was a great idea. It keeps your head warm, is simple to manufacture and on the face of it, one size fits all.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are people with very large heads, people with very small heads and the concept of one size fitting all is a very very bad idea.
The implication is that if you have a product or a service that reflects what you do or what you want to be, that people will just buy it.
Now, you might be lucky. You might have struck upon a golden nugget that everyone wants and needs but the chances are that you are like 99.9% of us mere mortals in that actually you need to give a customer exactly what THEY want and this might be quite different to what you currently have to offer.
So look at all the customers you have today. I'll be confident in guessing that they look, sound, feel, and act differently? Well they are telling you something. They are telling you that they each want something different, even if just slightly, from you. There's your challenge, to be all things to all people, without assuming that one size fits all.
How do you go about working with this complication? It's called customer (or market) segmentation.
I was speaking to a business owner yesterday who had successfully created a profitable and growing business over a period of about ten years on the basis that for his customers one size very much didn't fit all. His philosophy was that he needed to stock every single possible variant of product in each range so that he could offer things to customers on THEIR terms rather than his. Yes there's a price to pay for this flexibility with shelf space and stock holding that might be out of most people's comfort zone, but the ethos really struck a chord with me. A person who truly understood his customers and could adapt to their shifting needs to provide top quality service on a one-to-one level.
The same person now wants to expand into new markets so his challenge will be to reflect this strategy across new and less familiar customer groups. This is where customer (or market) segmentation comes into play. Sort your target customers into like-minded groups based on what they say, how they buy, where they are, who they are, how much they spend, what they buy, what they do etc etc etc etc. Find categories that are relevant to you and your products and services. Essentially you are trying to find out what makes your customers tick. When you know this you will be in a far better position to market and sell to them on THEIR terms and in a language that THEY understand.
Reflect this new found customer insight back into your business to help shape your processes and systems to provide ever improving service and new product development. By looking at your business through the eyes of how each of your customer segments see you will put you in a position to truly deliver profitable growth - based of course on the fact born out by the trusty beanie that doesn't fit everyone, that one size won't fit all.