The Only

Melissa Etheridge | audience, reach, differentiation

“There may be 300,000 of you … but I’m the only one.” Melissa Etheridge said that to the Woodstock ’94 audience (I know, I was there) as she was wrapping up her song titled “I’m the only one.” Though her song was about romance, it was also about marketing. Two directly related themes are wound-up in this quote: audience reach and differentiation. It doesn’t matter if you are a book author, software vendor or rock star. Each of us has an audience. To this audience we present something unique. Only once there is a sufficiently large audience and an undisputed differentiation will mass appeal (or even strong niche appeal) be possible. Take the case of a fitness book that landed a $1,000,000+ advance publishing deal, which in that industry is completely unheard of. Core to the publisher’s decision was that the authors had established audiences (or as the book biz … Continue reading

That’s Different!

lady gaga marketing differentiation

When Lady Gaga donned a meat dress, people said “That’s … errr … different.” Differentiation is what drives both companies and products, which means differentiation is one of the most import things to occupy your attention immediately after corporate cash flow and the last donut in the break room. Being different is a communication of value, and value is what people pay for. Yet, not all differentiation is equal and not all differentiation is sustainable (e.g. Madonna). Product differentiation is the easier to understand, and oddly the less valuable of the two. When your product is different in a way that matches the needs or desires of a targeted audience, then sales are sped. But product differentiation is short lived, even if you have patents. The differentiation you invent today will be cloned by your competitors tomorrow. Likewise, there are differing … Continue reading