“My shoes are special shoes for discerning feet.” – Manolo Blahnik, Born Nov. 27, 1942.
You want your customers to have a special relationship to your products, your offers, and you personally.
That's called branding – that relationship that exists beyond and outside the immediate benefits of the product.
And the secret of doing this is not really about who your product is for. It's more about who your product is NOT for.
Who are you excluding? Why don't you want them as customers? Are they fat? Ugly? Stupid? Poor? Why don't they deserve your product? Why aren't they good enough for it?
When you know this, the people who your product IS for will emerge. Because they are discerning people of particular, refined tastes.
They COULD get something else, but they buy from you because what you sell is SPECIAL for them, and ONLY for them. Not just for anyone who wants it.
It's unavailable to everyone who would like it. It's available only to the people who deserve it. Who are worthy of it. Who merit it.
You are not a universally loved taste. You are a choice. A commitment. A demand that no one else is meeting.
How can you describe yourself and what you offer in these terms?
Easy. It's about connecting it to what YOU LOVE. It's about separating it from what YOU HATE. it's about what YOU give the buyer that no one else is delivering.
Anyone can cover your feet. Manolos say something ABOUT the wearer, and it says it TO their fellows, and their haters, and their admirers, and to themselves.
What does it say? What does your product say about the person who owns it?
Discover that, and find lifelong, loyal fans who buy and buy and buy. The same way no woman is buying a single pair of Manolos to wear every day until they wear out, like an old pair of Keds.
And here is the key – consider Blahnik’s fellow female footwear designer, Christian Louboutain – if the soles of his AND ONLY HIS shoes weren’t bright crimson red, would anyone be able to tell by looking? That one detail does the telling. That splash of red is worth everything to those who need to show it off.
What do you offer to the discerning that can't be had anywhere else at all?
And how do you make sure everyone looking at your customer from outside can tell?
Find it. Claim it. Profit.
<!—- lagniappe Here are a few active decisions you might make about your “brand” that can connect with your buyers on a level beyond having a good product that solves a problem: 1. Your personal look. I’m obviously not saying you need to get slicked up. You’ve seen what I look like, right? But the look is part of it to the extent that you are a salesman for your goods. Be deliberate in what you show, to attract those who look like you (or want to). 2. Your brand’s look. Don’t have one? Lean into that. My own “look” for my stuff is minimal. Black and white. Stripped down. Text focused. Light on images, or else paired with a silly image that usually doesn’t make sense at first. I think my aesthetic fits my values - content is where it’s at, not fancy packaging. 3. Consistency. In your social profiles, website, groups, email sig, etc - create a unified identity. Make it easy to tell just by looking that your stuff is your stuff. So that when followers find you in their favorite arenas, it’s easy to recognize and connect with you. 4. Portray your core values to your audience. So that when they buy your stuff, it’s equivalent to adopting your philosophies. For me, it’s minimalism, laziness, fun, efficiency, and some real Peter Pan stuff to the extent that as a middle aged man, I have the same interests I did as a 12 year old boy. Now, do I do that because I think it’s a smart way to attract buyers? Or do I do it because it’s who I am and I can’t help myself? A bit of both - in that when I chose to go “guru” I wanted to represent myself, feeling like I was an underserved market. I think of myself as my own customer avatar - and irks a conscious decision to express that out loud and in public view to catch others like me who felt underserved by the “good old boys” and “biz bros” in my field. Hope that has given you a bit of brain food to chew on. And I hope it tastes good. :) ——>
3 thoughts on “How Painting Your Bottom Red Can Make You Stand Apart”
Edit made thanks to my friend LaTisha who pointed out that Louboutain has the red soles. Apologies for basing my article only on knowledge misremembered from old “Sex and the City” episodes, lol.
1) wanted to say that since you have started these daily devotionals I have been been hooked. I have not seen your stuff in a very long time but they showed up in my email and I've read most and saved others for later.
You are providing tremendous value. Much appreciated.
Not new to most of these concepts but sometimes you really make them click. Thank You.
2) I am chewing on todays. Its got me thinking. There is a possibilty that pulling that off can make a big difference. I'll mull it over.
Awesome to hear from you, Phil. Reach out on FB messenger if you want to rap about it or brainstorm or whatever. Happy to help. And I am glad you’re liking the content as well!