And the 1 question you need to answer to create a successful marketing strategy…

Want people to sit up and take notice of your product? Then get to know them. It’s all in the details, and this means making detailed customer personas. It means going niche.

There is a fallacy I often hear when I talk about niching down audiences to within an inch of their lives:

“If our target audience is too small, we will miss out on a load of potential customers.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most companies need to start small. They need to find an audience that can’t live without their product, as that’s how you identify…

How to persuade customers with a benefit-based marketing message…

Copywriting that focus on how your product improves your customer’s life convinces them that it will improve their life. So start prioritising benefits over features.

Here’s a quick visual definition of how features and benefits differ:

Create a Winning Underdog Brand Message.

Throw away the notion that “if you’re not first you’re last” and learn to exploit this perceived disadvantage to rally customers and gain more market share.

“Find a weakness in the leader’s strength and attack that point.”
(Rise & Trout, Marketing Warfare)

The story of David and Goliath is as old as time, but every generation loves to hear it. Why? Because we instinctively root for the tenacious trier. We champion the underdog, we feel connected to them as they mirror the underdog aspects in our own lives.

Discussing The Underdog Effect, Avery et al. (2011 ) suggest we are…

What I’ve learned by obsessing over target audiences…

Want to create a killer marketing strategy? Then get to know your customer better than the back of your hand.

Applying a customer-first mindset means understanding how your customer thinks, acts, and feels, before shaping your sales and marketing message around how your product satisfies their specific needs.

Let’s reimagine the old phrase “the customer is always right” into “the customer is always rightfully selfish”.

You are trying to convince them to part with their hard-earned cash for your product, when there’s a never-ending list of other things they could buy. …

How Apple read the market and produced what we always wanted…

Forget thanking Apple for the Apple Watch, let’s give a big shout out to Ford… yep, that’s Ford, the car manufacturer. Stick with me here.

Ford were one of the companies to commission the Lear Jet Corporation to build the portable 8-track player. In 1965, they introduced them into their car models. With this, Ford brought affordable, portable and personalised music to the masses.

There really is such a thing as ‘too much information’, and it could be hurting your brand.

Giving one great reason to purchase your product trumps a dozen good ones.

In his TEDx London Talk, organisational psychologist Niro Sivanathan discusses The Dilution Effect; a cognitive bias that weakens your strongest points when you are trying to influence or persuade someone.

In understanding this cognitive bias, you can craft marketing messages that are more persuasive.

To understand why, let’s walk through an experiment (which I’ve modernised slightly) by social psychologist Christopher Hsee:

The Dinner Set Experiment:

  • Not content with the IKEA plates that have served you for a decade, you are hungry for a new dinner set. Perusing eBay, you find a…

How to position your product as the only choice for customers…

The OGs of “positioning”, Al Ries and Jack Trout, believe that the customer has a finite amount of space in their head where they can remember products. For each category (a category meaning smartphones, sportswear, etc.) there’s room for maybe 3 brand names.

If your brand doesn’t occupy one of those 3 slots in your category, it’s time to start thinking about how you can deposition a competitor who is.

When considering positioning, let’s bring to mind the car company, Volvo. Take a second: What word springs to mind when you think of Volvo?

Ask most people this question, and…

Don’t just weather the storm, ‘market’ the storm…

Our needs are transiently aligned with our environments, and so as our environment dictates our needs, it also influences our purchasing behaviour.

If we live in a city with mixed weather patterns, the environment creates reactive demand. If we are proactive with our marketing, these can be opportune moments to drive sales.

That’s exactly what the street vendors in New York City do. The Big Apple can (and often does) experience multiple seasons in a day. A rain shower that comes out of left field will see street vendors – out of seemingly nowhere – conjure up umbrellas to sell…

How to position your product as a necessity…

Positioning your product as part of your customer’s daily habits and become a brand your customer can’t live without.

We barely think about how we consume these essential products, they are so engrained in our routine. Let’s call these products facilitators, and let me give you an example:

When I go out for a walk I like to listen to podcasts and be inspired by better thinkers than I am. I leave the house, and open up the Spotify app. I use Spotify to listen to podcasts; it’s an integral part of the process, but I don’t really think much…

David Cowan

Brand Voice Specialist. Amateur Ethnographer. Curious blogger. Say hi at

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