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'Mainstream' Is Not a Target Market

May 21, 2009

Mainstream is not a target market. In fact, by trying to blandly appeal to everyone, you wind up not really appealing to anyone in particular.

Yet, in many companies, "niche" is a dirty word, right up there with "polarizing," says Tom Fishburne, in commentary on his cartoon titled "The Target Market."

"The world doesn't need another blandly appealing mainstream idea," says Fishburne.

Rather, the real opportunity is "to find a niche and give them something they will walk over hot coals to buy. Even if it's polarizing. Especially if it's polarizing. By giving something truly remarkable to a niche, the idea can still be appealing to a wide audience. But it needs a niche at the core."

There's a lesson in Tom's post for marketers (and also for cartoonists). Read Tom's full post, "The Target Market."

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  • by Ann Handley Thu May 21, 2009 via web

    Perhaps it's because I'm still smarting from Adam Lambert's loss last night on American Idol, but it seems to me that Adam was actually the more polarizing of the two finalists. Yet Kris Allen -- a mainstream, boy-next-door type -- actually won more votes to get the season title. So does that run counter to this philosophy...?

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