Are you shocking your customers? You should be

Your can know everything there is to know about your customer and provide a wealth of information and know-how that sets your brand apart among the competition and establishes your product or service as an industry leader.

But all of that effort’s barely half the battle.

If you’re not demanding — and getting — customers’ attention, your brand’s bound to come up short in your niche market.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to offend your customers, though in some industries it’s a surprisingly effective way to set yourself apart. But you do need to focus on making sure your voice is unique enough to stand out from the countless other voices — competitors and otherwise — vying for your customers’ attention.

Here are 3 ideas to help you do that.

Providing a surprising benefit to your customer is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty. (source)

Providing a surprising benefit to your customer is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty. (source)

1. Surprise your customer

The best way to grab someone’s attention is to tell them something they don’t know or challenge a belief they hold strongly. Find aspects of your product or industry that will shock your customers. It will force them to pay attention because they’ll feel like if they don’t, they could be missing out on game-changing info.

Success with these kinds of communications will also increase your niche markets’ engagement with all your communications. If customers find something useful from you once, they’re more likely to pay attention next time you have information to share.

2. Challenge your customer

No one likes to be told they can’t do something or they don’t understand something. Customers are no exception.

Getting customers to read your information is fine, but getting them to engage with it is even better.

To increase the chances of getting that engagement, make a challenging statement or ask your customers to solve a tough problem.

3. Relate to your customer

Imagine you have a problem you imagine is highly specific to your situation. Then someone comes along and provides an exact solution. Few things will shock a customer more than that.

Find a customer's pain point and offer a solution -- in your customer's own language (source)

Find a customer’s pain point and offer a solution — in your customer’s own language (source)

In essence, that’s what search engine optimization is all about. Find what customers are looking for and provide it for them. But this basic concept expands beyond Google searches. Research what customers in your industry are looking for, then make sure your communications address those concerns exactly — using customers’ terminology.

Get the desired result

You may not want to risk your entire marketing stragegy — or budget — on a move designed to provoke your customers. Best bet: Test out strategies on low-impact platforms or with smaller groups of customers.

As with any other niche marketing strategy, figure out what works through testing, then implement it on a larger scale.

If you would like to find out more about defining your niche

I invite you to contact me. I have been helping professional service providers such as CPAs, attorneys, and financial services providers focus their business development efforts on profitable micro-niches for over 10 years. Email me at

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