The strength of a testimonial is highest with others who can directly identify with the firm or person offering it. A market niche is defined by a set of firms who will be guided by a purchase decision.

The challenge in “targeting everyone” is that different niches may find very different uses and need very different messaging. Look at the way aspirin is marketed for headaches, for arthritis, for children/infant pain, and to prevent heart attacks. It’s four different messages.

However, if you can resist the temptation to tell unanticipated customers “this is not meant for you” or customers finding novel uses “you are doing it wrong” you may very well discover another market.

Bootstrappers have to have a clear theory of value and target customer that informs their:

  • product design and feature set,
  • messaging,
  • and sales strategy.

This way they can create explicit and testable hypotheses (and replace them when they fail). If you are going after everyone what do you change? How do you message? How do you decide to change sales strategy or re-design the product.

This was inspired by “Niche Marketing & Startups” by Steve Sammartino, an Australian blogger I always find thought provoking even when I reach different conclusions.