(Time to read this Blog is about 3 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:  
    “Don’t make your business your ‘neat fort’.  A neat fort is where we go to hide from reality.  Business is where we go to engage in reality.  If you’re going to work to hide from reality, to feel safe, comfortable and in control, you and the business are in big trouble.  I see it all the time.”                   
    …Donald Cooper.
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    A tip when sending important emails, or emails with attachments:
    When sending an important email, or an email with attachments, I always add at the bottom, just above my ‘signature’,
    As emails sometimes get blocked, please confirm receipt of this, so we know you’ve received it.  ‘Thanks’!
    I use the colour shown above and always use bold font.  Nobody uses this colour, so it really stands out.  I ‘blind copy’ myself on these outgoing emails and file my copy in a daily ‘Bring Forward’ folder in Outlook for a 9 am ‘pop-up’ a few days later.  This way, important emails don’t fall through the cracks.  Also, I believe that clients and prospects are impressed that I’m so organized.  Nobody else does this…but now you can.
    Anything we do that creates confidence and differentiates us, is a good thing. 
  3. 41% of McDonald’s sales come from the USA.  51% come from International locations.  2.4 million Big Macs are sold every day, worldwide.  Americans buy the most Big Macs, followed by the Japanese.
  4. Another business helps customers with the high cost of living. Last week I wrote about how Canadian pizza chain, Pizza Pizza, launched 2 hugely successful promotions to give customers more…not less.
    Here’s another example that might inspire you to do something for your customers.  Coltrain Hardware in Ayden, North Carolina has a ‘Free Vegetable’ stand to help townsfolk in difficult times. 
    Food is the number one way to bring people together, so what a great way to say, “Hey, you’re my neighbour, here’s some vegetables.”  The stand is run by volunteers and is part of a partnership with a Community Garden in the town.
    What could you do, or with whom could you partner to help your customers deal with higher costs?
  5. The most peaceful country to live in. According to the ‘Annual Peace Index’, Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world for the 15th year in a row.
    Denmark is #2 and Ireland #3.
    Canada is #11.   USA is # 131 out of 163 countries studied.
    Afghanistan is 163.


Now, to this week’s important topic:

The marketing power of defining your biz by what you’re NOT:   

Most marketing is about telling our target customers who we are and what we do. But, sometimes it’s even more powerful to remind your target customers who you’re NOT:

Viking Cruise Lines are constantly voted ‘Best River Cruise Line’ and #1 in their category in Ocean-Going Ships.  They’re also brilliant marketers.  They know who they are…and who they are not.

In a recent Brochure, they announce, “We do not try to be all things to all people.”   Then they state,

‘What Viking Is Not’.

  1. No children under 18.
  2. No Casinos.
  3. No ‘nickel and diming’.
  4. No charge for Wi-Fi.
  5. No charge for beer and wine at lunch and dinner.
  6. No umbrella drinks.
  7. No photography sales.
  8. No Art Auctions.
  9. No inside staterooms.
  10. No smoking.
  11. No waiting lines.
  12. No formal nights, butlers or white gloves.

We’ve sailed with Viking and they’re brilliant.  What they are NOT speaks to us loudly and clearly. 

So, how could you ‘grab’ your target customers by making it clear what you’re not?  Do you know your target customers well enough to know what they want more of, what they want less of…and what they want none of?  


That’s it for this week…

Live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

One Response to The marketing power of defining your biz by what you’re NOT:
  1. […] Define what you’re not: Consultant Donald Cooper points to Viking Cruise Lines as an exemplar of defining your business by what you’re not. In a recent brochure it declared “we do not try to be all things to all people” and cites a dozen things Viking is not, including no children under 18, no casinos, no “nickel and diming,” no charge for wi-fi, no photography sales, no auction sales, and no charge for beer and wine at lunch or dinner. (Source: com). […]


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