In order to broaden your appeal, narrow your focus

“Sacrifice” by John More in Seth Godin’s “What Matters Now

A winning business understands that to gain a customer
it must first be willing to lose a customer.

Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to do whatever
it takes to not lose a customer. To always say YES to
customers. To always kowtow to the whims of
customers. That’s unfortunate because winning
companies are willing to sacrifice losing customers to
win customers.

American Apparel wins customers by losing customers.
Its provocative advertising and strong stance on political
issues offends some consumers. American Apparel
sacrifices appealing to everybody to only appeal to select
somebodies who appreciate the brand’s unique

Costco wins customers by losing customers. Its
membership model shuns consumers not willing to pay
the yearly membership fee. Its broad but shallow
merchandise mix turns off consumers wanting more
choices. Costco makes deliberate sacrifices because its
customers will also make deliberate sacrifices in
exchange for lower prices.

Winning businesses have a common trait, an obvious
and divisive point of view. Losing businesses also have a
common trait, a boring personality alienating no one
and thus, sparking passion from no one.

Is your business designed to be a winning business? Is
your business willing to sacrifice losing customers to
win customers?

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