Brian started Ugg with his buddy Doug. Doug was the sales guy, and Brian was the numbers guy.
They put together $500 to buy six pairs of boots, and Doug went off to sell them to retailers, dreams of sports cars and luxury yachts in both of their minds.
Doug traipsed around the country, visited every retailer, made great connections, and sold no boots.
So Brian and Doug snuck into the NY Footwear Show (by registering at the front door). They proudly displayed their wears while the cognoscenti glared down their noses.
In Brian’s words, “In three days, no one spoke to me. I might as well have been selling car parts.”
The problem: He was trying to sell to everybody which has the same effect as selling to nobody. The cognoscenti, everybody, wanted proven products.
They’d go for the oh-so-practical 6-inch heel, but they weren’t interested in sheepskin.
Since nobody was interested, neither were retailers.
But sheepskin boots have some pretty remarkable qualities, they are warm without being too warm, and they wick water from the skin. Step into them with your cold, wet, feet and you end up with warm, dry feet.
Who has cold, wet feet and eschews the cognoscenti? Surfers.
It turns out the coolest, edgiest, early adopter buyers of Uggs, the ones traveling to Australia to buy them (they probably did other things there too, but still), were surfers.
So, Brian and his partner Doug shifted their strategy, and instead of selling to everybody (nobody), they started selling to surfers (somebody) through surf shops.
In the first year, they sold 28 pairs of shoes (not an excellent revenue figure, but an impressive infinite growth rate).
And while growth has slowed a bit, they had nearly 2 billion in sales last year.
They got there through selling to their niche, surfers. If Brian had stuck with selling Uggs to everybody, he never would have built his business.
Here is the thing to sear into your mind. Even though everybody wears shoes and even though everybody could wear Uggs, the company grew by selling to surfers.
How did Ugg reach everybody? The surfers sold them.
Now everybody is interested in Uggs, not because Brian sold to them, but because he didn’t.
So here is the recipe for your $1 billion company:
- Define your target customer.
- Define your product such that your target customer loves it (yes a service is a product, and yes this is relevant for your business.)
- Make that customer happy, and let them sell to the rest.
Focus is one of the core principles behind Irresistible Sales and Marketing, so why not give it a try? The final day to start YOUR six-week journey is today.
I hope to see you there,
Related: The Had-Sod-U-Sos-Has Rule, How to Appeal to the Reptilian Brain