By 'better', of course I mean better customers, better prospects, better sneezers, better at spreading the word.
Here are two interesting lessons from the book industry:
- Kindle readers buy two or three times as many books as book readers. Why? I don't think it's necessarily because using a Kindle leads someone to read more books. I think it's because the kind of person who buys a lot of books is the most likely person to pony up and buy a Kindle. I know that sounds obvious, but once you see it this way, you understand why book publishers should be killing themselves to appeal to this group. After all, the group voted with their dollars to show that they're better.
- Walmart and other mass marketers are now offering top bestsellers for $9 or less each, about $5 less than their cost. Why? Why not offer toasters or socks as a loss leader to get people in the store? I think the answer is pretty clear: people who buy hardcover books buy other stuff too. A hardcover book is a luxury item, it's new and it's buzzable. This sort of person is exactly who you want in your store.
The challenge, then is to look for cues that people give you that they are better, and then cater to them. Every industry has people who are worth more, buzz more, care more and buy more than other people. Don't treat people the same, find the ones that matter more to you, and hug them.