April 29th, 2015
One thing that people and brands have in common is that we want to be liked. We really like to be liked. So we try to be universally liked. And that’s a huge mistake.
Because being liked isn’t good enough. If you want massive sales success, you need to be loved.
Which means you need to be different, superior, unique. And that opens you up to criticism, animosity, even hatred.
Which is fine!
Any successful person or brand has detractors. Think of Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, David Letterman, Giada De Laurentiis, Peyton Manning, and any U.S. president ever. In the brand arena, consider companies such as Apple, Fox News, Harley-Davidson, Starbucks, Disney, and Taco Bell. They all have legions of die-hard fans and they all have millions of people who can’t stand them.
No person, no company, no product is universally liked. And trying to become universally liked can ruin you. Because if you’re worried about people not liking you, you’ll avoid taking risks, or specializing, or being controversial. You’ll be bland, ordinary, mediocre. You—or your product, service or company—may very well survive, but you’ll never be a leader in your field or your category.
Instead, be different. Stand for something. Go in a bold new direction. Figure out who has a specific need that’s not being met. Challenge the status quo. Innovate. Think about how you can make your product or service more specialized or more exclusive.
• No matter what you do, some people won’t like it.
• Authenticity, uniqueness, passion and quirkiness all sell.
• The more that people love your product or service, the more they’re willing to pay for it. (And the less that competition is a factor.)
• In order for you to be right for some buyers, you have to wrong for others.
• You must be willing to lose some customers and prospects to gain better ones.
• The more successful you, your product and your company become, the more detractors you’ll accumulate.
So don’t let the fear of being disliked prevent you from being extraordinary. Embrace the fact that being loved by some means being hated by others. Having detractors is not only okay, it’s necessary for your success. If not enough people dislike you, you’re not trying hard enough.