Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

Sexy Chairs on Street Corners - Small Business Marketing

Pop quiz: one of these chairs is $6,700. Can you guess which one?



Last week while in Toronto I stumbled across perhaps the sexiest piece of furniture I’ve ever laid eyes on.

There I was, minding my own business and making tracks to a meeting at my client’s office when it practically jumped out at me. Ok, jumped might be a slight exaggeration. It’s probably hard to imagine a 200 pound leather chair leaping off the pavement and bowling me to the ground. But there it appeared before me – a chair about 6 feet tall made of the finest cherry red leather– the “vintage” kind you might find in a weathered 1960’s Corvette belting out Beach Boy tunes on a hot summer’s day. This chair was far too magnificent to be hidden inside a design store. The clever owner had planted it smack bang on the corner of one of Toronto’s busiest intersections. Sure that thing would be a pain to lug in and out of the store every day, and I’m not quite sure what they did when it rained (perhaps its own raincoat?) but I’m very sure that one simple act of marketing was responsible for making that little design store stand out in an overcrowded city.

So really, what enables someone to charge almost $7000 for a leather chair, when just a minute’s drive away you can get a perfectly cool looking leather chair from Ikea for $600?

Is it the leather? Is it the craftsmanship of the chair? Is it the customer shopping experience (if you’ve ever shopped at Ikea you’ll know there’s really no worse shopping experience). Yes, to some extent – all these factors justify a higher price tag for my cherry red leather chair–but not $6,000 worth.

So what’s the secret sauce then? How can they charge so much? I’ll tell you how:

They’ve very carefully picked their target market. They know the market’s needs, and they’ve found a way to service those needs. If you’re buying this kind of chair – chances are it’s not so you can have a Saturday siesta on it. You bought it as a talking point in your living room, an objet d’art.

Ownership signifies something.

Here’s the real marketing lesson in all of this. WHO you choose to sell to, is far more important than WHAT you sell.

Just let that statement sink in for a sec.

If you’re selling the equivalent of a $7,000 chair but you’re marketing to the Ikea crowd – forgettaboutit.

Same if you’re selling a commodity like Ikea and trying to target the ultra hip and affluent. It’s not gonna happen.

Both markets buy for very different reasons. If your marketing doesn’t specifically speak to those reasons, or you’re selling the wrong product to the wrong market, you’re whistling in the wind. Always make sure your marketing message is perfectly aligned with your target market.

As for me, I haven’t yet bought the chair… but you can tell I’m thinking about it!

PS: The $6,700 chair is the one in the middle – did you guess right?  I did kind of give it away with the color!