I have been polishing up on my French so I started using Duolingo.
I quickly realized it was not built for me. This has everything to do with business differentiation.
Duolingo decided to focus on people who wanted to learn a language to improve their livelihood. They focused on people who were going to take tests or needed proficiency in a foreign language for work.
However not everyone learns a language for a test. There are other language teachers for people who want to be able to show off to their friends and family when they go out to eat in a French restaurant. This is a valid market and allows for two kinds of startups in the same industry.
I’m not much of a show -off but I would prefer a tool that helps me with colloquial phrases.
Your differentiation has a lot to do with what you believe and who you want to serve. It also becomes easier to differentiate if you know which type of clientele you do not want to serve.
For example there is a finance coach who does not accept clients who have credit card debt over $10,000. This helps him focus on the ones he is equipped to help the most. McDonald’s is not built to serve people who are looking for gourmet burgers.
What does this have to do with the John Caples ad above?
John Caples wrote the headline for the classic piano course. That headline communicated to the reader exactly who the course was for and who it was not designed for.
If you want to learn to play the piano so naysayers will no longer have cause to laugh, this course is for you.
if you want to be the next Mozart, maybe you should find something else.
What kind of client will you not want to serve at this point?
In the customer’s mind, what do you believe or do differently?