Do You Have A Target Customer?

If the preceding photo appealed to you, then you are likely this company’s target customer. Or at least you are near the center of their target.

If it did not then you are not.

It really is that simple.

The cool thing about Triple Voodoo Brewery and Taproom is they know who their target is, and who it isn’t. They aren’t pretending. And they aren’t trying to appeal to everyone. Their target customer is urban — they’re in the Dogpatch in San Francisco — , youngish, and likes beer. They like beer in all its complexity, variety, and variations. They like having new (and limited) concoctions to try. And they are willing to pay for it.

Triple Voodoo makes and sells beer. Really good beer. That’s it.

That golden beer in the picture is a Belgian Sour aged for over 2 years and had peaches added to the barrel 6 months before it was ready to drink. That’s an 8 oz glass that costs $7. And if you like sour beers, it is really, really good.


The deep dark brown beer is an Imperial Stout, weighing in at 10.8% alcohol by volume. It was aged in rye whisky barrels for 6 months. It is also $7 for an 8 oz glass, or $5 for 4 oz.

The bartender is casual, affable, and is usually dressed in a hoodie, jeans, and running shoes. 60–80% of the patrons are male. And it’s a safe bet that at any given time about half of them have facial hair. There are some tattoos, and tech talk can often be overheard. And they readily share their wifi password.

The point is that by focusing on their customer, their target customer, they can design the beers and the experience to meet and exceed that person’s expectations.

And “focus” is key. They don’t make food. But they partner with others to provide it on busy nights when their target customer might be able to linger a little longer. And on some Friday nights musicians perform. They serve their target customer and strive to enhance that customer’s experience without losing their focus on the core activity and offering that attracts that customer in the first place.

The question for you is what lessons can you take from Triple Voodoo Brewery and Taproom?

  • Have you identified and defined your target customer?
  • Is your business as focused as Triple Voodoo?
  • Do you partner with others to provide an enhanced experience for your target customer while maintaining focus on your core offering that only you can provide? Or do you try to “do it all”?

And if you have identified and defined your target customer,

  • Do you place them at the center of your decision making?
  • Do you have a process to repeatedly and consistently improve every touch point in their experience with you and your brand?
  • And do you do it regularly?

In today’s business world the news and stories center around gargantuan companies that have broad reach and commoditize what they sell or do. But with that scale and size comes resources, specialization, and opportunities to make very minor changes that yield big results to their bottom lines. In smaller businesses we don’t have access to the same resources. The trick is that you avoid playing on their field. And in that you have amazing advantages.

Your target customer likely gets treated like a number by these gargantuan companies, by their employers, by the government, by politicians, by their healthcare providers, and even by their children’s teachers and counselors. But you know your target customer like none of them do. You talk with them. You hear their hopes, dreams, and fears. And you have the ability — and maybe the desire — to work to fulfill those like the big companies cannot and will not.

Those gargantuan companies cannot compete with you on your playing field. You have an unfair advantage! As long as you know that, own it, and do not try to compete on their playing field. As long as you do not try to become them, the big corporations, and the bureaucratic and political government. If you try to compete on their field, at their game, you will lose. You simply lack the resources and the cynicism. But what you do not lack is the inspiration, the desire, the drive, the determination, the passion, the understanding, and the connection with your target customer. They have an avatar. You know the person.

So, how will you use that? How will you address that? How will you deepen, expand, and grow your business through a narrower focus on your target customer?


Please share your answers to these questions in the comments section below.


P.S. And if you happen to be in San Francisco on a Wednesday evening, hit me up and maybe we can meet up at the Triple Voodoo Brewery and Taproom!

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