Specialization or mass marketing?

There’s a MAD magazine comic depicting three pizza shops:

The first says “Best Pizza in the world”. Inside it had no customers.

The second says, “Best Pizza in this city”. Inside there were a few customers.

The final cafe says, “Best Pizza in the street”. And it was. And it was packed.

This insightful comic was illustrated to me (excuse the pun) by a tiny little cafe called Piccolo Meccanico who leased a shop so small no one else wanted to rent it. It was next to train tracks and a creek. It does 35 kilograms of coffee per week! That’s a gold mine. Most cafes do 6-10. Do you know what marketing he does? He gives $6000 per year to local charities and organisations. He refuses to spend a cent on advertising; in fact he said he would likely tell the newspapers not to review his cafe because the readers come and disrupt his tribe and then leave, leaving the cafe worse off that when it began. That’s local. That’s tribe.

He doesn’t have customers. He has followers. Customers are fickle. Followers are loyal.

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3 thoughts on “Specialization or mass marketing?

  1. I agree with Jeff. There has been a real shift in the desire of business owners around BIG. Most people now are not concerned about huge sales because often they don’t bring in the representative amount of profits. It’s now easier to act small and niche and have much more representative profit

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    1. Interestingly Jeff Jarvis (professor of journalism at CUNY) says “fragmentation (of a market) is choice for consumers” and that is happening to every market due to the Internet. ie everything is becoming small and we all need to act niche.

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