Go 3 Floors Up: How To Get Customers To Choose You (And Not The Competition)

Try this one marketing process to get more customers choosing you more often

  If your marketing activity is bland and not working, try being braver and taking it three floors up

If your marketing activity is bland and not working, try being braver and taking it three floors up

Vegan bodybuilding
At the start of January, I paid £100 for a fitness and diet course from vegan bodybuilder Jon Venus. Jon is an Instagram and YouTube star with a combined following of over 350k.

I’ve been looking for a new fitness programme for a while
I wanted to keep my pigeon guns sculpted and my chicken legs in shape. And through a sea of online and offline fitness stars, Jon leapt off the page.

So, how did he get my attention?
Jon isn’t just an online fitness coach, he is a fitness coach who specialises in vegan bodybuilding. This alone is rare, yet Jon also makes top-notch YouTube and Instagram content.

One big reason that Jon stands out is because he dominates a niche
He has his 'Marketing Brain' switched on. He has taken his marketing three floors up.

In this article, I will cover:

  • what 'going up three floors up' actually means
  • examples of businesses who have (and haven’t) taken their marketing three floors up
  • how you can take your marketing efforts three floors up today

So let’s get going...

1). What does 'going three floors up' mean?

I expect you’ve noticed that fewer people make it to the top of Mount Everest than Everest Base Camp.

That’s because it’s a lot harder to get to the top (29,002 feet above sea level no less) than to reach Base Camp (5,000 feet above sea level). But it’s the ones who reach the top that get the recognition, rather than those who stay at 5,000 feet.
And if you look at the top of the Eiffel Tower, fewer people get in the lift and go all the way to the top floor. The majority are at the bottom looking up.

It’s similar when businesses market themselves
Many are on the first floor. That’s the safe floor, where anyone can get to. It’s the floor where most marketing happens, where businesses say the same things, and do things the same way. Whether it's creating a headline for a blog, or a whole positioning for a brand, Floor 1 is where most marketing defaults to. 
And it’s the hardest place for customers to choose one business over another, because everyone sounds the same. And often what they say doesn't mean much.

Marketing that makes the effort to be a bit more specific gets more standout
So this type of marketing ends up on Floor 2. This helps customers see the difference between one brand and another. Not bad.

But the very best marketing goes all the way up to Floor 3
Businesses that market themselves in this way create brand positionings, clickable content and unique products that standout because they are so different. They are that green blueberry in a sea of purple ones.

Floor 3 is where the pot of gold really lies. Not many businesses manage to market their services and products in this way (as we’ll see later). But when they do, it makes for incredibly effective marketing.

You see, Jon didn’t just go to Floor 1 (fitness coach)
He didn’t stop at Floor 2 (bodybuilding + fitness coach)
He’s gone to Floor 3 (vegan + bodybuilding + fitness coach)

Take a look at his YouTube Page
You can see vegan bodybuilding and fitness loud and clear.

Jon Venus.png

It’s precisely his bravery to put himself in this vegan + bodybuilding + fitness coach niche that’s made him incredibly popular and successful, both financially and on social media.

Yet, I’ve worked for so many businesses who ‘fear the niche’.
I hear cries of “But won’t I put off lots of other customers?”, “What if I only get a few customers and go bust?”

Well here’s the world’s worst kept secret:
If you want to put off customers and increase your chances of losing business, then stay on Floor 1. You’re in the zone of marketing yourself as ‘just another company’.

Many businesses wimp out
They write headlines like ‘how to create innovation for your business’, or taglines like ‘feel your flow’, or offers like ‘we sell high-quality kitchens’.

What they do is play it safe
Which means their marketing is uninteresting, indistinct and therefore unlikely to make customers stop in their tracks.

Enough theorizing. Let’s move onto the second point. Let’s look at some examples.

2). Here are some 'better-go-back-to-the-drawing-board examples of modern business marketing:

a). Fitness First
How is this message different from any other gym?!


b). A small business solutions website selling generic ‘business solutions’
What does this offer below actually mean?


c). A small coffee shop
Heard it all before...


However, when you look at ‘Floor 3’ examples, suddenly you’re in. They grab you by the eye-balls. The people who created these ones below definitely had switched on their Floor 3 Marketing Brains.


1). Ecosia
‘Search the web to plant trees’.
You don’t get much clearer than that. And look at the little counter that shows you specifically how it’s working. Floor 3 or what?!


2). HP Printers demonstrate clearly how one printer can bring down an entire company.

HP Printers have focused on one specific problem. Who'd have thought that printers could spark such emotion?


3). A small gym in Bangalore called Unleash.com

They have focused on a tangible, specific problem. Most of us know how it feels when our clothes don’t fit anymore. (I mean, I did until I went on Jon Venus’ fitness plan!)


4. A precise headline from TechCrunch

This article was the most popular article at the time of writing. What makes it a ‘Floor 3’ is that it goes beyond general terms. The headline doesn't just talk about cryptocurrency (that’s Floor 1 and everyone’s doing that), it includes more detail like Bitcoin and Ethereum (that’s Floor 3).



So what do these examples all have in common?

They don’t play it safe, broad and general. They are incredibly vivid, precise and tangible. You can see what’s happening; what you’re going to get. They are interesting and they are different. Which is why they are all up on Floor 3.

Let me break it down further to show you how these examples have gone three floors up.

I've put each of them in the table below and used my imagination for how they might be written if they were on Floors 1 & 2 (so you can see how they became Floor 3 examples).


Tables are lovely, but how do you apply this to your marketing processes today?

To answer that, let's move to the final part of the article:

3). How to take your marketing 3 floors up

a). Think of one piece of marketing communication where you’re struggling. Maybe it’s the headlines that you write in your newsletter. Maybe it's defining what you stand for or what you offer to your customers, maybe it's your tone of voice.

b). Sketch out this grid below. On the left hand column write floors 1, 2, & 3. Then create columns about each piece of marketing that you are struggling with. Column one could be a tagline, column 2 could be a headline from a recent newsletter for example


c) Now be honest. Which floor does each one fit on? Is your tagline worthy of Floor 3, or is it a Floor 1 tagline?

d). If it’s not on Floor 3, think how can you take it to Floor 3? What words can you add to make it specific and tangible? (Use this online thesaurus if you like). Use numbers, use clear, specific words and definitely no jargon.  

e). Ask your customers or a trusted friend how clear it is out of 10. If it’s an 8 or above, you’re on Floor 3, if it’s below 8, you have some work to do. Most marketing fails to communicate properly to people because there is:

  • no precise problem
  • no precise customer benefit or offer
  • no one clear customer that it talks to 

Be sure to address each one of these, whether you're creating a one-off headline, a tagline, or a brand positioning that needs to last for years.

If you're stuck about how to do this, let me give you a working example from The Big Apricot.

My own new offer for The Big Apricot is now to teach businesses about ‘The Science Of Getting Chosen’. It's no longer just ‘Get Chosen’. It is about teaching businesses the science of why one business gets chosen over another.  

That's Floor 3 right there (check out my new homepage).

Here's another example:  
I’ve recently worked as a consultant for a London marketing agency who specialize in B2B technology brands. And they are doing incredibly well. This is because they started on Floor 3 by niching themselves into one sector: 

  • Floor 1: Marketing – nope, they skipped that

  • Floor 2: B2B Marketing – they skipped that too

  • Floor 3: B2B Marketing for Technology Brands – ooh, hello profitable niche.

Yes, they’re ‘nailing that niche’ (if you’ll excuse the Millennial language there). They are bringing in business left, right and centre. What’s more, they have now set up another sub-business which goes outside of B2B technology and focuses on non-tech brands too.

Do you see what they’ve done there?

Because they went up to Floor 3 first and did well, they can now afford to broaden their offer into other products and services unrelated to B2B tech.

So let's put these two examples in the grid below:

updated table (1).png

So, what if you are still afraid of being specific and going three floors up?
Remember, we naturally feel safe copying what everyone else is doing. We are herd creatures. But when it comes to marketing, being part of the herd isn’t always the best marketing strategy.

Think of Lady Gaga
She could dress like other pop stars, but she doesn’t. She goes three floors up and wears clothes and makeup that make her look like no one else. Think of Johnny Cash who dressed in black. And Michael Jackson and his white glove, shoes and style of clothes. 

Each are unmistakably them, and therefore stand out from the everyday.
And it’s by going up to Floor 3 that they attracted the masses. 

Ironically, that's the secret to appealing to everyone
Be precise first and you’ll be three floors up. Then you’ll attract business and be able to grow. That’s one big way to stop any marketing brain from struggling.

Remember what Jon Venus did?
And look how well he’s doing. It’s perfectly possible for any business to get themselves to Floor 3, with the right know-how. I hope the examples and the grid will help you on your way.

Now, I’m off to sculpt my pigeon guns and chicken legs.

Toodle pip.

Simon | The Chief Apricot

P.S. For those on the £10 Email Consultancy, I will be doing an informal, one-hour free meet-up to help you take your marketing to Floor 3. And I'd like to focus on ONE area: positioning your business better to customers. Email me at simon@thebigapricot.com :o)  

P.P.S. I have 3 more spaces available for my £10 a month email consultancy. You can ask me as many questions as you like about your marketing efforts, via email, for £10 a month. You'll get early access to articles and lots of other free content (just like the 1-hour free workshop mentioned above).