The word “pigeonhole” is derived from the small compartments where pigeons were kept.
Here’s the reality of business: Each of us at some point will be pigeonholed. It is human nature to try to categorize people, so we can maintain some sort of order in our memories. Our brains can’t help pigeonholing.
So, shouldn’t we take advantage of that fact?
You’re either going to occupy some space in the minds of customers (and collaborators), or you’ll occupy no space. So, isn’t it better to clearly define your sweet spot in the marketplace and make that message abundantly memorable?
One of our main goals of effective branding and messaging is to occupy the right space in the minds of others. People are surrounded by noise, and they generally don’t have time to figure us out. People will put us in some mental cubbyhole or just bury us on a very crowded desktop.
That’s why I want to be pigeonholed. Customers then know when to call me. People know when to refer me.
Everyone is not my customer. All I need is a relatively small number of clients that love what I do well.
There’s a lot of potential business in a (well-chosen) pigeonhole!