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Finding More of Your Best Customers

My Dad loves to tell the joke about the guy looking for his contact lenses at night under a corner street lamp: 

“Where did you lose them?”, a bystander asks.
“A few blocks away”, the man answers.
“So, why are you looking here?”, asks the bystander.
“The light is better here”, the man replies.

Unfortunately that is the same thinking many companies use to identify their distribution strategy!  Why are we targeting sales to big box stores?, they might ask – because that’s where everyone shops!
Dental care brand Boka decided to approach things differently – and that strategy resulted in 150% year-over-year growth in an entirely new channel of business. 
Boka was founded in 2015 and is best known for selling toothpaste that contains nano-hydroxyapatite which improves overall tooth enamel health in addition to cleaning teeth.
They already had a successful retail and direct to consumer business – Ulta Beauty, Erewhon and Amazon – but knew they were capable of more. So, they looked to their core value proposition:
“To heal your mouth and nourish your body by pairing the best ingredients nature and science have to offer”
It turns out, there was an entire distribution channel whose core value proposition was very consistent with Boka’s – dental offices and dental clinics.  In fact, over the years, they had received inquiries from dentists to offer Boka products as samples, resell the full-sized versions, or both.
Boka started its dental wholesale program in 2021 and now receives hundreds of applications a month to be a wholesaler, the majority of which come from dental offices. Boka currently has over 1,300 dental wholesale customers and the dental wholesale program now represents nearly 10% of Boka’s business.  Boka uses dental offices not only for sales, but brand awareness too.
As businesses spend increasing amounts of time and money on influencers, it may also be worthwhile to consider natural influencers – like dentists – that have built-in influence in a particular product or service category due to their credibility in that category. After all, when dentists recommend a particular oral care product, patients are more likely to listen.
Similarly, as customer acquisition costs continue to rise, identifying alternative low-cost channels to bring in more customers can not only grow the top line, but improve the bottom line too.
Take a look at your company’s core value proposition.  Does it really communicate why you are the BEST and ONLY choice for your customers?  Think about other influencers or distribution channels where your core value proposition could naturally resonate and target them, rather than just default to where the most customers are.
Finding more of your best customers starts with smart strategy, not looking where the light is best.

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