‘It’s Not For You’—Why The Best Brands Turn Customers Down

Businesses can feel uncomfortable about turning down potential customers. Instead of excluding a potential customer who isn’t quite right, they adjust their business around that person’s needs. They will make exceptions, accept concessions, and go above and beyond in an unsustainable way. This can be particularly problematic for service-based companies. After everything has been signed, sealed, packed, and delivered, the employees are often exhausted and wonder if this was a good idea.

“It’s for you”: Why the best brands turn customers away

The best businesses are those that serve their target audience. This allows them to care deeply about their customers, get to know them well, and view the world through their eyes. They can meet their needs better with other businesses. Brilliant businesses don’t worry about alienating customers who are not in their immediate vicinity.

It is easier for businesses to identify their ideal customers and turn away people who aren’t a good fit. This isn’t discrimination; this is about knowing who your perfect customer is. So why would you turn down customers? These are five reasons.

A badge

Your brand’s relevance to your customers will increase if you are clear about who you serve. They will be proud to wear your brand as a badge when you give them this spot. They consider it part of their identity. These are the Harley Davidson fans who will not stop wearing Harley Davidson tattoos. John Lewis regulars feel that the brand understands them. It’s those who are proud to be card-carrying customers for a particular company.

Seth Godin said, “People like me do things like these.” The best business is not serving the masses; they create tribes with lots of things in common with your company.

The network effect

Your customers will share more commonalities the narrower you focus. Your brand will benefit from your customers developing solid relationships with each other. This will increase brand loyalty and help you build brand power. This is an exclusive club that boasts the proudest members.

These conversations will soon be more valuable than you need to be a part of them. Your brand is the common thread. Network members are creating friendships and groups. This includes peer support groups and regular meetups, as well as a superfan community.

“It’s for you”: Why the best brands turn customers away

How to reduce headaches

Being polite and saying “it is not for you” can reduce both your headaches (as a business owner) as well as your customer’s. You know exactly who your product is best for. You are the one who has chosen it. The wrong people will cause headaches for you and your business.

This gym is not suitable for powerlifters. The pastrami restaurant does not offer vegetarian options. The mountaineering club requires that members wear specific footwear. Unsustainable behavior of trying to meet the needs of everyone in a way you don’t like is a benefit for no one. It would be better to look after them elsewhere.


Confidence is shown by confidently saying, “it’s for you,” but stand behind it. It shows that your company is well-informed about its customers and the goals it holds. A strong business depends on your core audience. This gives you confidence that its ideal audience will love your brand. If you deliver, you will undoubtedly create. You are confident in what you offer, and no idea, product, or social media post will fail.

This confidence can be transferred to marketing and planning messaging. Because you have eliminated the products that don’t suit your needs, you can’t guess their wants and needs.

Big wide world

A man selling hats told a group of people at a networking meeting that his target audience was “anyone with ahead.” Being too broad can lead to failure. Your business wasn’t meant to be an open-to-all entity. Instead, it was intended to serve a particular set of people. Too often, business owners open doors wide to the detriment of their most loyal customers. This is a false economy. The narrowing is good. 

The planet is home to nearly eight billion people. You don’t have to turn down one customer to find another. Being polite and respectful when you say no will open the door to those who can answer positively. Instead of selling to more people, try selling more to those who are closest to you. Do not be afraid to build taller than you are.

Most businesses aim to provide services for everyone. Every consumer has a wide range of ways, so there’s always a solution that suits them. You will attract more people to the brand and strengthen its network the more you communicate who you are.

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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