Need something to “prime the pump” and get you started thinking about new markets to develop, new customers that might be interested in your product or service, or new ways to adapt or market your product or service?
Maybe you need a good belt!
No, I’m not talking about taking a swig of your favorite craft whisky or other adult beverage, I’m talking about all the “belts” that our nation “wears.”
You probably know about the Bible Belt and Rust Belt, but have you considered the attributes of the people who live there? Do your products, services, or marketing materials resonate with them? While these terms are very familiar with most Americans, many of us haven’t given a lot of thought to discovering ways to better penetrate those markets.
However, those are just two of the most well-known U.S. belts. I’m going to list some more. Look over this list with an eye toward finding a few that might represent as-yet-untapped sales and marketing opportunities for you.
The Black Belt. This is an area in the South and Southeast with a concentration of African-Americans. Many have roots in the area that reach back to the days of slavery. Rather than migrating north, these families remained in the south. That will give them different likes, dislikes, needs, and desires than African-Americans in northern cities and suburbs.
The Frost Belt. Despite global warming warnings, the Northeast and North Central parts of the nation are going to be experiencing those deep freeze winters well into the future. Let’s contrast this with The Sun Belt, which stretches across the southern states of our nation from coast to coast. Do you have marketing materials or ads created that specifically target buyers in these two very different climate zones?
The Jell-O Belt. These are the western states – especially Utah and the surrounding states – with a large Mormon population. The values and lifestyles of individuals there will differ from other areas of the country.
The Stroke Belt. We’re back in the Southeast here, and I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say that southern cooking plays a role in the name of this belt. In any case, this area leads the U.S. population in strokes and various cardiovascular diseases. If your product or service is health related, you should probably be here.
The Unchurched Belt. I mentioned the Bible Belt above, here’s the other side of that coin. Specifically, it refers to the Northeast where church attendance is typically lower than other areas of the nation. Again, that will shape attitudes and how buyers react to your offerings.
When marketing professionals tackle selling in the United States, they are presented with an extremely diverse population. Considering the different “belts” present here is one way to bring some order to that diversity and perhaps simplify some business decisions.