I can sell snow to Eskimos

I've heard this line mentioned by self-proclaimed "experts" of sales. If you're capable of accomplishing this, you're doing it wrong because you're not satisfying a need.

The Eskimos are a very diverse people with "big tent" tribes.  In Alaska, Canada and Greenland, they are the Inuit. Also within Alaska and the Russian Far East region, are the Yupik Peoples.

The very first thing any marketer, salesperson, politician - anyone for that matter - should do is listen.

Listen to your audience before you speak.

The Inuit and Yupik peoples don't need more of what they already have - snow. Effective marketing is about identifying and satisfying a need. Among their many needs is something to keep them warm during the harsh winter - a blanket, a thermal jacket, a space heater (this part will come back later). If you are able to satisfy their needs, you're already one step further ahead than your competition.

According to the American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes in the United States: Year 2000 more than 16,000 Inuit live in Alaska.

As a marketer, you should know the following: many parts of Alaska are only able to be reached by plane, how will you distribute your product? How do you price your products for a people whose economy changes based on the season? How do you promote a product to a population experiencing myopia of epidemic proportions? If your customer has difficulty seeing the product from afar, what will make it easier for them to recognize your brand? Remember that space heater? How many potential consumers in your target market have reliable access to a power supply? All of these questions and many more should have an answer.

All of it narrows down to one principle - identify and satisfy. That is what makes a customer loyal for the long term.