How to Capture Someone Else’s Market


If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, you’re probably a fan of The Discovery Channel’s hit show American Chopper about the innovative and entertaining crew at OCC.

Here’s the catch; the show has a huge following of people who aren’t motorcycle fanatics at all. So the question is, how’d they do that? How did they reach a market that’s outside their target market?

The 2 Ingredients for Capturing Someone Else’s Market

1. Sell You, Not Your Product

The Teutul family at Orange County Choppers is a great cast of characters. They have all the comedy and drama you’d expect from a wacky made-for-TV family. The difference is, they’re real. And the strong family values and hilarious misadventures they go through day-to-day are things that everyone can relate to.

In the Laws of Leadership Challenge, law number 14, the law of buy-in, is all about selling yourself before you sell your ideas. You have to believe in the leader before you believe in their ideas.

The Teutuls don’t sell motorcycles on the show. They sell The Teutuls. Motorcycle sales follow.

2. Make a Product that Everyone Can Relate to

You’d think a motorcycle was simple enough for anyone to relate to. But if you’re not a big fan of motorcycles, then you probably don’t care about how they’re built.

What’s easier to relate to is how someone can take inspiration from a NYC firetruck or the Statue of Liberty or a Gillette razor and turn it into a motorcycle. And that’s what OCC does with the theme bikes they build on the show.

They build products that have a story that’s bigger than the product. And easier to relate to than just a regular motorcycle would be.

Keep it Real, and Keep it Simple

Marketing is not selling. Marketing is getting your message out there so people can find you and bring you a sale. If you do it right, it goes viral and then other people start spreading your message for you.

Because their message is real and it’s simple, OCC expanded their market quickly by crossing over into other markets. They captured an audience that should be someone else’s.

And that’s a wild ride.

6 thoughts on “How to Capture Someone Else’s Market”

  1. Absolutely Josh.

    And the number of advocates you can create is directly related to how easily your message translates into different demographics.

  2. Make think of a “street team” for a band (we’re working on that at the moment), it’s true, it’s the most powerful marketing tool you/your company can have (or that a band can have) 😉

  3. Hey Jon,

    I’ve seen a couple street teams at work; they can be very effective. It’s definitely the kind of marketing push that needs a simple, catchy message that the team can rally around AND market to others.

    A classic one for bands is “Hey we’re shooting a live music video down the street. Come check it out! Get into the club for free!”. I’ve run into that a couple times just walking down the street.

  4. I’ve seen the show a few times, not that interested! However, I do agree with you that they’ve captured a wider market because they use stories to build their motorcycles.

    Viral marketing is great, as long as it’s positive! I think my marketing professor said that to make up for 1 person’s negative message it takes 8 positive messages to make up for that 1.


  5. Gregg,

    It’s difficult to overcome a negative message. That’s why politicians use negative campaigning so much. Of course the message also hurts the messenger which is why they distance themselves from it by using third parties to spread the bad word.

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