How to Build Your Wellness Business Using This Little-Known Secret That Saved Nickelodeon

I spent 12 years working at Nickelodeon.  When I started there in 1993, the network was just beginning a period of extraordinary growth.  In fact, what Nick did back then changed the course of kids’ TV forever.   

In a moment, I’ll show you how you can build your natural health & wellness business using 3 of the most important factors that built Nickelodeon.  But first, I want to tell you something about Nick that may surprise you.

It’s hard to believe now, but Nick had a very bumpy start.  In fact, there was a time when the channel almost didn’t make it.  

When Nick launched in 1979, the goal was to create a kids’ channel that parents would want their kids to watch.  Nick shows would be different. They wouldn’t air cartoons like He-Man and Strawberry Shortcake … shows that seemed like 30 minute commercials and had parents shelling out big bucks for toys.   

This new, good-for-kids approach made parents fall in love with Nickelodeon! 

Nick’s programs showed real people, not toy-driven cartoons.  And some of Nick shows tried to “inspire kids to greatness” by featuring star students and child prodigies.  Nick’s quality programming even won them a prestigious Peabody Award in 1982!

Sounds exciting, right?  

Uh, no.  

Nick’s shows had parent approval, but they weren’t at all what kids wanted to watch.  And instead of inspiring kids, shows with superstar kids made other kids feel inferior. 

Peabody or no Peabody, the ratings stunk.  To a kid, Nickelodeon was the “green vegetables” of television.

The channel was bombing.

What Saved Nick?

It started when some really smart folks at Nick decided to talk to some kids.  They wanted to find out what kids wanted and what was important to them.

And they were shocked by what they heard. 

Kids told them they felt a lot of pressure.  They felt like they couldn’t have a real childhood.  

Kids said things like …

“I want to laugh.” 

“I want to have fun.”

“I want a place where I fit in just being me.”

It was eye opening.  No wonder kids weren’t interested in watching stories about 9-year old virtuosos and chess prodigies! 

This kind of disconnect is what we in the copywriting world call a “message-to-market mismatch.”  And it’s lethal. It’s lethal in copywriting … and it would have been lethal to Nick if they didn’t do something to fix it fast.  

What the execs realized is that kids had a real problem.  And they made it Nickelodeon’s mission to solve it. 

So they gave Nick a makeover. No more “good for you” programming. 

Instead, Nick took a stance.  It was “us” (kids who want to have a fun childhood) against “them” (serious adults who didn’t remember what it’s like to laugh and have fun).

Nick became a home base for kids. It became playful and edgy.  It was very clear what Nick stood for … and against. Now Nick spoke its audience’s language!  It had a clear, kid-focused message. And everything it did resonated with them.

In short, Nick had become a brand. And that changed everything. It saved Nick.  And it’s the secret that ultimately led Nick to its extraordinary success.  

But this isn’t just the secret to Nickelodeon’s success … it’s the secret to every business' success.   

How You Can Use Nickelodeon’s Success Secret to Build Your Natural Health Business

So the secret to Nickelodeon’s early success was these 3 important factors:

  1. Nick was very clear on who they serve (kids)
  2. They knew exactly what problem they wanted to solve (kids had no place where they could just being a kid)
  3. They had a clear “Us vs. Them” message that positioned Nick as the best solution to a kid’s problem 

These 3 factors saved Nickelodeon and turned it into a brand.   And these factors can be used to help build your natural health & wellness business, too. Here’s what you need to do … 

First, you need to get very clear on who you serve … your ideal client.  You need to know what they want and what’s important to them. 

Then you need to be very clear on what problem you’ll focus on solving.  

I can tell you from working with hundreds of natural health entrepreneurs that these are 2 of the hardest things to do.  Because most natural health entrepreneurs can solve many different problems for many different people.   

And while that may be true, something almost magical happens when you narrow your focus.  

Most people try to cast a wide net. So if you specialize instead, you transform your business from being one of many possible options to becoming THE BEST option.

And this brings us to the 3rd factor – a clear message that positions you as the best possible option for your ideal client.

You need to find a way to position yourself so what you offer makes you stand out from everyone else. And then your messaging needs to clearly convey that uniqueness.  

This is what gives your business a Unique Marketing Advantage.  That’s how you’ll stand out and attract more of your ideal client.




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