On a recent visit to Virginia, I was introduced to a construction manager who is also an avid In-N-Out Burger fan. He recounted a less-than-24 hour trip he had taken to Las Vegas. A trip solely undertaken to eat In-N-Out. Sadly for him, In-N-Out is not available in Virginia.
Upon returning to work from the quick trip to Vegas, the construction manager was raving to his boss about the taste and quality of In-N-Out: “You know, besides drinks and fries, In-N-Out only offers six main menu items: 5 burgers and a grilled cheese.
Several days later, the boss pulled the construction manager aside. “Hey, I’ve been thinking about what you said about In-N-Out — you know, the 6 menu items?” I’ve decided to change our whole approach to home design. In thinking that we’re doing our customers a favor, we offer more than a dozen different models, plus all types of customized features.” From now on, we’re only going to offer six models. We’re going to do those six really well.”
Most businesses could learn from In-N-Out. Afraid of not meeting every customer desire or whim, businesses offer too much. Instead, by determining what it is they do well, where their reputation — and brand — really shine, they could achieve greater success. A smaller niche but a bigger impression.
What are your businesses’ strengths? How could you hone your offerings to present your strongest — and potentially most profitable– service or product? Be willing to give up the “add-on offerings” and you may find that you become a stronger — and more memorable presence — in a narrower market.
I’ll have fries with that.
Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based marketing, branding and social media consultant. Want marketing ideas and inspiration? Please sign up for Martha’s Blog: Marketing Musings and Tips du Jour. You can reach Martha directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 310.670.5300.