What you don't offer can say a lot about your brand. But in business it can be sometimes difficult to know what to offer and what not to offer, particularly if times are tough. In a bid to chase revenue, it can be very tempting to try to be all things to all people.
I worked with a client recently who had a major share of their market, but with competitors nipping at their heels and competing in an aggressive manner, my client had started to offer her customers more and more in a bid to keep winning business. At first this seems like the logical thing to do. When you're growing a business, you're doing well, you offer great customer service, you can get get easily carried away with being a 'total solution' for your customers.
In some cases, a total one-stop shop can be the point of difference and be a great strategy. But not always. What it can do is mean you take on extra work that may or may not be profitable. Remember, extra revenue doesn't always mean extra profit.
I worked with my client through these key questions:
By working through these fundamental key questions, my client was able to draw a mind map of the position of her brand in comparison with her competitors brands. She was able to identify that customers choose her business when they want high quality and choose her competitor when they needed a quick cheap fix.
From here, she was able to identify that if she continued to add more goods and services to her offering, she was in fact moving away from her point of differentiation (quality) and becoming more of a one stop shop that offered cheap products and quality products. She realised that this business growth strategy was bringing in additional revenue at first, but would potentially erode her brand position and profitability.
She worked out that it wasn't in her interest to be all things to all people and decided to let her competition be the cheap alternative, so she could become the obvious choice for quality in her marketplace.
It can be a handy reflective tool, to ask yourself: Am I trying to be all things to all people? Is it working for my top line and bottom line?