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Successful Brands Have Focus

Successful Brands Have Focus

Seneca, a Roman philosopher, said that to be everywhere is to be nowhere. Seneca would have made a great business coach in our century! Being submerged in the world of marketing, I’ve come across many people with ideas. Many have a desire to execute those great ideas… all at once!

Focus Yields Expertise

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There’s a reason why you don’t walk into an Apple store and find a vacuum cleaner for sale next to a Macbook Pro: focus. There’s a reason McDonald’s doesn’t serve pizza as part of their menu: focus. (Except in Canada, for some odd reason, but it still didn’t work.) Focusing on a specific audience or niche allows a brand to gain expertise in that arena. We live in a time where a simple Google search will give us an answer to just about anything we can think of, yet consumers are still willing to hire an expert with a focus on what they’re looking for. This focused branding certainly translates into success and profit for the one providing the service or product. Take the following case for example.

A Problem That Needed a Solution

42% of Americans play video games regularly. 84% of all households have a computer at home. 95% of American adults own a cell phone, 22% own e-readers, and 51% own a tablet. If anyone spends more than 2 hours daily in front of a computer, there’s a 90% chance of developing Computer Vision Syndrome. No, I’m not making it up, it’s a real condition. You can click here to read all about it.

Someone Did Something About It!

JennyJenny Michelsen saw her husband Matt sitting in front of a computer screen for hours each day, walking away each time with terrible headaches. Jenny was also concerned for her son Gunnar’s eye health, seeing him grow up in a generation constantly in front of some sort of screen.

She contacted Joe Croft, a friend and former product engineer at Oakley, to develop a solution to their problem. The solution? A fantastic product named after Jenny’s son: Gunnar Optiks. Gunnar is an eyewear brand focused on three target audiences: gamers, designers, and general computer users. They’re present at video game conventions, advertise in all the leading video game magazines and websites, and offer their eyewear at video game stores across the nation. Thanks to their focused approach, with only 6 years in the market, Gunnar has become the go-to eyewear brand for gamers and designers. Notice their focus: they identified a problem to solve, developed a great product to solve the problem, and carried out focused marketing to a niche audience.

Laser-Focus 101

It’s never too late to focus your business or franchise. I’ve seen many companies and brands take the step to focus the services they offer, and whom they offer them to, and experience the growth they always hoped for. Here are some tips to get focused:

1. Start making a list of all the services you currently offer. Don’t limit your initial list…write them all. Next, identify those services that are not a real strength to your business or franchise. Narrow down your list until you’ve identified your core services.

2. Repeat this process with your audience. Identify who your target audience will be; those industries or individuals that you can become an expert on over time.

3. Feed your mind. What are the top three magazines published about the area you’re focusing on? Subscribe to them, if you haven’t yet. Are there free publications focusing on your area? Pick three to five newsletters from experts on your area and sign up to get them in your inbox. Are there any weekend courses you can take to stay current with your area of focus? What about seminars and conventions? The more you feed your mind, the more value you’ll have to offer to your audience, and the more of an expert you’ll become with time.

You can be a light bulb and shoot light in all directions, or concentrate light into a laser beam and cut through steel. The difference? Focus.

About The Author

Diego Aguirre
Diego Aguirre is Associate Creative Director at Marketing In Color and holds a Diploma of Digital Design from the Art Institute. His branding and design work has served clients across a wide range of industries.
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