Subtract the Scope, Add the Focus

“Even in the best of times, the principle of focus is a hard mistress, demanding fidelity, courage and determination.”

– Marty Neumeier in The Brand Gap

Over time, companies drift. They lose focus. Mine did, and I paid the price.

“Only by being ingrained in a narrow segment of the market can you hope to own a piece of the customer’s mind.”
– Al Ries in Focus

Staying focused is difficult. Businesses tend to become more and more complex as entrepreneurs try to accommodate more and more customers and exceptions to their original offering. But by broadening scope, businesses lose identity.

“True differentiation, sustainable differentiation, is rarely a function of well-roundedness., it is typically a function of lopsidedness.”
– Youngme Moon in Different

So it’s time to eliminate some scope, and add some focus to build a stronger identity. Subtract everything from your business that doesn’t contribute to your core offering, your brand promise. The more you subtract, the stronger you become.

Then start adding to what’s left. But only add what contributes to delivery of your brand promise. The more you add to what is left, the more lopsided you become, the more focused you will be. What you will have is a business that may not be for everyone, but extremely appealing to some. Your business will be a focused, premium brand.

What can you subtract? What will you add to your focus?

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