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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Laws of Branding: The Law of Contraction (#2)

Originaly by By Al Ries and Laura Ries

The Law of Contraction

A brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus. There used to be a time when every neighborhood had a small coffee shop where you could get everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner, to hamburgers, hotdogs, pancakes, and ice cream, and of course, coffee. This was before Howard Schultz had a simply wonderful idea: why not focus on selling great coffee? Today Starbucks Corp. is worth $8.7 billion on the stock market.

Schultz focused on coffee, but that doesn’t mean he just offered one, Starbucks offers thirty different kinds of coffee.

Narrowing the focus has resulted in big time success stories:

  • Toys R’ Us narrowed the focus from the original Children’s Supermart concept carrying kid’s clothing, children’s toys, baby food, and diapers down to a store that offered a greater selection of toys.
  • Subway specializes in the submarine sandwich.

To be the brand that rules your category, these are the five basic steps:
  • Narrow the focus.
  • Stock in depth.
  • Buy cheap.
  • Sell cheap.
  • Dominate the category.

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