All of your products and services should reinforce your core focus.

Most businesses or not-for-profit organisations will provide a range of products or services, but always ensure you maintain a focus on your core business.

Understanding your core focus, and the strengths that you deliver better than competitors, lets you build a sustainable base for your business or organisation. Through your core focus you will be able to identify the key points that differentiate yourself from your competitors. These aspects should form the basis of your marketing communications, enabling you to leverage these differences and demonstrate why they are of value.

Regardless of industry, all businesses and not-for-profit organisations will have at least one other competitor. Businesses need to consider what alternatives exist to their product or service, while not-for-profit organisations need to recognise that stakeholders can invest their time or funds in other organisations.

Your core focus should enable you to develop ongoing interest from customers and stakeholders, encouraging repeat purchases or recommendations. Building loyalty demonstrates that there is recognition into the value of your core focus.

All of your products and services should reinforce your core focus.

Your products and services should reinforce your core focus.

While you may introduce other products or services, they should complement your core focus and reinforce points of differentiation.

As an example, Apple maintains a core focus on style, which began through its iMac range and continued through the introduction of new products, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad. While each of these products focus on different needs and have differing target markets, the core focus on style and simplicity has remained. This base enabled Apple to enter new markets, while leveraging its existing strengths.

Similarly, understanding your core focus lets you consider opportunities, while maintaining your key point of differentiation.

Even Nintendo, which began as a playing card company, had several ventures that failed, (including taxis and food) until the company recognised its core focus is entertainment. Understanding this core strength, enabled Nintendo to enter the toy industry and family entertainment through its gaming consoles.

New products or services should solidify the foundations that have been established through your core focus. Entering unconnected areas, can spread resources too thinly, resulting in diminished outcomes.

Alex Makin

Author Alex Makin

In a career spanning over fifteen years, Alex has been instrumental in transforming, reinvigorating and growing the capacity of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a visionary who understands the big picture. Alex's expertise is a Certified Practising Marketer and as Chair of the Victorian State Council of the Australian Marketing Institute. Alex is also an accomplished speaker, author and mentor and former Mayor and Councillor for the City of Maroondah.

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