Think back to high school…
The summer after your freshman year. What were you doing? What was your summer like?
Me? I started my first official job. I started working at Chick-fil-A.
It was the early 1990s. I was 15.
This was before cash registers were digitized, which meant I had to learn every item on the menu.
Every. Single. Item.
Drinks. Fries. Biscuits. Salads. Sandwiches. Brownies. Pie. Everything.
A chicken sandwich was $2.20.
A Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich costs a lot more than that today, but…
It’s the same chicken sandwich.
In fact, their menu has hardly changed in the past 20 years.
You can get your chicken fried, grilled, or spicy. On a sandwich, as nuggets, or in a wrap. But you still get chicken.
No hamburgers. Hotdogs. Tacos. Double decker stacks. Or crazy toppings.
And they’re crushing it.
In fact, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index Restaurant Report 2015, Chick-fil-A is ranked the highest fast food restaurant in the nation for customer satisfaction.
“It is laser focused on a particular product,” said Forrest Morgeson, director of research at ACSI. “It focuses on one thing and does it exceptionally well … and that is chicken sandwiches.”
What’s more, this is their debut on the list. And, their score is the highest that has ever been achieved in the category.
Here’s the takeaway:
When you stay focused on one thing, you can do it very well. You can master it. Then you’re free to spend your efforts servicing your customers.
When you’re constantly trying to manage and improve a large number of products and services, it drains your energy. Energy that’s not being used to service your customers and grow your business.
On top of that, when you’re great at doing a few things well, you make fewer mistakes and you can take advantages of economies of scale.
They only fly Boeing 737s. One type of jet. Most airlines are operating 10 or more.
They only have to train mechanics for one type of plane. They only need extra parts and inventory for one type of plane. All crews are familiar with each and every plane. And they can switch planes at the drop of a hat.
The planes are set. Once that’s out of the way, they can focus on customer service. Just like Chick-fila-A.
This isn’t new. It’s one of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. (which, if you haven’t read, you should. Now!)
According to Al Ries and Jack Trout, “the most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind”. When you own a word, no other business can take that word from you. You force them to compete for another word.
According to Ries and Trout, BMW owns “Drive”, Domino’s owns “Home Delivery”, and Pespi owns “Youth”.
Today, Nissan owns “Shift”. FedEx owns “overnight”. Walmart owns “low prices”.
Chick-fil-A owns “chicken sandwich”.
Dunkin Donuts used to own “Donut”, but they’ve muddied the waters with their attempt to build a coffee brand and serve a variety of breakfast items.
IBM used to own “personal computer”, but they didn’t focus.
Companies that stay focused win.
Apple. Krispy Kreme. GoPro.
Having a narrow focus, offering limited options, or focusing on a niche can be a game changer.
Know who came in second, after Chick-fil-A, in the ACSI report? Chipotle.
Know why? They have “a limited menu and high degree of meal customization”.
A limited menu!
It’s not easy to stay focused. As I mentioned last week, most businesses fail to be unique and stand out because they’re afraid.
When you limit your offering, you worry that you’re turning people away who may want something else.
If you want a good burger, you’re not going to Chick-fil-A.
On the flipside, where can you get a good burger? Two dozen places? Where can you get a good chicken sandwich? Chick-fil-A.
If you’re great at roasting coffee. Roast coffee. Great at designing logos? Design logos. Great at organizing corporate offices. Organize.
But don’t offer everything you possibly could. Do what you’re great at. Get better. Be the best.
And crush it!
Tool of the Week
Here’s a comprehensive Local SEO Checklist to make sure you’ve done all you should to maximize your traffic from local search.
Need to show your site or goods as a Mockup on multiple devices? Graphicriver.net has a great Mockup template that you can download for free.
In addition, Themeforest.net has a great looking WooCommerce Fashion Theme that’s free.
A Big List
In Case You Missed It
Brian Dean, of the fast-growing site Backlinko.com, recently updated a fantastic blog post and case study on how he increased search traffic by 110% in 14 days.
Last Week’s Top 10
You waste time every day on Facebook. It’s ok. I won’t tell anyone. The question is…
Is your business wasting time on Facebook? Odds are, it is. In fact, here are 10 ways your brand is wasting time on Facebook.
Wasting time is bad. Quit it.
2. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
One way to make great use of your time on Facebook is with a Facebook group. Listen to this Social Media marketing podcast where Jared Easley talks about how he has used Facebook groups to launch a major business and conference.
3. Dr. Feelgood
It doesn’t matter how much traffic you send to your website if people are bouncing left and right. When readers don’t feel good, they bounce. They leave.
That’s why copywriting is so important…
“Discomfort is the mother of all conversion killers.” – Barry Feldman
Unfortunately, copywriting still seems to take a backseat to other, more glamorous but less important activities. It shouldn’t. Copywriting is very powerful. Here’s a great Slideshare on Copywriting for Conversion.
4. Pin This
Need some Pinterest inspiration? Check out how these 5 small businesses are rocking Pinterest.
5. Made From Scratch
What are you waiting for? Sometimes we need a reminder, a little inspiration, that we don’t have to wait or take a long time to get stuff done. Just so happens I recently came across just such a reminder.
Learn how a small team built an ecommerce business from scratch and generated $922.16 in revenue in 3 days.
6. I Spy
I typically warn business owners, executives, and marketers about copying what other businesses are doing. It’s usually hard to tell what’s working and what’s not.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of what’s going on. Competitive analysis can be extremely valuable. Here’s how to learn from your competitors without copying them.
7. The Doors
Speaking of blogging and promotion. One key to getting noticed, getting links, and building traffic to your site is by commenting on popular blogs. But not just any comment.
As with most digital marketing tactics, there are some tips and tricks you need to be aware of. Check out this very detailed and informative guide to writing comments that open doors with popular bloggers.
8. Tag Team
Focusing on one marketing channel isn’t always enough. To get the results you want, sometimes you need to tag team.
ChefSteps, a company that seeks to transform how people cook at home, increased their email list size by 600% in one year by combining a paid Facebook strategy with regular email communications.
9. Pyramid Scheme
Your website needs a good content foundation. Near the top of your content pyramid (think about your navigation), you need high-quality, cornerstone content. These are the pieces of content on which the rest of your content marketing strategy is built.
The folks at Yoast do a great job of explaining what type of content should be a cornerstone piece, and how you can incorporate cornerstone content into your site.
10. Stay On Target
One of the biggest issues with digital marketing is that everything is new. You’re creating content, sharing, posting, and promoting. But is it working? Are you making progress?
Well, I have good news. When it comes to starting a blog, I found 5 realistic benchmarks for your first year.
And well, if you’re beyond your first year, you should check out these 5 stages of blog growth and how your traffic tactics should change as you grow.
But regardless of how long you’ve been blogging, keep going and stay focused!