Sushi and Donuts

I’m a Red Sox fan. Not a crazy fanatical fan but not a fair-weather fan either. If I had to be more specific, I suppose I fall somewhere in between liking them because I used to live in Boston and painting my face before going to a game. I know that’s a pretty wide spectrum, but it’s really not all that important. Anyway, I currently live right outside New York City, which is enemy territory if you are a Red Sox fan. Every year or so my family and I head out to Boston in an effort to walk on friendly soil for a few days with the hopes remembering why I put myself through this torture every baseball season.

A few years ago we were heading down to Faneuil Hall which is this outdoor marketplace that we always end up at. On our way we passed a store front for a Dunkin Donuts that also sold Sushi. Now, I know what you are thinking…why did it take so long to form these two forces of deliciousness into one meal? While you are licking your lips, the rest of us normal people are still scratching our heads trying to see the logic in this.

If you really wanted a donut, would you buy it from a place that also sold raw fish? I’m thinking probably not. If you wanted sushi, would you buy it from a place that also sold donuts? Me neither. Instead you have created this bizarro world of eateries that no one can seem to trust and by the looks of the empty establishment I’m not alone in my thinking here.

Now, this is a pretty obvious example of an unfocused brand gone horribly wrong, but is it possible that you are selling sushi and donuts too? Are you confusing potential clients and customers by branding yourself in an array of questionably related products and services all in the name of being able to scratch any proverbial itch? Well, if you are a local hair salon that also offers travel agency services (an actual store in California) then yes, it is safe to say that your brand has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or whatever hip new label doctors are using these days.

Lucky for you there is a simple fix. Just get rid of the extra stuff that doesn’t compliment your core business! You could remove it altogether or if you are hell bent on keeping it, put it under a different name and separate the two as if they were completely separate businesses. If your initial reaction is a fear of losing the additional income from that service, don’t worry. Focusing on your core business (i.e. the stuff you like to do and do very well) will make your business that much stronger which will ultimately show in your numbers! Trust me! I started out offering website design and t-shirt printing. The t-shirt printing side of the business ultimately lost and I couldn’t be happier about it because it has helped me focus on Internet marketing over the years and become an authority in the field.

Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule which I welcome you to share in the comments below of course. The one that comes to my mind is Richard Branson and Virgin which has dozens and dozens of companies from travel to music to finance to mobile and even space exploration. It’s like sushi and donuts on steroids. With that said, if you are a multi-multi-billionaire and you are reading this, you can pretty much disregard this post…best if you get back to whatever it is you were doing.