Stick To Your Strengths

I recently had a date night with my daughter. She got to choose a restaurant for us to eat. Her choice: Arby’s. Our orders were fairly simple. Roast beef sandwich variations. But as we ate, several other customers came in. I overheard their orders and the responses from the cashier. It went something like this:

Customer: I’d like a chicken sandwich meal.

Cashier: Do you want breaded, fried, or grilled?

Customer: I guess grilled.

Cashier: Do you want regular fries or curly fries?

Customer: Curly.

Remember the good ol’ days when Arby’s had roast beef sandwiches and potato cakes? Now their menu contains so many choices, it’s mind-boggling. Arby’s isn’t alone. Every restaurant is following this trend. A couple years ago, Hardee’s went through a huge rebranding effort. Their solution was to sell only great hamburgers. But their menu today contains more than just burgers.

Have you bought a candy bar recently? Let’s just look at Reese’s as an example. It used to be you had one choice: Reese’s peanut butter cups. Now they have several variations of peanut butter cups. They also have several other choices.

And what about soft drinks? How many varieties of Mountain Dew are there?

Why have these brands done this? They offer so many choices and seem to be straying from their strengths. It confuses me.

What I find interesting is that many businesses try to do the same thing. Why offer only a few products / services when you can provide everything imaginable? In my opinion, this is a HUGE mistake. Companies should stick to their strengths. Companies should have focus. Companies should try to deliver their products / services better than anyone else. Quit diluting your brand.

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