I was reading the New York Times this past Wednesday and ran across a front page article called In Newark, the Mayor’s Crusade Gets Personal. It’s a great story about how Mayor Cory Booker of Newark finds time to be a “big brother to three young men from some of the toughest streets.” In the article, he’s quoted as saying to one of the boys:
Life is about focus. What you focus on, you become. If you focus on nothing, you become nothing.
If he wasn’t a mayor, he could have been a management consultant. His words are as powerful in a corporate setting as I hope they are for the boys that he mentors.
My take: To master Experience-Based Differentiation , firms need a lot of focus. They need to hone in on target markets; they need to design experiences for specific behavioral-based segments (see this post: Words Of Wisdom: Stanley Marcus On Customers As People); they need to identify the key elements of their brand (see this post: Firms Need Some Soul Searching) ; and they need to consistently set priorities based on all of those areas of focus.
But, all too frequently, firms don’t have the discipline to get that focused. The firms that attempt to do all things for all people, end up serving no-one particularly well.
The bottom line: Focus, focus, focus!