“Jump Start Your Business Brain” by Doug Hall

Doug Hall says you should focus on one "overt" benefit and not try to be all things to all people. The book states that "analysis of four thousand concepts indivdates that the greater the number of benefits promised, the lower your chances of success." People talk about writing marketing copy that emphasizes the benefits and not the features. But Hall goes one step farther: focus on a single, overt benefit. "The more you focus on doing one thing great, the greater your probability of success." He asks why people choose particular restaurants. Usually it’s because they are famous for one dish or specialty. Great restaurants don’t try to be all things to all people. In my case that’s true. The main reason I ever want to go to Ruby River is for their giant coconut shrimp with orange marmelade sause. But we choose these restaurants not just because we are in the mood for their speciality but because by being great in one area, "it sets in our mind a perception of excellence" for each restaurant.

As an entrepreneur, survey your employees and customers to determine what the strongest single perceived benefit you offer–something that really sets you apart. Then focus your marketing materials on that benefit.

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One Comment

  1. Interesting article — I haven’t read the book, but the idea got me thinking.

    Continuing the restaurant metaphor, you still try and sell people drinks and dessert (or, in our case, conversion rate enhancement, or other traffic-generation services). That may even be where you make the bulk of your money. But that’s sales, and that happens after people have chosen to eat at your restaurant.

    Your marketing — the story you tell, the image you present — revolves around one, outstanding thing.

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