Marketing idea no. 184 – Can you define your business?

Its like what they say in high school essays. If you cant tell what what you are doing, then chances are you dont really know what you are doing.

Do you know what you are doing? Let me re-phrase that. Do you what business you are in?

There are some famous examples of how businesses are defined in interesting ways. Revlon famously said that they are not in the business of selling lipstick. They are in the business of selling hope. Castrol said they are not in the business of selling oil. They are in the business of selling liquid engineering consultancy. Xerox dont define them as the photocopy machine supplying company. They are the ultimate document providing company.

But the most famous example of them all is the one Ray Kroc, CEO, provided of McDonalds. When he asked people while taking a session what do they think McDonalds business is, the obvious answer was on the tip of the tongue “Hamburger”. But Ray Kroc said no of course. According to him McDonalds is in real estate business. The location and number of real estate company that they hold makes Mcdonalds the biggest and most lucrative real estate holding company in the world. In fact in terms of number of acres of land that one company holds, McDonalds is the biggest in the world, surpassing even The Roman Catholic Church.

So what lessons can we draw from this? We know how not to rest upon the obvious answers. Try to find out the DNA of your business, the hidden opportunities or assets that you possess. Because just like how you educate a baby ensures his future growth – how you define your business often paves the way towards how your business will grow.

1 Comment
  1. I have an Indian friend who calls himself an SME, works in an international software development firm called AmDocs. When asked what SME is, he said Subject Matter Expert. Upon investigating further, it was known that he is a programmer. So far away from the Small and Medium Enterprise idea that struck my mind initially. Well thanks for the post, we will also rethink why we are doing what we are doing and how best to articulate that.

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