Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's all about the Focus

This past month I signed my first client, an accomplishment which I am very proud of. This client is a life coach that works mostly with parolees reentering the population. Personally, I believe that is very cool and I know that in this city, reentries are the largest immigrating group to the city, at almost 2500 per year. Unfortunately, many go back to the same neighborhoods and the same situations they were in before, so most are definately a need for some coaching and support.

When my client approched me, he said that he wanted to take his business to the next level. To him, that meant casting a wider net to help as many people as he could, possibly packaging some of his lessons to a cd or dvd format.

I explained to him that in order to gain a competitive advantage, he must position himself correctly. He needs to focus on the reentry group and own that smaller market. If he owns the market, he will soon own the word. Then people will hear the words prison, jail and reentry and will immeadiately think of him. I'm positive that if he stays the course, this will happen because he is first to the "Reentry Life Coaching" category in Rochester.

Despite my advice, I get the sense that he is still worried about the size of the market. The funny thing about focus is that when you focus your position, you broaden your appeal. If the public finds out about the great work he does, they will be drawn to his service. I think about when Pepsi positioned itself against Coke with its "the choice of a new generation" campaign to try to appeal to a younger audience. This was an extremely successful position because they hooked the young people, and also older people, who wanted to feel young by drinking Pepsi. The more focused approach, the greater the appeal.

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