January 18, 2020

Do you “specialize” in a dozen things?

Sent by Jonathan Stark on January 18th, 2020

Fellow list member Derek Wakeen wrote in with this soggy positioning statement (shared with permission):

Hi Jonathan, I was researching design firms today and happen to read an incredibly generalized Services statement from an LA-based team’s website - thought I’d share the irony for a good laugh: “Agency name” is a digital marketing agency specializing in, Brand Strategy, Trade Shows, Set Design/Construction, Web and App Development, Motion Pictures, Content Marketing, Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Marketing Automation, Advertising Campaigns, User Interface Design, and Photography. I’m still niching down myself, so not pointing fingers - but this model of ’specialized full-service’ really is crazy. That said, I would have little to no faith in any of their services. Thanks for the great content as always. Take care. —Derek

K, lemme get this straight… they specialize in thirteen disciplines including practices as diverse as brand strategy AND app development AND set construction? C’mon...

I mean, maaaaaybeeee they have a few hundred employees who individually can, in fact, do a world class job at each of these things, but… I wouldn’t bet on it.

Here’s the thing…

Specializing is a great way to increase your profits (i.e., make more money without working more hours). But specializing requires focus. Focus means saying no to a million things. If you’re “specialized” in a laundry list of items, you’re kidding yourself.