Yes, it’s a bit crude, I know. But dad’s message snaps you out of your funk, and springs you into action. And I’m often reminded of his words whenever I see a company engaged in straddling.
Straddling occurs when you attempt to occupy two or more positions in the marketplace without the full commitment of your actions. The result of indecision, ignorance or greed, straddling is bad for your business. So here are three darn good reasons why you should avoid such a strategy:
- Straddling dilutes your limited resources. Most small business owners just don’t have the capital necessary to occupy more than one position in the marketplace. Generally speaking, a straddling strategy requires additional advertising, inventory and expertise. And as you know, successful business owners sip their available resources and wisely spend every asset they own.
- Adopting a straddling strategy prevents you from developing a unified vision. What happens when your employees find themselves confronted by conflicting organizational goals and objectives? Do they know which goal bows a knee to the other? Do you? Employees (and your customers) need to know what your company stands for, and what it opposes. Moreover, straddling often sparks conflict between what you are saying and who you are being, which shatters credibility.
- Straddling results in quiet, understated ad copy. Powerful marketing messages make a statement by choosing who to lose. Weak marketing messages attempt to please everyone, and in the end, please no one.
Oh, and one more thing… please don’t justify your straddling strategy by calling it a brand extension.
Let me say this plainly: I’m NOT suggesting there’s never a reason to extend your brand. Nonsense. That’s a decision you may need to make one day. But just remember, a successful brand extension must demonstrate your company’s commitment to the customer with a string of value-based activities.
In other words, $H*! or get off the pot.