Sunday, May 04, 2008

Marketing Success in a Down Economy #10 - Shrink Your Menu and Promote Your Signature Dish

Chef Gordon Ramsey hosted a show called Kitchen Nightmares in which he visited failing restaurants and acted as a troubleshooter to help improve the establishments in just one week. I observed two key issues that appeared to be foundational problems at almost every restaurant he worked to turn around:

1) The restaurant had far too many offerings on the their menu -- in trying appeal to every taste bud that might possibly walk through the door the menus were bloated and chefs were overwhelmed.

2) The restaurants were not known for a signature dish or cuisine -- their brand was mediocrity and bland food instead of being "the best place to go for __________".

This is an important marketing lesson for professional services providers in the midst of a down-market. It is so much easier to be well-known for one thing than it is to be kind-of-known for a bunch of stuff.

My suggestion is that you figure out your firm's foundational expertise and get rid of every other offering on your menu. Your marketing efforts and budget will go a lot further and produce significantly better ROI. And if you've lost sight of what your foundational expertise is just ask your best clients. They will tell you what you're good at.

This is my last post in this series on marketing in a down market. I hope you have found some kernel to chew on. I am always grateful to get your thoughts and ideas and am happy to publish your good ideas here for all to share.

(Return to Marketing Success in a Down Economy index)

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