What Business Are You In?


How to Sell What Your Customers Want

It’s no longer good enough to say, “I’m a printer.” “I’m a doctor.” “We sell men’s clothing.” Today’s social, mobile and digital revolution means even the most successful companies and businesses, no matter what their size, have to redefine what business they’re in from their customers’ perspective. Here’s a step-by-step guide to determining what you really need to know to answer the most important question facing your company’s future. Download the Amazon Single today!



Chances are you don’t know what business you’re in. Yes, you know what you do or what you sell. But that no longer defines what business you’re in. In this age of global economy and commoditization of products and services, it’s no longer good enough to say, “I’m a printer.” “I’m a doctor.” “I sell men’s clothing.” Today, the most successful companies and businesses—from Fortune 500 to corner Mom and Pop stores—are the ones who have challenged themselves to redefine or reaffirm what business they’re in. Not from their perspective, but from their customers’ perspective…the only point of view that really matters!

So you think Starbucks is in the coffee business? Well then how do you explain the food and snacks for sale in every store? And the newspapers they sell? And the CD’s at the cash register? And the free wi-fi? And the comfy wing-back chairs? And the wine and beer they’re adding in test markets? Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t have any of that stuff—and they sell more coffee than anyone else in the world. What’s all that Starbucks stuff got to do with selling coffee? Answer: Nothing. Because Howard Schultz knows Starbucks isn’t in the coffee business. What Howard Schultz knows is that Starbucks is in the experience business. It’s “The Third Place.” That’s their real business. Starbucks is an environment you’ll feel comfortable in. A place where you’ll want to stop off after leaving home (The First Place) or after leaving work (The Second Place) or just to take a break from either one of those places. A cozy, inviting environment where you can have as much time as you want to decompress between your other places.

Or take American Express. Think they’re in the credit card business? Well then how do you explain their concierge service? Or their couponing application with Foursquare? Or the special deals they make with concert promoters allowing Amex members to buy tickets before they go on sale to the general public? What’s that got to do with being in the credit card business? Very little. That’s because American Express isn’t in the charge card or credit card business. It’s in the business of being “The Digital Wallet.” It’s their goal to put an American Express transaction between you and everything you do digitally in your life.

No matter how big or how small you are, we’ll show you what you really need to know and what you have to figure out. We’ll show you how to elevate your brand or business to a definition and deliverable that will thrive in the marketplace.

Whether you market digitally, through traditional media, through social media, through direct response…no matter how you reach out to your audience, you’ll come to understand that this is the most important question you have to answer in order to have any chance of success in today’s economy: What Business Are You In?