We have tones of multi-product companies and websites. We have tones of multinationals who are experiencing difficulties counting their own brands and products. Being successful as a single product company and website is increasingly difficult. One of the solutions is to become a great expert in your filed and show the world it is worth using your services.
We should start with defining what is multi-product and what single product is. And then, we must analyze how you create content that shows you are an expert in a specific field.
We always want to be the best. It is normal and welcome desire. The same applies to any company under the Sun. Let’s take a look at a chart that shows which are the best-regarded companies all over the globe.
Siemens tops the chart, as you can see. But what are the driving forces behind their success? Do they produce one thing? Or do they produce multiple products? Actually, do you really know what Siemens is producing?
Their service offering ranges from building technologies to driving technologies to energy to healthcare to industrial automation. How then they manage to become the best-regarded company as a whole. There is probably a simple answer – they focus on each specific product, not on a single product they produce. In addition, they create content to support their specific effort in each field be it consumer products or industrial equipment.
Let’s now look at the middle of the table where Walt Disney and Carlsberg sit. We all know that Walt Disney is making primarily movies. Well, they do other things as well but we will consider it a single product company that deals with entertainment.
What about Carlsberg? They brew dozens of different beers across tens of countries. But they do not focus on a specific country brand; they focus on creating a unified message to reach them all. In other words, they focus their efforts on creating a message that promotes a single brand, not a dozen different beers they sell across the world.
You can see that most experts believe you are a single product company when more than 95 percent of your income comes from a single product. Actually, you are classified as a single product enterprise if between 70 and 95 percent of your business deals with a single product.
When it comes to a really diversified product offering we have revenue streams where less than 70 percent of your total income is from the so-called dominant business.
Interestingly, if you look at the companies above you will hardly find a one that produces a single product. Then, how do they succeed in offering their product if there are multiple products on the market?
We see a trend here. All of them achieve their ultimate business goal by focusing on a single product or service while developing multiple brands or products. Hence, we have diversification but at the same time, we see these companies focusing on a single product.
Diversification is a good thing but you actually need to specialize in something. That is why every single company from the list is investing lots of efforts into popularizing a single product or service.
Take for example Alphabet, formerly Google, formerly a university dormitory company. Is it a single product company? In addition, where they focus their efforts when it comes to popularizing their service offering?
Well, you probably know that Alphabet owns a search engine called Google. But you probably do not know that they also own a company that makes self-driving cars called Waymo. Did you ever hear them putting Waymo ahead of their main business, which is online search and advertising? Nope, they have diversified their business but have also made every effort to make sure that people do recognize them as very individual businesses.
We must be clear here. You would not believe Google is making cars just because you know they do online search engines. But when they diversify and separate one business from another, the chance is good you will believe a company called Waymo is making good self-driving autos.
So, we come to the conclusion that you need to focus on a single product even though you are providing multiple services or when you are producing a variety of physical goods.
Many content strategists will tell you that you need a content framework that covers both content topics and your calendar. It is for a single product, you know, not for a multi-product company. You cannot cover everything within a single content framework.
The truth is that you need to specialize even if you run a multi-product business. Your content strategy cannot cover a product in general, as it is something out of context, but a specific product or service. Hence, even the multi-product companies must have a content strategy that focuses on each specific product or service they are offering.
Very often leading multi-product and multi-service companies fail to meet the expectations of their prospect and existing customers. Take for example leading companies such as Apple and Microsoft. They both offer multiple products across a variety of business niches. But why then there are websites specializing in providing help and support services for Microsoft’s and Apple’s products.
Very often, you can find better support advice and help service outside the respective sites of Apple or Microsoft. The reason for that is very simple. The multinationals are not investing enough efforts in developing this specific side of their business. Therefore, a website that specializes in providing software and hardware support services has a good chance to have better content if they know what they are doing.
Some of your posts can serve multiple audiences but not all of your content. If I need a specific advice, should I browse thousands of articles to find that my specific problem is not covered?
The difference is that when you focus on creating content for a single purpose, you will most probably win. Offering a wide range of services is not always a good thing. When you specialize, you have the opportunity to create service and content for a very specific niche and audience.
You can still have different customers and target audiences but you provide them with a custom-made service. As strange as it may sound, but complexity can actually kill your sales model.
Let’s take the old-school example of a shoemaker. You can find and buy many uniform pairs of shoes of average quality but you can find a limited number of shoes crafted by hand. And that one craftsman is not producing a wide range of products. Instead, he knows his work and manufactures a couple of models but of extraordinary quality. He might offer an expensive product but one worth buying.
Look, even the most simple insect specializes in something – for good or for bad. The same applies to all the species we see on our planet with the strange exception of the human kind where we witness individuals who develop a variety of skills. Nonetheless, businesses are not human beings and we cannot treat them as such. A business focusing their efforts on creating content or service that serves a specific purpose and audience will probably offer a better service compared to a multi-product company.
The price is also not a differentiator, as the customers are increasingly demanding and knowledgeable. Doing more with less is good practice when it comes creating a product that offers much more than a multi-product company can offer.
Just take a look at the chart above. Netflix is the only company that specializes solely in streaming services as compared to businesses such as Amazon Prime or HBO Now. But they lead the pack when customer satisfaction is concerned.
That is why you should not be afraid to develop a single product website. In the end, if you know your stuff you will end up as a successful service.
There was a time when being an encyclopedist was a good thing. It is not a bad thing to be knowledgeable and educated these days too. However, we have coped too much knowledge and we have expanded into too many fields for a single company or website to be the most trusted source of information. We are now in the age of specialization where a website that focuses on a single product will always know more about the specific niche or market as compared to a multi-product business.