I know I said no blogging today but I had to write about this.
In Seth’s post, he talks about businesses stretching themselves into too many areas and how that can water down people’s expectations and emotional response. By doing this, you also water down your brand. He lists AOL as an example, and I think it’s a perfect one for me.
AOL was my first window into the internet. It was the way into this brave new virtual world and for me, AOL was the only way into that world. Chat rooms, e-mail, message boards, websites. It was all so new and there was so much information out there. AOL made internet access easy, reliable and affordable.
Then competition began to spring up. AOL’s answer seemed to be to branch out into as many internet related things as possible. Soon they weren’t doing anything well. The brand slowly began to sour for me as I discovered there were cheaper, and faster alternatives. What I wanted from my internet company was access. That’s it. AOL became more about ads and trying to be everything to everyone than it did about simple, affordable and reliable access. Because of this, my expectations dropped, and my emotional response soured.
Now, I’m not sure what AOL is like. However, I have a company that gives me fast, reliable and affordable access so the odds of me ever trying AOL again are between slim and none.
So the question becomes have you over extended your business? Would you make more money if you focused on being truly great to a few people or being mediocre to a lot of people?
What about your church? I think many churches suffer because they try to be everything to everyone. You need to set up a core set of things you do with excellence and acknowledge that you won’t be the church everyone needs.