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Your Core Discovery

Every company has that one service, or one product, or one family of services or products that accounts for the majority of its sales, (community, program, or event engagement for non-profits). Here I refer to this product or service as your “core discovery” – a product of your core competency. When you are a well-established organization, it is relatively easy to identify your core discovery. For example:

SEE: Fine Tuning Your Brand

J. Crew, a retailer, sells hundreds of men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. Focusing on the menswear, they make dozens of dress shirts; however, one particular shirt continues to be the favorite. According to head menswear designer Frank Muytegens, the Thomas Mason Point Collar, ($135), became consumers’ favorite because it is, “Masculine but not too heavy, lightweight but not too flimsy. The collar’s not too big, but not too small. It’s tailored, but not too much. (Because) it almost feels like a custom made shirt, (it) justifies the $135 price tag.” In less than 30 years of business, J. Crew has created an image as a premier stop for the upscale preppy look with several core discoveries. In late 2010 it sold for $3 billion.

SEE: Embrace Creative Failure to Realize Your Best

The question remains: how did J. Crew manage to create and then expose their discovery so that they could capitalize on a market opportunity and grow the discovery to where it became a core discovery and one of the main supports of the men’s line?

Frank Muytegens implies that it is a combination of teamwork, time and attention to detail, (nail the details), as well as feedback (figure out why it worked). While many of us may never build a billion dollar company or foundation we can certainly learn and adapt the success stories of those who have.

About the Author

Maisha Smart, MBA founded Finance and Marketing to help small businesses excel, by bridging the gap between finance and marketing processes. Some of her favorite activities include fine arts, a good debate, and social engagement.

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