Quick Tips to Focus, Find, Keep and Grow: The Dilemma of Focusing on Products or Markets

By Andrew J. Birol, President, Birol Growth Consulting, Inc.

As soon as a business becomes successful, an age-old question is sure to arise. Should we focus on products and brands or markets and customer segments? Here are a few guidelines:

It is better to focus on products and brands when:

  • Products are in the development stage and need attention to succeed
  • Standardizing what you make and sell will increase gross margins
  • Your business is contracting and overhead is to blame
  • Your sales efforts are not consultative and don’t need to be


It is better to focus on markets and customer segments when:

  • Customizing what you offer to customers will grow markets and profits
  • When there is clear opportunity to penetrate accounts by meeting more of their needs
  • When your sales efforts are focused on a few, identifiable market segments
  • When these markets have real differences that can produce profits greater than the cost of customization


While mature organizations often shift their focus every few years, a few critical questions are timeless. It is always important to
objectively assess the costs and profits of your existing focus and what your market place is really demanding. Often, there is opportunity for aligning your efforts with their needs.

Articles by Birol Growth Consulting are © copyrighted and all rights are reserved. However, articles may be reprinted with prior written consent if attribution is included as follows:

© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at  (412) 973-2080, by email at abirol@andybirol.com, or on the web at www.andybirol.com.


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