If someone asks what your company does, do you respond by describing your products or services? For example, “We’re a software company.”

Over 60 years ago, Harvard Professor Ted Levitt wrote a breakthrough article – ‘Marketing Myopia’. He warned of the danger of defining what you do based on your current offering. He gave examples of missed opportunities.

In the 1930’s, the largest railroad company in the US did not invest in the fledgling airline industry. They said, “We’re a railroad company!”. Professor Levitt said they missed the point. They weren’t in railroads, they were in transportation.

The movie companies in the 1950’s saw television as a threat. They said, “We’re in the movie business!”. Professor Levitt said they were actually in the entertainment business.

Both the railroad company and the movie industry missed huge growth opportunities.

So, if someone asks what your company does, describe the outcome you help your customers achieve. A railroad company’s outcome – ‘people and packages delivered’. A movie company – ‘people entertained’.

Try this – can you describe what you do for your customers in a single sentence? Without mentioning your products or services.

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