Be Known for Something

Is Your Business a “Go To” Place for Something? Just one thing? You should be. This and Two Other Golden Rules to Do Business By.

Bryan Carter, "be known for something."
Bryan Carter, “be known for something.”
One of the keys to business success, start-up and otherwise, is to be known for something, just one, single something. It allows you to specialize rather than be simply categorized.

Rule Number One: Be known for something

Five Guys is known for burgers and fries. Abner’s is known for chicken. Batteries Plus is known for batteries! By being known for a thing, a business can accelerate its market presence more than with any other single strategy. It allows businesses like Batteries Plus to compete with category stores like Walmart. That is not to say that Walmart is not successful or known for anything. Walmart spends a lot of money pushing the message of low prices. McDonald’s is undeniably the fast food king. However, it is not known for a single item, such as hamburgers. They promote fast food items from salad to fish to wraps to McRib Sandwiches. Category businesses are known for more general attributes such as price, speed or convenience. Again, by being known for a single thing a business can more easily draw business from category leaders.

Rule Number Two: Just because you can do something does not mean you should.

If you are regularly in the company of entrepreneurs, then you know how many creative ideas flow from their innate inspiration and natural ability to take concepts and craft businesses. Over a beer or a cup of coffee, commercial empires are conceptualized and put to rest within a conversation.

While an entrepreneur’s enthusiasm for new business ventures is a fundamental strength, when it cannot be contained, it is also an Achilles heal. A typical scenario that plagues a start-up business happens after the initial concept for the business begins executing. As soon as the business begins to shift to operational mode, the entrepreneurial spirit rises up and threatens to break the “Be known for something” rule. Call it creativity or boredom, but whatever it is that takes hold, the entrepreneur’s mind begins to think up more ways to make money and wants to promote the new ideas alongside the “one big thing”. Diversifying the business’s “known for” begins to push the business into the unspecific world of category, where it is extremely difficult to compete.

Rule Number Three: Know your lead and your follow.

Just because you are known for one thing, it does not mean that is all you do. Any business is going to have complementary products or services. Complementary products and services are a benefit to the customer and in many cases complete the business model. However, just because you have complementary products and services does not mean you should dilute your “known for.”

Always lead with your big thing and follow with your other products or services. Don’t dilute your message. Instead, add value with your “follow” messages, products and services.

Stick to your guns, business owners and marketing directors. Stay with your one big thing. Be excellent at it. Be known for it. Let it rev your business’s engine and give you the edge and advantage that helps propel you to success.

Bryan Carter is the Managing Partner at, a marketing and technology company located on Lake Harbour Drive in Ridgeland, Mississippi that specializes in online marketing and website services, and of course, offers many complementary services.