Al and Laura Ries authored one of the greatest texts on branding that I have read. It is called, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.” The 22 Laws are great guidelines for anyone who is thinking of starting a business, has recently started a business, or is currently involved in a business- yes, everyone. Here I just want to talk about the first two laws. You can find all 22 laws in the book or at the Ries’ website here. The following is taken from the website:
“1. The Law of Expansion: The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope. Trying to be all things to all people undermines the power of the brand. The strength of brands lies in becoming synony-mous with a single category. Brands that spread themselves across categories lose brand focus, identity, and ultimately market share.
2. The Law of Contraction: A brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus. By narrowing the focus to a single category, a brand can achieve extraordinary success. Starbucks, Subway and Dominos Pizza became category killers when they narrowed their focus.”
So what do you think I thought the other day and saw that El Pollo Loco is now serving Sirloin Steak? That’s right. El Pollo Loco, who originally only served grilled chicken is now serving steak. For those who don’t know “Pollo” is “chicken” in Spanish. El Pollo Loco means “The Crazy Chicken.” So why would a chicken restaurant serve steak? As my father said after I told him about this, “That must be one crazy chicken if you can get sirloin steak from it!”