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  • Writer's pictureEdwina Walker

SPANX You Very Much: Making Millions from 1 Product

For the past several months I’ve really been intrigued by the idea of the single-product business model. While going through some client accounts with my partner and discussing sales strategy, we realized that the bulk of some of our clients’ sales (on average about 30%) actually come from a small handful, or even 1-2, products. Some people for good reason may see this as a bad thing, others see it as a positive. Either way, I see it as something worth exploring. And thus began my quest to understand the single-product business model.

One-product businesses are companies that focus on selling a single product or service. The appeal of one-product businesses lies in their ability to focus all their efforts on perfecting a single product or service. This allows them to develop a deep understanding of their product, its market, and its customers. By specializing in a niche area, they can often create a product that is better than what their larger competitors offer, and differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.

Another advantage of one-product businesses is that they are often easier to scale than more complex businesses. Because they have a clear focus, they can quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs. They can also invest all their resources in improving their product, rather than trying to manage multiple products or services. There are some inherent risks to single-product businesses. They are highly dependent on the success of their single product, which can be a major liability if that product becomes obsolete, loses popularity…or just flops in the marketplace. They may also struggle to compete with larger businesses that have more resources and can afford to invest in multiple products or services.

Some examples of single-product businesses and brands that we all know are both Spanx and Crocs. Both of these multimillion dollar companies now sell multiple products but they both started off selling just one SINGLE thing: the original Spanx and the original Crocs. In my research I really wanted to understand what was at the core of the success of these two brands, and in both cases the answer was “a strong brand identity”---meaning that they invested heavily in their messaging, targeting, and positioning. For Spanx it was that their shapewear was the best and most innovative shapewear on the market. For Crocs it was that their shoe was the only shoe that could be worn both in water and on land, and that was comfortable, durable and affordable.

Looking at the examples of both Crocs and Spanx, it’s clear to see that the single-product business model is viable, IF you’re willing to invest in your BRANDING. And of course your marketing because a product is only as good as the marketing system behind it. If you already have a business that doesn’t follow the single-product model, I still feel like there’s a lesson that can be extrapolated and leveraged in your sales/marketing strategy, especially if your business is still young. That lesson is that it may be advantageous to have your e-com store sales carried by one product, or a small handful of products, so that you can hyper-focus your efforts and scale much more easily. If you make 10K selling 1 product or you make 10K selling 10 products, you’ll still end up with 10K..right? Why not sell smart instead of hard, and focus on selling the product(s) with least resistance, i.e. the most demand and sales?

We speak to and have worked with so many entrepreneurs who fall in love with executing their business the way they WANT to and buying the inventory that THEY like, instead of focusing on understanding their numbers and leveraging those analyses into their growth strategies. If the numbers show that the vast majority of customers and site visitors like 1-2 products, why not focus on marketing that product the most and buying the most inventory for that particular product? As one business owner I spoke to said, “instead of looking for new products to sell, I focus on finding new ways to sell my best-selling products.” Brilliant.

Until your e-com company is big enough to be able to afford a well-rounded team to assist with all the many moving parts of any business, I feel it’s best to follow the K.I.S.S. rule –KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID lol. Don’t overcomplicate things and potentially find yourself with stagnant inventory. Understand your numbers, analyze your numbers, and USE your numbers to devise marketing/sales strategies that will get you where you want to go in your business as effectively and efficiently as possible.

If you have an e-com store that sells products to women and you’re looking for a qualified agency to run your ads, we’d love to talk to you. Click this link to book a consultation with us today! Link:

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