Focus Strategy: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:04 Focus!
  • 0:56 What Is Focus Strategy?
  • 1:48 Why Focus Strategy?
  • 3:46 Examples
  • 4:50 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

There are many ways for brands and companies to set themselves apart in a competitive marketing landscape. In this lesson, you will learn more about focus strategy as a marketing tactic.


You established a New Year's resolution for yourself to lose some weight and get in shape. To meet your goals, you've joined a gym, started reading some health and wellness magazines and are on the hunt for the best vitamins and supplements to complement your new eating habits. Are you more likely to visit a big superstore with a variety of options to choose from, or a small retailer with not only very specific product options, but also knowledgeable employees to help you make the best selections? Honestly, you might choose either, right? But, the specialized health store with the very specific vitamins and supplements and the employees who know their stuff is very appealing because its focus is on your specific concerns.

Focus strategy is somewhat like that. It's an approach that hones in on a specific group or product and strives to be the best in that niche.

What Is Focus Strategy?

Focus strategy is a marketing and business concept that was first introduced by Harvard University business professor Michael Porter in the mid 1980s. Porter's generic strategies, as they are called, included three components: cost leadership, differentiation and focus. This lesson deals with the last of the three, focus strategy.

Focus strategy involves targeting your products to a niche market or targeted audience.
Focus strategy involves targeting your products to a niche market or targeted audience.

The idea behind focus strategy is developing, marketing and selling products or services to a niche market, such as a particular type of consumer, a specific product line or a targeted geographical area. The goal of the focus strategy is to become the leader in the determined niche by serving the designated group better than anyone else out there. Your objective in focus strategy is to be the go-to brand or product for the group you're trying to reach.

Why Focus Strategy?

Focus strategy works well for businesses in a number of ways. First, because you're focusing your products and marketing on a very specific audience, you get to know them in a way that makes you better able to understand their needs. Understanding your niche group's needs means you're better able to craft products that you know will be useful, beneficial and, ultimately, purchased by your intended audience.

Focus strategy marketing also enables you to build strong relationships with your target market. Because you're really listening to their needs and concerns, and developing products to address those needs and concerns, buyers typically feel a stronger affinity for your brand and are loyal to you. This means you're developing customers who will support and purchase your products for years, and will likely tell their friends and family about your brand too.

There are other benefits to focus strategy as well. The concept works well in areas where the competition is considered weaker; perhaps a competitor is trying to be all things to all people. By focusing your efforts, you can typically outperform a competitor who is not targeting the niche group as well as you are. Done correctly, customers will come to see you as the leader in a particular product category and will turn to you before a brand with a broader focus.

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