I don't think I know any toy store owners who didn't like the movie Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium starring Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman. It immediately made my top 5 list of all-time favorite movies.
For me, the beauty was in the name of his store which described what he sold with ultimate clarity. Mr. Magorium did not sell toys. He sold Wonder. Pure and simple, unadultered Wonder.
I'm pretty sure that after a couple hundred years in business, Mr. Magorium knew a thing or two about branding, too.
I am not in the business of selling toys. I sell Nostalgia, Education, Assistance and Smiles.
I am not in the business of selling baby products. I sell Nostalgia, Education, Assistance and Smiles.
And when I recognize that, it makes it easier for me to choose what products to fill the store. Does the product fulfill my goal of selling Nostalgia, Education, Assistance and Smiles? If so, on the shelf it will go.
The easiest way to keep from being boxed into a corner is to change your thinking from what products you sell to what ideals you sell. Products are fickle and have limited shelf life. But ideals and values are lasting and unchanging. More importantly, ideals and values attract customers who share those ideals and values, customers who will become loyal followers and evangelists for your business because you speak to their heart.
That is the true essence of branding and the true brilliance behind Mr. Magorium's WONDER Emporium.
He sells Wonder. What do you sell?
PS For more about branding and core values, download my FREE eBook Understanding Your Brand and the accompanying Worksheets. It may be the most worthwhile exercise you do for your business.