A brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus.

Every small town in America has a coffee shop. In larger cities and towns you can often find coffee shops on every other block.

So what can you find to eat in a coffee shop? Everything. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Pancakes, muffins, hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, pie, ice cream, and, of course, coffee.

What did Howard Schultz do? In an incredible burst of business creativity, he opened a coffee shop that specialized in, of all things, coffee. In other words, he narrowed the focus.

Today Schultz’s brainchild, Starbucks, is a rapidly growing chain that does hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of business annually. His company, Starbucks Corp., is worth $8.7 billion ...

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