Companies Built On A Single Product

By Linsey Knerl | October 17, 2010 AAA

Pick a company that's doing well these days, and you can probably name two to 20 different products or divisions that it is responsible for creating. That's because, as a business grows in revenue and stability, there is always the temptation to expand into new product markets. Some brands have done well to stick to what they do best, however, leaving the desire to bring on new product lines to the other guys. These six companies take repetition to a whole new level, offering reliability and quality via a single product concept. (For further reading, check out Trademarks Of A Takeover Target.)
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Crocs
These kinda-ugly, but super-comfy, foam clogs have been a huge hit since they were first released to the public. Over 100 million pairs of the Crocs shoe have been sold to date, and the footwear giant shows no signs of stopping. With a wide variation of the basic clog from which to choose (toddlers, women, men, athletic, dress and beach-inspired, to name a few), the sky really is the limit for this business.

Spanx
In the never-ending battle of the bulge, women have relied heavily on high-quality wear to help make them look their best. Born from the bright idea that by cutting the feet from a pair of panty-hose a woman really can look good under her trousers, Spanx by Sara Blakely is no doubt one of the most respected names in this niche, offering just the bare essentials to women (and men) around the world. While the company has gotten smart in the offering of bras, panties, maternity and men's solutions, its sole purpose is still the same: what goes on under your clothing is entirely Spanx's business.

Michelin
In a day and age where most companies have almost too much going on, Michelin has remained faithful to the cause of strictly manufacturing quality tires. Planes, cars, bikes and more have benefited from over 100 years of tire-making success, giving the creator of the first radial tire a customer base that spans the globe. While this company has dabbled in the fine art of creating rocket fuel components and designing road maps, the famous tire division is what keeps this company moving forward.

Roku
Almost a baby to the consumer market, Roku is an up-and-comer with an innovative solution for the need to connect to the world at the click of our TV remote. Its Roku player is a small electronic box that, when linked to your television and an internet connection, offers access to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and many other entertainment accounts. There's a strong possibility that it may create new and different product lines, as Roku has expanded to include more high-tech versions of its original Roku player. In the meantime, the company knows what it's doing: adding more features to the existing product is what keeps Roku's customers happy. (For more on where tech might be headed, check out 4 Industry-Changing Tech Trends.)

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Gorilla Glue
If it's broken, why not fix it? Gorilla Glue is a handyman's dream, offering a strong bond for almost any surface and a drying time that gives it a top spot in the tool kit. To keep it at the top of the market, Gorilla's DIY guides give customers inspiration for creating the projects of their dreams - with the help of Gorilla Glue, of course. While Gorilla's family-owned company does get into the tape and epoxy game, its famous glue is what keeps it in business.

Select Comfort
The commercials speak for themselves: Select Comfort is all about a good night's sleep, and this company hasn't attempted to do anything but beds and pillows in their over 20 years of business. Best-known for the adjustable Sleep Number mattress, Select Comfort has been consistently ranked a top option for bedding, and offers its wares in-store, online and via its convincing infomercials. Even with an expanding accessory line that includes pillows and sheets, it's the bed that gives this company its thunder.

The Bottom Line
While it is becoming increasingly difficult to find successful companies that keep their product offerings simple, many have proven it to be both effective and profitable to do just that. These flourishing companies know that you don't always need to alter the formula in order to keep thriving in a changing world. (For additional reading, take a look at Investing In Fads.)

For the latest financial news, see Water Cooler Finance: The Beginning Of A Foreclosure Crisis?

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