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01/14/2008

Philosophy of "Narrow and Deep"

Recently I watched an interview on CNBC Asia Market with Jeremy Moon, founder and CEO of Icebreaker. Yes the same Icebreaker I mentioned in my last entry. Apart from the interview being absolutely fantastic and interesting it had a link to the entry "Ethics in Marketing".

One of the things that were most interesting was Jeremy Moon mentioning strategy of "Narrow and Deep". I don't know if it's an Icebreaker thing or not, but that's besides the point. This philosophy means establishing relationships that are very close, family like and long lasting. As Jeremy said "... this way it makes no sense for them to screw us and for us to screw them...". This philosophy in terms of relationship penetrates basically to all partnerships Icebreaker establishes.

But it's not just person-to-person philosophy and it's not one-dimensional. This approach is towards suppliers, retailers, third party partners, employees. It's also a philosophy penetrating the very subject of business in trying to focus and in fact focusing not only on one thing, but on one niche thing and I would maybe go even further in saying supra-niche field.

The most fascinating thing I see on this philosophy is that "Narrow and Deep" in the Icebreaker understanding is actually a tool aiding to fill up the cup of ethics in business and marketing. I guess this would be best described by another of Jeremy's quote:

Q: Are you thinking about listing the company?
A: No, I'm not doing it for the market, I have an obligation to fill towards the growers, retailers, employees... I love my job.