10 Surprising Brand Winners of 2011

LinkedIn Carved a Niche
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10. LinkedIn Carved a Niche

With Facebook and Google vying to be champions of social networking, you'd think there would be scant room for a competitive product. But you'd think wrong: By remaining focused purely on business folks, LinkedIn established itself as the go-to site for recruiting, job hunting, and developing sales contacts. The strategy paid off with an IPO that rivaled dot-com debuts of yore.

Lesson: Know your niche, and stay there.