When many things are equal: your features, your customers, your products, your product roadmap, it’s often hard to differentiate.
Often, I’m getting pitched during briefings by White Label Social Network vendors they’ll often advance to a quadrant slide (almost always in the first quarter of the deck) and their almost always on the right hand top quadrant, using parameters they’ve selected. I’ll frequently ask them to tell me ‘how they are different’, only then, does the conversation get interesting. Of course, I already see stratification in this industry, with differentiation on product offerings.
This is not an endorsement for Jive Software, I’m simply commenting on the marketing efforts that they deploy to stand out from the very crowded marketplace (80-100 competitors, with more on the way). It’s also only a reflection of my perspective, I’ve not done a formal survey to brands to ask them what they think.
With that said, if you take a look at how Jive has been marketing themselves, they clearly stand out. Their VP of Marketing blogs, he ‘s part of the conversation in Twitter, and he tells stories that are intended to relate (whether they do or not is unknown) to corporate clients using imagery, storytelling, and icons.
But does it work? Maybe it gets attention, maybe it starts a conversation with those that are pained, but it doesn’t necessarily impact the product, service, and delivery of products. One thing is for sure, it’s significant enough to get me to tell you all about it.
When your market is one sea of gray, and underneath the corporate color scheme you’re all very similar, what are you going to do to standout? This applies to not just your company, but you as a future colleague or employee.