Magnetic featured in the famous display advertising landscape map
If you're familiar with the display advertising industry (or any digital media companies for that matter) then you've probably seen LUMA Partners / Terry Kawaja's landscape slides. Look who's included in that little corner of the map called DMP's and Data Aggregators...
Yes, that's Magnetic, founded by Josh Shatkin-Margolis and branded by Bureau Blank. Thanks Terry. Check out the project here.
We first saw Tarry Kawaja and LUMA Partners' LUMAScapes back in 2010, they're only becoming more relevant as time goes on (here's an artical about the Social Media one from Business Insider) and they're even getting knocked off by other financial firms...
As the tech start-up world heats up, one of the most challenging aspects of launching a successful company that we've seen is differentiation. When your industry looks the way these slides do how do you first signal and then clearly articulate to customers, partners, and stakeholders how you're unique?
We recommend a few critical tactics, some of which may go against many startups instincts or logic:
Positioning is about occupying a space in the mind of your consumer. It has to be a space that is either unoccupied by competitors or that you create out of thin air. Decide where your opening is or how you'll create one and then align all of your communications to reinforce your ownership of that position.
Naming and language
What you name your company, your products, and the way you talk and write about each of them has enormous power to either make you blend in or stand out. Take a look at your competitors both direct and indirect and you'll probably notice major trends in everything from what they call themselves to the buzzwords they use to describe what they do or what makes them best. Speaking in a different tone of voice and using different words can make a huge impact when it comes to being heard.
As with language if you look at your industry (and Terry's LUMAScapes are a great example) you'll probably see a ton of repetition and homogeneity. Don't assume that because you're part of an industry you need to look like all your peers. Just because your product deals with video doesn't mean you need a play button in your logo. Or, that because the competition has a complex info-graphic-map-animation showing how their product works that you should put the time and money into building one too. Don't focus on emulation and catching up; tell your story with clear, simple, and meaningful words and visuals that will resonate with your audience, not mimic your industry.