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Positioning a Tech Startup: Finding the Secret Sauce

March 2, 2011

The art and science of positioning a technology startup starts by identifying the key differentiators upon which a startup can stake its unique product claims.  Like the formula to Coca Cola that’s locked up in a bank vault somewhere in Atlanta, the secret sauce is one of the keys to being able to create a successful company.

At Crowded Ocean, whenever we get stuck trying to crystallize the positioning of a startup during the Foundation phase of our engagement, sometimes we can get unstuck by putting the product, sales and demo experts in the same room together.  Call it an intervention.

Sometimes it’s the product guy who can explain it.  Sometimes it’s the sales guy who knows it.  It almost always involves the demo guy who really lives it.  Getting those three disciplines in a room together can help marketing guys like us to get to the heart of the matter and to identify the unique ingredients with a name that works hard to help define a startup’s unique selling proposition.

No successful marketing launch will take off if your claims are me-too, blah-blah or that list of bullets that effectively tells the market:  keep listening, our value is in there somewhere.  So make sure you can name your secret sauce.  And make sure the name of your secret sauce isn’t just a mysterious ingredient.  And if you need help finding it, try an intervention.

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