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  • Sometimes You Hide, So They Can Find You

    There’s a lot of noise on the internet: even startups with truly valuable, even unique offerings are having trouble finding an audience: a new enterprise seems to drown under the tidal wave of choices.

    There’s a lot of noise on the internet: so much that even startups that are truly valuable, even those that have unique offerings have trouble finding an audience. The other issue is that there are just so many people or groups selling some product or service, a new enterprise seems to drown under the tidal wave of choices.

    A few companies are intentionally launching their products or services through something more stealthy – something, which looks more like a beta test (which many are), as opposed to a full rollout.

    Companies are developing exclusivity, even before they have an audience.

    It’s a smart strategy, because some firms are trying to lure the right people – the early adaptors and innovators, with the hope that they will do the peer-to-peer marketing for them. What they’ve learned, is that the more people can’t have something – the more they want in.

    In the New York Times article, “To Pique Interest, Start-Ups Try a Digital Velvet Rope,” Jenna Wortham, describes this marketing strategy.

    In To Pique Interest, Start-Ups Try a Digital Velvet Rope, Wotham states,  “Invitation-only services create a halo of privilege and exclusivity for those early adopters that gain access,” said Kartik Hosanagar, a professor of information management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “They get to convey that they were somehow chosen, and that gives them status in their social circles….Those who enjoy playing the invitation game liken it to knowing about the next hot D.J. or cool speakeasy before the masses find out.”

    I am looking at this very thing for Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals , because I think – it’s a good strategy to refine and keep a deeply-valued clientele, as opposed to just a large one. Yes, the prodigious numbers will get you to goal line faster, but the value numbers will keep you there for a long time. Many companies, especially young ones, get lost by trying to be everything to everyone – and their offering becomes ambiguous, so it’s of very little use to the sales department, and even less use to customers. Sometimes, you start small and stay small: in some instances, that’s where the money is.

    Good Luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

    Filed Under: Startup/Entrepreneur

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