It’s never easy standing out from the noise in a cluttered space, but if you’re going to survive as a startup, you have to figure out this formula fast. Otherwise, your business, product or new technology might never have a chance to catch on with the masses.
I elaborated on this approach in an article I wrote for Forbes, called –Three Tactics For Standing Out From The Startup Noise. You can click on that link to read but here is abridged version if you’re short on time.
Play out of tune
It’s hard to distinguish any one instrument from an orchestra — unless someone is playing out of tune. When that happens, suddenly that musician stands out. If executed with the right chord structure or melody, your ear will be drawn to that instrument.
This is what I’d call an unconventional campaign. You play a different tune than everyone is expecting. It can be risky if not executed correctly, but when the risks are measured and weighed properly, playing out of tune will distinguish your brand from others.
Speak up when you have something important to say
No one likes the person who speaks over others, and like the previous tactic, this strategy can be dangerous if not refined. But think back to news talk radio: Who were the DJs that stood out to you? Most likely, they were the personalities who spoke louder than others. Known as a “shock jock,” Howard Stern, for example, didn’t make many friends throughout his career, but a certain segment of the population did gravitate to his style, which helped him stand out from every other radio DJ in his early days.
From my perspective, this approach works best with cable news and talk radio, where producers are looking for a loud, unique voice and consumers are actively pursuing this type of content. If you do take this approach, make sure the message is thought-provoking.
Liberace and Elvis did it best. They both knew how to dress the act and hypnotize fans with their fashion. I believe Mark Zuckerberg, probably without knowing it, also executed this approach by helping Facebook stand out from other tech startups. This tactic is less to do with what you actually wear in public (or on stage) and more to do with how you express your brand.
Here’s one more tip that applies to all industries: You can’t have art without commerce, yet you can have commerce without art. However, the personal existence of business relies heavily on the emotional connection we make with a brand.
If your brand is not integrating art into the business strategy, you might be missing that human component that lures in new customers. And if you’re not standing out with new customers, you might as well just be another violinist in the crowded orchestra.
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MACIAS PR is a boutique public relations agency located in New York City. The PR firm focuses on tech, consumer and healthcare industries. The founder of the firm is a frequent Forbes and CNBC contributor, providing analysis on brands and media strategy.