“Startups mostly don’t compete against each other, they compete against no one giving a shit.”
—Justin Kan, Y Combinator
The Apple App Store has over 1.5 million apps. Amazon carries well over 200 million products. As consumers, we have way too many choices and way too little time. So as a startup with limited resources, how can you break through the noise and create a following?
The answer: brand.
By the time the iPod came out, there were already a bunch of cheaper mp3 players on the market. If consumers had made a rational decision and focused solely on technology and price, the iPod would’ve failed—miserably. But Apple wasn’t selling an mp3 player. They were selling sleek design and 1,000 songs in your pocket.
Then there’s Land Rover. It routinely finishes near the bottom in quality and reliability—the basic thing a vehicle is supposed to do. So how is it that with so many other options, people are willing to be put on a waiting list and pay a huge premium just to own one? Land Rover isn’t selling an SUV. They’re selling the design, the legend and the story people tell themselves (and others) about who they are.
Key Insight: Create a strong brand and combine it with world-class design. Give your customers a story to tell. Think about how you want your audience to feel when they use your product.