Tag: Fintech Marketing Agency

Competing against tech company giants

When you speak about tech giants Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon are the first ones which come into our mind. They are the ones who have the advantage that makes them brave enough to fight against competitors. But is competing against tech company giants really that difficult?

 

Here are some strategies and tricks for you based on Start It Up

 

Network-effect

Have you heard about the network effect before? If not, here is a quick definition of it by The Network Effects Bible, James Currier:

“mechanisms in a product and business where every new user makes the product/service/experience more valuable to every other user.”

In other words, think about WhatsApp. If none of our friends would use it, it would not have any use. As your network is using it as the go-to messaging app, WhatsApp has more value and creates a better experience for you compared to other applications. This effect is far cheaper than any ad-based or sales-based strategies. In addition to that, it is much harder to copy.

According to a report by NFX, Network effects have a lot of influence. 70% of value creation in tech from the years between 1994 to 2017 among 336 companies that reached a valuation of over 1 billion USD. Dropbox and Figma mastered the competition through the network effect.

This effect is not the only strategy to go for but it makes it easier to look forward.

 

Differentiate, differentiate, differentiate

Brand identity plays a big role in this. You have to know your who, how, why, which and more.  Brand identity helps businesses to differentiate their business from competitors and helps them to position the brand correctly. Humans love to be unique, why shouldn’t your brand? Stand out in the crowd. It is easier to compete indirectly than directly when it comes to tech giants. So not just your brand but your product, service, or platform needs to be differentiated from your biggest competitors for you to have an advantage in your market and industry.

Let’s have a look at Shopify

Shopify is known for selling a platform that facilitates the relationship between third-party sellers and consumers. That’s the exact reason why they are doing this good. Comparing Spotify to Amazon, the e-commerce giant is a product aggregator that controls this relationship between the two actors.

Ben Thompson, a business analyst explains the Shopify-Amazon differences like this:

“This is how Shopify can both, in the long run, be the biggest competitor to Amazon even as it is a company that Amazon can’t compete with: Amazon is pursuing customers and bringing suppliers and merchants onto its platform on its own terms; Shopify is giving merchants an opportunity to differentiate themselves while bearing no risk if they fail.”

So to compete against tech giants can be difficult. Therefore, it is easier to compete indirectly instead of directly.

 

Make your product better

Your product or service has to be awesome if you are in a well-established market. Your competitors will win if your offers are the same or only a bit better.

Have a look at Mozilla Firefox. They got run over by Google. Not because Google played dirty, but because Google built a better browser than Firefox had.

In the time before the global pandemic, a lot of people did not know about Zoom. After COVID-19 hit the world, the company had rapid growth. Any idea why? Skype and Google meet had lagging and buggy connections, Zoom did not.

 

Differentiate your company culture

The structure of your company will be reflected in your company’s actions. A Harvard Business School study found out that

“co-located, focused product teams created software that tended more toward tightly-coupled, monolithic codebases. Whereas the open-source projects resulted in more modular, decomposed code bases.”

Open-Source codebases allowed for faster and more autonomous deployment cycles than their traditional, co-located competitors.

Have a look at your competitors and how they operate differently. For example,  be the first remote-first, hybrid, open-source company. Even running a non-hierarchical company organisation can be a way to differentiate yourself. When you start making changes in how you look and operate, the things you offer and even your business strategy will follow.

An Australian tech company, Atlassian, with a 50 billion USD valuation had a whole different market entry strategy. Normally the way a market would be entered would be top-down, however, Atlassian entered with a bottom-up strategy with a heavy salesforce. They were forced to adapt their business strategy as well, as they were assisted and outside of the tech focus.

The developer tool, GitLab, competes directly against Microsoft’s GitHub but their company structure is completely different. The business employs over 1000 people remotely. They also set a full transparency rule and share their whole handbook publicly.

 

Plan and execute for a long-term

It is difficult in partnerships to work in a long-term manner. Commonly, last-minute changes have to be made because a director does not like something or he/she changes his/her mind. If you take a look at Microsoft’s four slightly different task management tools you can see wide bureaucracy makes a cohesive, long-term product vision hard. If you compare startups to those big tech firms, you will see that everyone in a startup company works towards one vision in a focused way.

 

 

 

Be afraid of startups not tech giants

Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham described it the best:

“The people at Google are smart but no smarter than you; they’re not as motivated, because Google is not going to go out of business if this one product fails; and even at Google, they have a lot of bureaucracy to slow them down.

What you should fear, as a startup, is not the established players but other startups you don’t know exist yet. They’re way more dangerous than Google because, like you, they’re cornered animals…You should compete against what someone else could be doing, not just what you can see people doing.

 

 

In conclusion

At the end of the day competing against tech giants is a problem. However, if you have built something which grabs their attention, it is because you are innovative. Microsoft and Google could be cutting into Slack’s market share. Slack, on the other hand, has built a 15 billion USD company with millions of users and thousands of employees. These numbers are increasing.

You have to understand that you do not need to be a multi-billion dollar business to be successful and leave an impact. If you are creating jobs, creating things that people love in a sustainable manner, you are winning.

 

 

Let’s look at these winners one more time: 

Zoom: Value – 50 billion USD. Managed to build a successful platform for video conferencing where big tech giants like Microsoft and Google operate.

Spotify: Value – 50 billion USD. Has become a market leader in music streaming while competing directly against Apple and Google.

Dropbox: Value – 10 billion USD. Apple and Microsoft usually preinstall their competitive products on their operating systems. Google offers a large amount of storage for free. However, Dropbox is managing to compete against those giants.

Shopify: Value – 100 billion USD. Managed to build another giant in an Amazon dominated e-commerce market.

 

 

Reminder

Competing against tech company giants is possible! 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to receive a complimentary brand assessment call with the 3 Colours Rule agency

Would you like to find out what is preventing your brand from achieving your business goals? What if during a 30min call with us we could identify the areas of your brand that need improvement so that you can attract the right clients? We will use our D.A.C. (Distinguish, Attract & Convert) growth system to swiftly evaluate your brand strengths and weaknesses. We will provide you with directives and your brand score so you can measure your progression. 3 Colours Rule will help you find your USP that resonates with your audience.

 

 

Contact us today!

Changing the brand to pivot your offering

Changing the brand to pivot your offering can be needed in difficult times.The question of all questions should be asked and considered first. If you wonder what pivoting actually is do not worry. We got you. Here is a definition by Founders Institute: 

 

Pivoting in the startup world means adopting a new strategy. Usually, people think it means changing the whole business structure but this is not true. Sometimes businesses have only one problem that needs to be solved so they only change one aspect of their company. These are some changes companies undertake but many do not know it is considered as a “pivot”:

  • Turning a feature of a product into an own product or another way round
  • Changing markets or new positioning such as moving from B2B to B2C
  • Changing a platform, for example from app to software
  • Introducing a new revenue model to increase monetisation. If you wonder what that is here is an example: A company might find an ad-based revenue model more profitable than a freemium
  • Using different technology to create a product or service. This can be the case to cut down costs or be more reliable.

You cannot pivot all the time. It is actually taking a lot of resources and the most important one: time! Pivoting is the last option to choose when it comes to businesses. During the global pandemic pivoting has become increasingly popular. Brands have changed their offerings in order to keep up with the changing environment.

Some other reasons to pivot: 

  • Your company is progressing too slowly even though you put a lot of work into it. That is when you can actually consider pivoting. Maybe the company itself does not need to pivot. However, you may need to pivot the business or revenue model, product or market.
  • To be fair your product or service might sound unique but think about the bigger competition. There is a high chance that bigger companies take inspiration from yours and offer the same product or service to their built-in audience. Then you will definitely be better off doing something completely different.
  • When you notice slow progress in your company’s development this could mean it hit a plateau. This could be caused due to an unmotivated team or an inefficient strategy.
  • Only one thing of your company is successful. The rest of your offerings are progressing slowly or are failing. Pivoting your whole offering will be the only solution. Why not get rid of the offerings that do not do well? Concentrate on one product or service and boost productivity, efficiency and revenue.
  • There is not enough response from your marketplace. Just because you launch a product or service does not mean people will buy it immediately.
  • Your brand identity is changing. You launched your company but you notice your vision, mission, goals and values do not actually align with your wishes. Then you will need to pivot your brand because your perspective has changed.

No matter what type of business you are in, it is always a good idea to plan your marketing strategy ahead. However, when circumstances change these have to change as well. COVID-19 has shown us that businesses need to be flexible. Marketing strategies that have worked before, do not work anymore. This means you need to pivot your messaging to align it with these difficult times. The health crisis makes businesses not only rethink their strategy but also their brand DNA.

Entrepreneurs are obligated to fulfil the needs and emotions of the audience. This is not in a way they used to. It has changed. Businesses need to be more sensitive in order to be relevant to customers. These examples are related to the pandemic, however, they will be important for the future as well. The world is changing exactly like consumer behaviours.

1 – Create digital offerings

Service-based businesses or businesses that work off of retainers from clients can create a new service that aligns with the feelings of clients. It is also a great way to differentiate the business from competitors. While other businesses might continue with traditional marketing efforts your business is being the unique one in the market. Analysing the mental state of clients or customers will be the key to personalise offers. One-on.one strategy calls and new ways for clients to handle the situation with the brands will provide more clarity. This can build a more reliable brand.

2 – Increase content and create more on digital media platforms

People are more and more into social media these days. The usage has spiked during the pandemic. The creation of content is a huge opportunity for businesses to show off their work.

3 – Create digital experiences that trigger emotions like in-person ones

Most business events were cancelled due to the current pandemic. However, this new format can be the future and not just remain in the COVID-19 era. The first step of pivoting would be rescheduling these events. However, it is important to keep the in-person ideas alive, if it is safe enough to have them. Digital events could be the future as they were an escape for most businesses during the pandemic. It should be the aim to keep the in-person emotions fresh even if it’s just an online event. Platforms such as hopin or bluejeans create the vibes of in-person events. Those could be the future of events and how technology can save the industry.

4 – Build new relationships

In times of crises, it is important to maintain and build new relationships. New relationships can be transformed into new business opportunities. A simple “How can we help you?” is mostly enough to engage with new people. A one-on-one zoom call or direct messages are very helpful ways.

BUT

Sometimes changing your offerings is not enough. You need to change the brand to pivot your offering. Businesses should review their objectives and goals they are following with their brand. The brand voice has to be changed if necessary and an agile marketing strategy needs to be considered. It is important to be flexible during difficult times. It is nearly impossible to develop a roadmap that fits all. Every brand and customer is different. You cannot foresee what is coming next.

Here are some tips by Mailchimp: 

  • Stay sensitive to the needs and wishes of your consumer
  • Review, adjust or stop marketing strategies that do not fit the needs of your consumer for now
  • Focus on visibility such as PR (Public Relations)
  • Have a strong mindset about brand responsibility
  • Avoid unnecessary communication that is not relevant to your target group
  • Stay attentive to difficult times such as the current pandemic. Be prepared to pivot in real-time if needed

Changing the brand to pivot your offering can be necessary especially in times of crises such as COVID-19. It is important to understand your target group to know their needs and wants.

 

 

Liked this article? Why not read “Improving brand discovery and brand recognition”

 

 

If you would like to receive a complimentary brand assessment call with the 3 Colours Rule agency

Would you like to find out what is preventing your brand from achieving your business goals? What if during a 30min call with us we could identify the areas of your brand that need improvement so that you can attract the right clients? We will use our D.A.C. (Distinguish, Attract & Convert) growth system to swiftly evaluate your brand strengths and weaknesses. We will provide you with directives and your brand score so you can measure your progression. 3 Colours Rule will help you find your USP that resonates with your audience.

 

 

Contact us today!

 

‘What are the legal requirements when setting up and running a tech company?’

This is a content teaser for the upcoming B.I.G. Workshop. Karen Holden from A City Law Firm is one of our experts. The B.I.G Workshop, London’s first-of-its-kind, interactive tech workshop for tech startups looking to elevate their brand and improve the industry.

Karen established A City Law Firm to provide experienced and dynamic solicitors in the City of London, who could think outside the box, whilst delivering at competitive costs. Having worked for large target based commercial law firms Karen wanted to offer a place where individuals and companies could obtain sound legal advice and develop a relationship with a firm which they trusted and relied upon. Clients have followed Karen since 2003 when she was training due to her track record in getting results.

One of Karens aims is to create structures for businesses and individuals seeking to secure investment either through equity share, EIS or corporate bonds and debt financing, by making them legally investment ready and through regulated tax advisors commercially aware of the types of structures available. 


As a commercial and innovative firm, we meet many clients, developing disruptive technology, looking to start or scale-up their business and most getting ready for investment and funding. This can span over drones, VR, IOT, blockchain, fintech, cryptocurrency or utility tokens, patents, code and much more.

Get advisors onboard early

Our advice is always to have good advisors on board early on, as this often saves you money in the long run, both from a tax and legal perspective. Also bespoke, as such relevant legal documents, and IP protection in place not only helps offer a stable platform upon which to build your business, but it is essential to attract and secure investment.

 

Checklist

The basics that you will need to consider and have in place include:

  • A shareholders agreement, so you are all in agreement going forward and have those tough conversations early on.

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