August 30, 2014

Not Everyone Has Airtime’s Launch Resources, So Do These Other Things

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Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning launched their new social video chatting platform, Airtime, this week, with celebrities and plenty of media coverage. Reviews are mixed about whether Airtime reflects something really new or a rehash of earlier products, but with Parker’s and Fanning’s track records and $33 million in capital, this startup has had no trouble getting attention. What can entrepreneurs with fewer resources do to distinguish their businesses?

Airtime holds star studded launch. Napster co-founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning spared no expense launching the new social video chatting platform on Tuesday. Some news reports focused on technical hiccups, but a parade of celebrities including actresses Olivia Munn and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and comedians Joel McHale and Ed Helms gave the launch added pizzazz and another focus for the media. Venture Beat

New platform really nothing new, and plagued with glitches. Not everyone is impressed with Airtime. A video analysis a day after the launch focuses on the platform as fun, but nothing new, and centers on some technical glitches mentioned in the media. You can sometimes “next” someone if you don’t don’t hit it off in a chat and then be suddenly reconnected in chat instead of going on to the next person, a bit awkward according to this reviewer. Business Insider

At it’s heart, Airtime re-humanizes the Internet. But beyond technical problems and other complaints, one review focuses on how the new platform distinguishes itself way beyond anything out there today. Airtime makes the Internet more human and more social. This is the part of a business model any entrepreneur can duplicate. No matter how much or how little hype surrounds your brand, your product or service must stand apart. TechCrunch

Seven Ways to Distinguish Your Business

Simplify your idea for greater profits. Marketing expert Susan Oakes makes some suggestions about simplifying your product or service. Streamlining what your business offers makes your product or service more specific and distinguishes it from competitors, even in your own niche.  M4B Marketing

Get your employees on board for change. Distinguishing your business will require adjustments on everyone’s part, especially for your employees. Small Business Trends founder Anita Campbell makes some suggestions about how you can ready your workers for innovation in your business. Open Forum

Build team spirit around your brand. An additional step beyond preparing employees for the changes they’ll likely face is building the spirit of your team and giving them a better understanding of what your brand represents. Make working for your business more than just a job, give employees a way to share in company success, and teach them to care about the outcome. RealBusiness

Use blogging to set yourself apart. Blogging is an effective way of creating a new business or changing the direction of an existing one. Read this guest post from Tom Ewer about how blogging helped him start a business and change his life in just 11 months. How could blogging help you change your brand? MyWifeQuitHerJob.com

Segment your customers for better understanding. Blogger Leah Singer talks about the importance of grouping your customers and tailoring your communications to meet their unique needs. Whether you do this by segmenting your customer e-mail list or in some other way, the results are increased revenue and loyalty. Merchantos

Use a living business plan to evaluate progress. Using elements like financials, goals, and objectives, in your internal business plan, you can measure on a regular basis how your business is doing and whether changes need to be implemented to reposition your business for better growth. Once you make these changes you can measure their effectiveness. Ability Success Growth

Hire a marketing consultant. Bringing in a marketing consultant from outside your business may help you see your company the way others do. Among the benefits listed by Fiona McEachran, a marketer:  it gives you a new point of view, doesn’t require benefits, and can provide a resource goldmine for your business. All these benefits could be helpful when distinguishing your business from competitors. Abnormal Marketing

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