I’ve been thinking about our brand a lot lately. And thinking about its place within the overall digital music market and thinking about differentiation via brand (as opposed to functionality).
One of the things about the big consumer digital music market: it’s big and there is lots of competition. For the most part, they all do the same thing and look the same way. Our designer did some homework and came up with “they pretty much all use cool (as in temperature), metallic looking stuff with beveled edges and glass effects” And the names and themes and brands are similar, etc. And the functionality is often similar (a notable exception is Last.fm). In general, they are all trying to ride the Apple tail on coolness. It’s become a “me too” phenom.
So, what is a company to do to differentiate? We have to look feel and behave differently. We can do that by relying on your own inner-personality (well, app/brand/company anyway) to shine through, or we can do your homework. Understand our competition, what they mean, what they offer, what they stand for – and offer something different. Oh – and we still have to add value. That’s my opinion anyway – I don’t think it’s too far fetched, or anyone would disagree with me.
We have a kind of rebellious attitude when it comes to doing what everyone else is doing anyway – so going down the “not me too” path suited us. We also did some homework and realized that we can’t possibly compete on coolness, or slick design, or hardware, so we aren’t trying.
Instead, from a branding standpoint we’re going well away from cool/cool. We’re going “organic” and friendly. Not crunchy mind you – just way different from the rest of the pack. That’s our strategy in general – do something “not me too” and add value. Starting with brand.
rVibe – Just a little music between friends