Combating the ‘copycat’ stigma in SaaS: 3 methods that work

No matter concept you have for a platform that solves an “unaddressed market want,” it’s nearly a given there’s a group someplace engaged on one thing comparable.

In reality, it’s not unusual for 2 or extra founders to launch comparable firms and merchandise inside months or weeks of each other. The second to place out a launch press launch isn’t robotically a copycat however is commonly perceived to be so.

This notion is one thing we as an organization have wrestled with for a complete decade, as have many others within the SaaS area.

Outbrain and Taboola are native promoting firms based in 2006 and 2007, respectively. After years of battling for on-line supremacy on the planet of “Content material you Might Like” hyperlinks, the rivals even came close to an $850 million merger in 2020.

Each have been profitable in their very own proper. nRelate, a 3rd participant within the house took a unique “anti-clickbait” method to content material suggestions and efficiently exited to in 2012. SmartGift and Loop Commerce have been comparable rivals in on-line gifting and the record goes on.

Traders won’t care a lot about what your boilerplate “based in” date says and be extra involved about product-market match, cost-of-acquisition, ARR and a path to profitability. Nonetheless, within the battle for consciousness and consideration amongst potential prospects, notion performs an necessary function.

Attempt ranging from scratch and ask your self, “If none of my rivals existed right now, how would I design my web site?”

There’s a sure first-to-market benefit that you simply get. It all the time stings to listen to a prospect say, “Oh you’re like a less expensive/newer model of [your biggest competitor].” It stings much more when you’ve got a superior product.

In my expertise, even for those who got here to market earlier than or across the identical time as your most important competitor, chances are you’ll, for no matter cause, be caught with a pesky notion that your organization simply popped up in a single day. Regardless of the cause, this notion can drag in your momentum, particularly once you’re attempting to determine your self in a brand new market.

In our journey of breaking the “copycat” fable, I’ve learnt loads about brand-building. There are issues I want we had accomplished sooner and issues I’m happy with getting proper. Based mostly on my expertise, listed here are 3 ways manufacturers can push again towards the stigma of being a copycat platform:

Lean into and promote your knowledge

It’s exhausting for anybody to argue with knowledge (or at the least with its existence). One of many nice issues about being a SaaS firm is that you almost certainly have all types of proprietary knowledge. Likelihood is you’ve got some type of knowledge that’s distinctive to you and your platform. If you’re preventing the copycat notion, it’s a good time to lean into your knowledge — particularly for those who’ve been round for a few years.

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