When I first heard about Songza, I thought, “Oh yay, yet another music streaming service.”
I already had Pandora, Last.fm, and sometimes Spotify on my list not to mention iTunes radio here and there. But after using Songza in just one day, I fell in love. I haven’t looked back since.
Here’s what the music streaming service does really well, and what we as marketers, entrepreneurs, and app developers need to keep in mind while conducting market research, building or marketing our products or services.
What are people hiring your blog, product or service to do?
In this case, the answer was I hired music to keep me company while I did other things. By using a music streaming app, this implied that I did not have the time or inclination to create playlists on my own, but I at least knew what my general music preferences were and looked to music to fill the gaps during different activities or moods.
Songza understood my need perfectly and pretty soon, my usual music streaming apps felt like too much work. I wanted to pick a playlist, hit it on play and focus on something else. Songza made it really, really easy for me to do so because of the way the product was built and designed. As a result, it took precedence over other services that were not quite just right, regardless of how long I had used them, how many of my friends were using them and so forth.
What would people hire ___________ to do?
It can help you create a marketing plan, blog that readers love, or it can hold you back as you try different strategies that don’t quite fit.
I first heard of this concept of “hiring a product to perform a service’” from Clayton Christensen, whose work in innovation and marketing I greatly admire. Here’s a video of him explaining this concept:
Figure out what job you’re your product or service does
Once you understand your blog o products main job, it becomes easier to craft the right message or build for the right audience. The answer can guide your thinking in everything from product development to testing out marketing messages and crafting your unique selling point.
In the case of Songza, the developers approached it as music is a service you hire as a soundtrack to an activity or mood. So the service offered playlists for all sorts of situations, moods, and genres, all from the concierge menu based on the day and time of day. This included great playlists for moods like “Waking up Happy”, to activities like “Cleaning the house” and “Working SFW” (Safe for work). Even better it created geo-specific playlists on devices like tablets for say rainy weather, because when I logged in and it was raining outside it the option to play “Music for the storm” would be among the first options on the welcome screen.
Do one thing and do it well
What’s your thing? What do you do better than everyone else? How can this serve your readers or potential customers?
Once you’ve mastered what your job is, focus on exceeding the task exceptionally well. Referring back to Songza, the app focused on providing a service for all manner of moods and situations in a way that none of the other apps I used (to my knowledge) did. For example, sometimes I might want to work with rap in a public space and would rather have clean versions of songs, for which I could pick “Hip Hop SFW”, or maybe I want some chill ambient music while I work, but not too jarring or out there for which I could hire “Indie but not too weird” (and yes that’s an actual playlist) to keep me company.
These are preferences that made it a better option in some situations than the alternatives, simply because it executed really, really well.
There is always a market for the exceptional
Your niche is probably cluttered. It’s full of a few heavyweights and a multitude of other smaller players splitting the scraps. The same can be said for the music app marketplace which is pretty much dominated by a select amount of music streaming services. But that did not stop the Songza team from creating something unique that I heard about from my mom (who’s pretty tech savvy) and had to download and son tell others about without any incentive.
Any app that has playlist options from when I’m feeling “Fierce” or a “What Would Beyoncé Do” playlist is a fantastic addition to my already full app collection.
Has my life been improved in a significant way since starting to use Songza? Well, yes. I’m less grumpy about cleaning early Saturday mornings, and my late night work block is a lot less lonely. So I’d say it executed its job perfectly.
Image credit: Samah R
Daisy Quaker is a freelance internet marketing consultant, specializing in social media strategy, content marketing, e-mail marketing and internet marketing strategy. In her spare time, she writes a personal style blog. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.