I had a conversation the other day with John Vitti from
, about the role that taste and brand play in the tech world. As a guy coming to the tech scene from fashion he made some key points about tech companies not understanding brand, reputation, and taste when launching their platforms (as much as they should).
The key example was with mobile marketing firms. When you sign up to receive messages on your phone, you're opting for a very personal form of contact, and you want that contact to reflect your lifestyle. An online service soley offering discounted cheap items may not be the type of intrusion you want in your hip, urban, never-stop-running lifestyle tearing around NYC. or SF :-)
Obviously Apple came up in the conversation, and so did Daily Candy and Thrillist. How can Daily Candy command such high advertising prices for what essentially boils down to a mailing list? Well, its not just any mailing list, its the unofficial "Sex in the City" mailing list. Every uptown girl manhattanite, both wannabes and insiders subscribe to this list because they have/want good taste, and Daily Candy knows what their customers want.
On the flipside, for the boys, Thrillist is a marketing list with an attitude, that I've stayed subscribed to for the last 2 or 3 years. Why? Well, at least once a week they send me something that I would have found intersting had a seen it in a magazine or blog. They have a higher rate of sending me "cool" new restaurants than when I browse for restaurants on Yelp, or products when I'm looking on Amazon.
Are these sites doing better than comparable web2.0 recommendation sites? Does Urban Daddy, and exclusive invite version of Thrillist take it up a notch? These all seem to command a premium.
That filter, having the magic ability to send me things that I like is what I want more of and what people seeming willing to pay for. These examples focus products/restaurants/etc, and clearly every demographic has its own flavors, but where can I sign up for someone to provide this same filter for other things?
TechCrunch, Venturebeat, Mashable all cover a lot of the same information. Why can't someone filter through that and just find me the good stuff?
My buddy in Spain keeps up with world events through Stratfor, an in-depth premium geopolitical intelligence review. Its priced at over 30$ per month? Seems like this focus is bringing real revenue.
Something many a startup could learn from.