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Going vertical: you can’t fake authenticity

We’ve seen a bunch of companies try to take generic software into specific vertical markets.

They succeed to the degree they can achieve authenticity.

So instead of looking, feeling and sounding like, say, a Business Intelligence tool, you look, feel and sound like a BI tool for retailers, or lawyers or candlestick makers.

There’s only one way to achieve this authenticity: get the retailers, lawyers or candlestick makers on the team. Put one in charge of product marketing. Get others to crawl all over the product, the messages, the language.

Get them in focus groups, interviews, product demos and usability labs.

There is no shortcut. There is no alternative. You can’t fake authenticity.

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