When I have chats with the heads of small, generally young companies that are struggling to figure out how they stand out from the crowd and grow, I encourage them to find a niche that allows them to become the familiar, trusted go-to option for that well-defined segment or community.
I’ve never spoken with a start-up called ScreenHeights, but the NYC company looks to be very much on that path – marketing a hyper-local digital OOH network solution that is about as niche as can be imagined: advertising focused on the predominantly Jewish enclave of Crown Heights, in Brooklyn.
The company is putting 55-inch high-bright LCDs in shop and restaurant windows free of charge. Tied to a media player and management software, the company runs hyperlocal advertising, arguing the service is more efficient and doesn’t involve the paper waste associated with flyers that have historically been used by local businesses.
The company has about 30 screens in place, and is looking at growing to other Jewish neighbourhoods. They would kind of have to expand to be a full-time business, but the core idea applies: finding some niche that makes a company the known, trusted option among that community or ecosystem. That can be airports or office campuses, but it can also be churches or first responders or well-defined communities.
If you don’t have a niche, or some well-defined and known differentiating feature (easy to use, friendly and intuitive are not differentiating, but almost standard), then companies are just competing on price, which tends to be deadly.
This post from an Orthodox Jewish news service gets into more detail and includes more photos …