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What "OpenAI" taught us about marketing?

OpenAI has taken the world by storm, capturing our attention with Sam's departure and the subsequent drama. But have you ever paused to consider why OpenAI was named "OpenAI," and what valuable lessons we can extract from this choice?



Let's journey back to 2014, a pivotal year when Google acquired the AI startup DeepMind (another good name that passes the Radio Test) for an astounding sum of over $500 million. This acquisition troubled Sam, prompting him to gather influential figures for a crucial meeting, including the renowned Elon Musk. According to Musk himself, "OpenAI was created as an open source (hence the name "Open" AI), non-profit company, serving as a counterweight to Google."


Despite OpenAI subsequently transitioning into a closed source entity, the name "OpenAI" continues to exemplify effective positioning, instantly conveying its core essence to both experts and newcomers alike.


Take a moment to consider other successful examples of positioning:

  • Target masterfully positions itself as the go-to destination for better quality merchandise, setting itself apart from competitors like Walmart.

  • Pepsi establishes itself as the ultimate beverage choice for the youth, expertly differentiating itself from rival brand Coke.



In the bustling world of dropshipping and ecommerce, positioning is too often overlooked. Many stores simply bombard customers with claims and assertions about their product superiority, neglecting the crucial element of comparison. Without proper differentiation, customers remain unaware of what sets you apart from the sea of competition.


To overcome this, one must embrace the power of naming and claiming. A prime example lies in Salesforce's brilliant move, labeling traditional CRM as "on premise" to highlight their innovative "on the cloud" offering. Even if we don't personally use Salesforce, we instinctively comprehend the distinction.


As the captivating OpenAI drama unfolds, it becomes even more critical to ensure that you position your store effectively against competitors through strategic naming and claiming. Stand out from the crowd, name and claim, leave an indelible impression in their minds.

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