How to Make an Unsexy Industry Sexier
Talking about your product will always bore people. Telling them how it solves their problem never will.
Nothing can kill a conversation faster than starting to talk about something highly technical. This is especially true if you're talking to someone who isn't familiar with that technical subject. For today's business owners, though, it's more important than ever to be able to turn a specialized concept into something that is understandable for even the least tech-friendly person. If your client "gets it" they will be more likely to buy your product or service.
Below are seven industries may be seen by some as "unsexy," but there are businesses in each space that have found a way to make what they do sound exciting. By studying their examples and business models, we can all learn to better communicate our products and services to investors, potential clients, and other business partners.
Social media's influence on the political elections scene is only going to grow and grow. Political elections have practically become a monster, and Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the system and its flaws.
Brigade gained notice as one of the few platforms to accurately predict the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, based on analysis of social engagement.
The company is trying to make government technology interesting by helping voters find ways to ensure their voices are actually heard by the appropriate politicians. The Brigade site's goal is to bring voters together in one place to enact change. One person can only do so much, but a large group of people pushing for an initiative can get attention.
"Most political tools are hopelessly top-down because they are built for professional campaigns and candidates," says CEO and Co-Founder Matt Mahan. "Brigade starts with the individual voter and her top issues, and then maps out concrete actions she can take to have a real impact."
More and more people are moving and living in cities. Traffic congestion has become a serious problem in most of the larger cities. The nuts and bolts of working on remedies for traffic and other city related issues can also put people to sleep. Face it, the subject can be so boring that Elon Musk even named his tunnel company after that fact.
Another company, planning platform Remix, helps public transit agencies relieve these traffic, highway, water systems and other issues too -- by analyzing the costs while helping identify the best solutions currently available.
Companies like Remix win over customers by solving a problem that impacts the general population on a personal level.
The person in charge of planning and projects may be hearing a certain product pitch for the first time. Whether the pitch is for a government official, a venture capitalist, or a consumer, an agency or individual can immediately relate to the pain of sitting in traffic every day. When Remix describes its product to others, they stress the problems that will be solved and therefore immediately create a more interested and engaged audience.
Technology is taking over the healthcare industry, with practitioners and technicians across all specialties constantly working on new ways to improve patient health. Silene Biotech is innovating the stem cell space, allowing consumers to easily bank their stem cells for future use.
Explaining the many benefits of this service can sometimes be challenging to a customer base that is still learning about stem cell research. But, the company has found a way to relate to its audience.
"Healthcare is becoming more personalized and consumer driven every day, showing promise for Biotech," says COO and Co-founder Lena Shaw. "However, the space must find a way to build narratives from the perspective of the consumer."
"Often in Biotech it's the complete opposite. The most fascinating discovery in the lab may not be the most relatable discovery to a consumer. Talk to your customers. Give them a chance to share their understanding of the need you feel you're fulfilling."
Doing something that truly helps people can make health care pretty sexy. The benefits are more instantly apparent and feel good in an industry that has been challenged to really fulfill what it has promised and intends.
A huge concern for POC Medical is to insure that they are providing people with their early detection tests for breast cancer. These tests are so low cost that they are making early detection for all women all over the world possible. This includes areas where quality health care is not usually accessible. The company has plans to expand this test for more types of cancer and perhaps even other diseases, saving lives with each new test that is performed.
Rehabilitation centers may seem difficult to imagine as ever being attractive since traditionally it's been something no one wants to talk about. However, Rehabs is adding interest to this industry by offering a platform that is mainstreaming the ability to find and match a rehab facility with clients and patients.
The site understands the importance of providing more information about the rehabilitation process. This includes articles and reviews of facilities and the value of recovery. Therefore, those seeking this kind of assistance and others around them will see the process as normal and socially acceptable.
A company breathing new life into EdTech is RaiseMe, which connects high school students with universities across the country by letting them earn incremental "micro-scholarships" from the colleges for their achievements in high school.
Once a student creates an account, any grades, extracurriculars, and achievements become part of an online portfolio that the college admissions departments see. The service has the potential to modernize the application process, and appeals to anyone who's ever had to put up with the grueling nature of getting a portfolio together for university admissions.
"When the topic of student financial aid seems inaccessible or overly complex to students and their families, this acts as a huge barrier to educational opportunity," says Co-Founder and CEO Preston Silverman. "Tens of billions of dollars in financial aid gets distributed to students every year, but students often have no way of knowing what that could mean for them in terms of college affordability, until it's far too late to impact their college ambitions or decisions."
Arranging to move freight has always been a serious chore for trucking companies (and unfortunately for companies in this space, the subject is boring to talk about). Convoy has been working hard to automate the freight moving process. Instead of making deals with carriers themselves, shippers can use an app to connect with trucking companies that can arrange the moving of their shipments on demand.
Although this pain point appeals specifically to the shipping company, businesses that arrange shipments for their items can immediately relate to the burden this app removes. It also opens logistics to smaller businesses that lack the full team necessary to constantly schedule and manage shipments. Unfortunately, the app that once billed itself as "Uber for trucking" now has to deal with Uber becoming one of its competitors.
Research is an important part of so many activities. From students writing assigned reports to historians finding facts for their latest books. But, the process of searching volumes of materials can be time consuming and unpleasant, especially if you have to comb through multiple different sources.
ProQuest specializes in supporting researchers and librarians with the information they need. Currently the service offers access to 90,000 sources and 6 billion digital pages spanning six centuries. Anyone who has ever spent hours trying to get the information they need to support their work can relate to the demand ProQuest is filling.
Tech is innovating almost every industry, from the most openly appealing to least glamorous. When the application of a product is one that strikes its audience personally, especially if the app will solve a deep pain point, the public is more likely to personally relate.
Consider what you are feeling yourself and make a personal connection when preparing your pitches. Presenting a solution from a personal level is one of the primary ways to take something "boring" and turn it into vitally interesting information to a potential customer.