Startup Marketing – The Power of Schemas

Startups have a recognizable problem in their marketing. By definition, they are characterised by a high degree of innovation that is second to none. Many of the young entrepreneurs are entering unknown market segments and trying to gain a foothold there. This poses a central problem for marketing. Since the founders are launching a completely new product on the market, acceptance by the future consumer must first be achieved. For this reason, it is useful to use the so-called schemata.

Modern companies need to rethink. The distorted image of marketing as an orientation towards the anonymous mass market has long since become obsolete. Today, customer orientation and segmentation count in the battle for the buyer’s attention. Start-ups must therefore start their marketing early, sometimes long before the actual product sees the light of day. Throughout the entire innovation process, appropriate communication measures must be developed that make people want more.

Concept Video 2015 (Source: Magic Leap)


A master of this tactic is the Augmented Reality Startup Magic Leap, which will launch its product this year, after years of marketing, without any sign of a working solution.

According to Professor Dr. Volker Trommsdorff, a method of placing oneself in the heads of customers with one’s own innovation at an early stage is the so-called Schemata method. This facilitates product understanding and interpretation and helps to form the customer’s judgement. Depending on the degree of innovation, there are different methods.


Incremental Innovation

An incremental innovation is an incremental innovation if your own development is based on already known technologies. The customer thus already has a certain understanding of the basic processes. These innovations are the easiest to place in communication, as they are positioned and built on existing markets. Here it is important to differentiate from the previously known schemes, i. e. the existing companies on the market, and to emphasize the degree of novelty in marketing without losing the feeling of familiarity, which quickly gives you a place in the heart and mind of the customer.


Radical Innovations

Radical innovation has ventured into completely new markets that have never been seen before. In marketing, however, such startups must make every effort to make the customer’s added value tangible. For this reason, abstract schemes are often used so that the customer can get an idea of the innovation across all products. While such completely new innovations generate a high level of interest, they are difficult for the general public to consume.

Kickstarter Video “World’s First Hologram Table” (Source: Euclideon Holographics)


Euclideon Holographics is one of the companies that have been very successful in setting up their product on existing schemes. They bridge the gap between science fiction and well-known technologies such as virtual reality technology and explain the advantages of their hologram method to the user.

Basically, the same rules applies to every aspect of startup marketing: you have to get people interested in new developments. They have to understand, however complex the topic is, what added value they generate from it and what makes innovation stand out from previous solutions.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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