Branding. What is it and why is it so important for tech companies?
Businesses tend to think a “brand” consists of a name, logo, and core product or service. That’s about equal to saying that your name, headshot and job form the core of who you are.
What inspires your friends to be your friends? Your significant other to be your significant other? At the core, it’s who you are – your values, standards and ideals. It’s a combination of all these things that inspire an emotional connection with your friends and loved ones. The same goes for a business’ brand and its customers.
Your brand is how a customer experiences your business; everything from the catchiness of your name to the look of your logo, your product or services, social media pages and posts, your website, blog and the quality of your customer service. All of these combined tell your story. They are your “brand”.
And that’s a big deal in tech.
The rate of change in the ever-evolving tech world is faster than virtually all other industries. Innovative new solutions are always coming out. Your business may currently be on top with the best solution out there. But another business may very well come up with an even better one.
In tech, there tends to be a focus on short-term growth tactics revolving around the product itself – adding additional features, for instance, or improving price competitiveness.
Brand building, on the other hand, is a long-term strategy. It’s what differentiates a tech-startup-that-never-really-gets-off-the-ground from a unicorn, a one-hit wonder from The Beatles.
But you don’t need musical genius to have great branding. What you do need is a compelling story.
So, what makes for a compelling story? Two things are especially important: authenticity and emotion.
Be true to the company and to your value proposition – be authentic. Give your customers some credit, they’ll see through the BS.
Next, think of what idea or emotion you want to stir in your customers each and every time they think of your company. Maybe it’s “freedom” or “trust”, “convenience” or “innovation”. Emotional bonds are what encourage long-term loyalty between a customer and a business.
Seek to stir this positive emotion in customers at all points of interaction, whether it be while using your solution, visiting your website, reading your Tweets or Facebook posts or calling customer service. Coupled with a killer solution, this is the path to long-term success in the tech world.