Building a technology brand in 2016
“This too shall pass”
One quotation that I hold very close to my professional and personal life is that. Written by a Persian author indicating that all material conditions, positive or negative, are temporary. If you think about the quotation, by the lens of companies, it means that what’s great will pass and likewise, so will what’s mediocre. This should keep all of us on our toes, thinking how can we outdo, what we last did. How can we let the ‘good' pass, for better than the best.
The world around us has changed so much in the last few years. From unidirectional communication channels to two-way interactive channels. From messaging in yahoo chat rooms to snapchat. From brand-loyalists to early adopters of everything new and shiny. With so many drastic changes around, there’s absolutely no question that brand marketing has become truly dynamic.
In a technology company, we often get carried away with what we’ve built. Instead, one should focus on what the customers feel by interacting with what we’ve built. More than anyone, it’s the brand team’s responsibility to influence product to develop in a direction where there are relevant takers by relaying to the product owners, the end-customer feedback and suggestions.
And then before we start any marketing / communications, it’s important that we all ask these basic questions:
1. What is the pain-point we’re solving?
2. Who are we building this product for?
3. Are we building and living up to our brand promise?
4. How young/old does the customer feel interacting with my product?
5. When does the customer reach out to my product? Are we building a product to be remembered by customers in their good times - MakeMyTrip or their darker times - Practo.
6. All these questions will help you with streamlining, capturing and working on the points we talk hereon.
Data driven branding:
One way in which technology is making our lives simpler is by understanding us better, in the background. It’s tracking where you go, what you do, what you like, what content you consume, which apps you use, what’s your spending power… so many things about all of us are being tracked, every minute.
Now this could be daunting. But deep data helps a brand create relevance. Relevance makes a user like you. You most likely have one product, ready to be sold to millions of people. Multiple kinds of people based on demographics, sociographics, personalities, spend capacities, intent. How can you ensure that you’re saying the right things to them all to ensure they all like you and buy you alike?
The answer is with data.
You can get deep into analysing who is interacting with you and accordingly change your persona to make the explorer feel like your brand is a part of them. Creating these smart interactions can start simply with tracing who the user is, what’s their journey of discovering your brand and showing relevant content. A/B test 50 times if required, but get this right.
In non-tech side of the world this is called product packaging design. But if you’re in tech, a majority part of the customer experience will be on digital.
In Branding for a tech-company, go beyond the brand colours, brand ethos and brand positioning and make them an active brand experience. More like creating a body language on digital.
One can start by thinking about how do you name your product and it's categories, what swipe gestures are there, what’s the loading animation, what’s your brand music, how do you interact with customers, what’s your font style, do you have support on chat or via call centres, how do you respond on social media, how do you take criticism on social media.
In summary, let data work in the background to increase relevance for your brand so that you can pave the path to creating beautiful and memorable interactions. Delight the customer because there are many more out there to lure your customers with baits, cash, offers and more.