7 Key Steps in Building a Strong Brand Identity for IT Businesses
In today’s world we as buyers are exposed to countless numbers of offers, products and service providers that fight for our attention and loyalty. However, only a few of them manage to convert us into clients, and the reason for that is well-known to the business – people do not simply buy products and services anymore, but also the look, the positioning, the feeling, the reputation, and the emotion that come with them. Our experience in marketing and branding for IT companies tells that a strong brand is what makes the difference between average market players and top performing businesses. Here is why we are sharing the 7 key steps that can help you build a successful brand identity and stand out from competition in the tech field.
1. Define your brand’s purpose
If “earning money and making profit” is what comes first to your mind, this is not a shame, but would hardly impress your potential buyers. For sure, financial results are essential for your business, but, when shaping your brand identity, take the example of the most prominent global brands which have a clear definition of what they want to change in the world and how they want to improve our lives. For example, Apple’s main purpose is to create products that enrich people’s daily lives and Google’s purpose is to maximize access to information.
What is your brand’s purpose? Think of what impact you have on your stakeholders and put it into words.
2. Remain consistent when managing your brand
Here it is key to make every piece of content produced (message, social media post, blog post, visuals, etc.) consistent with the purpose you have defined. Do not let people wonder what you want to tell them with your new post, video, or advertisement, and make them look natural in your content strategy. Remaining consistent within all your communication might be a tough job and here is where you may need to involve a brand manager or a marketing-as-a-service agency to get professional support.
An important aspect of remaining consistent is to overcome the temptation to talk about trending topics and try newsjacking when this has nothing in relation with your brand.
3. Bond with your customers emotionally
Think about all the times when you have “experienced” a brand. Emotions that you can provoke may have nothing to do with your service or product features but are much more important for retaining loyal customers. This is what most successful brands leverage to keep growing. Find ways to connect deeper with your audience by making them part of your community, engaging them with your brand, surprising them with a gift, producing “behind the scenes” content and demonstrating the human nature of your business.
4. Be adaptive
IT is now one of the fastest changing industries in which you need flexibility and adaptability more than anywhere else. Even if today you have the most innovative software, IT service, or technology, they may become outdated tomorrow. For your brand this is a warning to be prepared for adapting to the new market environment or even for entire brand repositioning in case your messages and style stop attracting and engaging your audience.
5. Turn employees into brand ambassadors and advocates
Happy staff is equal to happy clients, and this is true not only for customer service, but also for strengthening the brand image. First of all, make sure your employees believe in your brand’s purpose, vision and values and that these are well-communicated to all of them. Then, ask them to follow your brand’s guidelines, tone of voice, and visuals, when interacting with an external audience. Bear in mind that a well-trained, motivated, and loyal representative of your business could become a great supporter of your brand image across your potential or existing clients.
6. Encourage and reward loyalty
Strong brands are strong because they know how to retain their buyers and increase their customer lifetime value. In the field of IT, your product and service features could be easily copied and outperformed by competitors. However, competition would hardly steal your buyers when you take care of them even after they have purchased from you. Here are some good ideas to engage them deeper and make them loyal:
- Make them part of special groups or communities (on Facebook, LinkedIn, email lists, etc.) to receive exclusive deals and offers
- Offer free or additional technical support for your service
- Offer new features or updates of your software
- Reward people when they refer your products or services
- Produce free content to ease them when using your service
7. Observe competition
In many cases reasons for your success or failure may come from competition. It is important to monitor your competitors and to analyze whether their brand positioning outperforms yours. Try to identify those aspects of a strong brand that they lack and make them the base points for your own brand. Also, turn to your customers on social media and other web channels and empower social listening to understand more about the perception of users about your brand and its actual positioning against competition. At the end of the day what you need to know is whether you can add more value to your products and services than they do.
Building a strong brand goes far beyond the technical aspects, features and qualities of your products. Branding encompasses all the reasons why people should buy from you rather than from your competitors – what is the added value of your business, how you communicate it and how you inspire emotions and turn your one-time buyers into permanent clients and brand advocates. Not sure where to start from with your brand? Get in touch with Brandanizer and take advantage of our expertise in marketing and branding in the IT field.