In this guest post, Drew Usher (main photo), strategy director at Hotwire, says just because you’re an exciting tech start-up, that’s still no excuse to scrimp on the PR and the marketing budgets…
When tech companies are looking to start up or grow, branding, comms, and marketing is often left at the bottom of the budgetary list in favour of other priorities.
However, when branding is abandoned, studies consistently show the bottom line suffers. So, does branding deserve a place on the ‘must have’ pile instead of ‘nice to have’ of tech companies?
‘Running lean’ doesn’t mean ‘no branding’
Ironically, branding itself suffers from a branding issue. It is left over from the days when marketing and associated activities were seen as ‘extra’ activities only undertaken when financial times were good.
Tech companies, like most companies, run lean and must make hard budgetary decisions. Tech scale ups are often focused on product versus people. It stands to reason most tech executives have grown their businesses by focusing on the product to get funding – but then when they move to scale up, they need to focus on people – i.e. customers, investors, staff – to scale the business.
Most tech companies think brand building means spending money on multiple activations. And as a result, for most tech scale ups, brand building is delayed until they raise their final rounds of funding, which is often when scale ups commit to a significant marketing push.
In most instances this to too late. Forbes reports consistent branding across all channels increases revenue by 23 per cent, while 82 per cent of investors want the companies they invest in to have a strong brand.
Experienced marketers know cutting branding, marketing and comms activities ends up making a company invisible to its target audience.
So, what is a good brand?
A strong brand has a direct impact on profitability because premium brands with a good reputation can charge a premium for their products; and customer brand loyalty is worth 10 times more than a one-off relationship.
A strong brand also attracts and retains the best talent, and can also better weather recessions and crises because first branding impressions not only create trust, they last.
An effective brand identity is one which immediately elicits positive associations and feelings in your target market and feeds into your wider marketing, communications and PR. It represents not only a product, but a personality, a connected story, and a feeling. Good branding.
First impressions last
‘First impressions last’ is a cliché for a reason. It takes one tenth of a second for humans to form a first impression, because first impressions are formed in the subconscious, not the conscious. When it comes to a brand, it takes about 50 milliseconds for customers to form an opinion about your brand. Once formed, that opinion is very difficult to change because it’s now subject to a neural pathway.
Rebranding or refining a brand after it has launched is too late in the eyes of the consumer. The single greatest negative impact of inconsistent branding is the creation of confusion in the market. Many tech start-ups never recover from this confusion and get lost in the competition noise because they never significantly differentiated their brand.
Now, 89 per cent of B2B marketers say brand awareness is their most important goal, followed by sales and lead generation, because the former informs the latter.
How to get branding right the first time
Crafting a solid brand strategy to define the core of a brand, what it stands for, why it exists, and what it promises to deliver, is often the first step for tech start-ups and scale ups, and informs the wider marketing and PR piece.
Once developed, the brand strategy is translated into a brand identity, an entire system of unique visual and verbal assets. These create a uniquely ownable language to drive connected storytelling across all channels, using consistency of visual and verbal cues to create brand recall.
Typically, it is applied to owned assets first, before building to paid and earned activity to drive traffic.
Creating a strong brand identity and then manifesting it across all owned customer touch points is a foundational must, not a ‘nice to have’, if you want to drive brand recognition and recall.
A well-considered brand strategy is the first step in brand building, and the subsequent brand identity that follows provides the necessary kit of parts that all tech companies need to create distinctive communications people will remember.
Remember, consistently presented brands are 3.5 times more likely to enjoy excellent brand visibility than those with an inconsistent brand identity.
Discover how the technology communications consultancy of the year can help with your branding, marketing, and PR comms through connected storytelling.
GoDaddy Inc. has today announced the Australian launch of GoDaddy Studio, a new content creation tool designed for small and medium businesses to create beautiful visual content for their business for all platforms. Compatible on both iOS and Android mobile apps and desktop, GoDaddy Studio includes thousands of customisable templates and easy-to-use tools, providing small […]
Seismic has announced an expanded New Zealand (NZ) presence to support the transformation of sales and marketing teams, and enable the nation’s employers to focus on upskilling their workforces to overcome a digital skills shortage. The company has also signed NZ-based specialist consultancies, Fresh Perspective Sales (FPS) and Jumping Fox Interactive, as its first two […]
Australasia’s largest real estate agency has released its biggest brand campaign ever that was all done in-house. The spring campaign, “Proudly Ray White”, was created to help service the more than 730 Australian offices under the leading group’s umbrella. Spearheaded by Ray White marketing manager Todd Alexander and brand manager David Williamson, the campaign was […]
American beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon wants to pay drinkers to plaster their homes with ads for the brew. The oddball campaign is called “In home advertising” and, despite the fun, works more as a clever piss-take of the advertising game. Apparently the idea for the ad came about when the client complained of the […]
Alex Huntley, Booktopia’s head of customer experience, recently appeared at software company Freshworks’ recent digital CX summit RE:SOLVE. During the summit, Huntley shared his thoughts on future-proofing customer service architecture.Huntley sat down with B&T to discuss Booktopia’s partnership with Freshworks and how it has helped their platform develop. B&T: Why did Booktopia first decide to partner […]
The Edison Agency has made four new appointments in its Sydney office to service the continued growth across key account The Arnott’s Group and the recent appointment to Nestlé Oceania’s strategic packaging design roster. Over the past 12 months, the culmination of strategic and creative work across the Uncle Toby’s brand and continued growth of […]
SCA has announced a new smart speaker experience for the Hit Network, with Tom and Olly’s Guide to Lockdown. A voice-activated way to get inspiration and information on fun activities that can be done at home, the guide is curated to appeal to a wide audience. Smart speaker users will find a range of ideas […]