Our latest V+ CMO Forum session for our portfolio companies’ Heads of Marketing featured guest speaker Carmel Yoeli, Co-founder & CEO of technology marketing agency, Atreo. Carmel discussed various ways for technology companies to approach their branding process, presenting some interesting examples and case studies throughout the session.
For those of you who missed it, here are some highlights from the session.
1. Why effective branding always begins with a single, clear USP (unique selling proposition)
Points discussed in this clip:
What is a brand? Why is brand equity important? Brand Equity = tangible value that is associated with a brand or product. It’s the commercial value derived from consumer perception of the brand name of a product or service, rather than from the product or service itself.
Customers feel more connected to B2B brands than to B2C brands. A strong B2B brand will help you make a stronger impact on customers in the consideration phase and then the purchase phase, and compel them to pay a premium for the usage of your product or service.
Any good brand starts with a premise, and with perfecting a single unique selling proposition (USP). A winning USP is comprised of a brand’s “positioning” and the brand’s “claim”.
The reason you need to pick just one USP for your brand is because messaging – especially in relation to technology brands – is based on a hierarchy. The USP – which is the primary message – dictates the messaging for the entire brand including “core messaging” and “secondary messaging. Interestingly, there is a correlation between the messaging hierarchy and the customer’s buying funnel. Customers at the top of the funnel (first touch point) become aware of the brand thanks to its USP, then in the middle of the funnel, core messaging is used to help them evaluate the product or service, and only once they reach the bottom of the funnel, they are presented with all of the secondary messaging to help them make a purchase decision.
But it all starts with establishing awareness for the brand, which is why building a brand should always start with a single and clear USP, and not the core or secondary messaging which is only appropriate to introduce further down the funnel.
An effective USP is usually comprised of 3 factors: It is unique (different from your competitors’), it’s relevant (it meets a genuine customer need or pain) and it’s believable (supported by the offering and based on proof).
2. How a brand’s USP relates to the company’s maturity in the technology market
Forging a USP – especially for technology companies – depends a lot on the lifecycle stage of the company. The branding and promotion of a technology company is usually different depending on whether its technology is new and disruptive, whether it’s reached its growth phase, or whether it is already a mature and established brand in its niche. Carmel talks about how to approach brand messaging for each stage and reinforces the notion of the power of singularity and focusing on a single, focused USP.
3. The power of differentiation for tech company branding – SiSense case study
Carmel presents a branding case study based on one of Atreo’s B2B technology clients, SiSense. Carmel talks about the importance of identifying the product element that’s most crucial to establishing differentiation from competitors and how to capitalize on that element to create powerful brand messaging.
4. How to create great branding for technology companies that are underdogs
What do you do if your company doesn’t have a clear differentiation point from existing competitors or if there are already bigger competitors in the market you’re trying to break into?
Carmel discusses the “Underdog Strategy” for creating powerful branding, which is great if your company is at a disadvantage but you still have a passion to see it succeed. He also presents a case study on Kramer (an Atreo client) as an example of how to approach brand strategy for an ‘underdog’ tech company.
5. How to brand tech startups based on new, disruptive technology – Elstifile case study
Carmel presents a case study featuring Atreo client Elastifile to demonstrate how to approach the positioning a brand whose technology is new and disruptive.
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