“It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.”
– Al Ries
In the book ‘The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing’, authored by Al Ries and Jack Trout, the marketing and positioning expert duo explains how marketing is a battle of perception and not the product and how the consumer’s mind takes precedence over the marketplace.
Indeed. Marketing should be centered around delivering a holistic experience about the product to the audience through branding. For SaaS companies, investment in branding enables its product to be in TOMA (Top Of the Mind) and stand out from their competitors. SaaS space has already reached its tipping point; hence, it becomes crucial for establishing a strong identity in an already crowded marketplace.
What is Branding? Why is Brand Building important?
Bill Macaitis, the former CMO at Slack, said in an interview, “Your brand is every single touchpoint your customer has with you during their journey.”
Branding is the impression the audience, prospects, and customers carry about the founder, company, and company’s product and/or services. Branding is not just a logo design, tagline, website graphics, or slide decks. It’s a much deeper concept. To learn more about branding, you should consult a branding agency. SaaS branding is more about the customers than the company. It is all about how you want your customers to have the perception of your services.
Of course, along with exceptional branding, you need to have a strong product offering and value that no competitor offers. A differentiating factor that sets you apart from the rest of the products in the market, a statement that resonates with your consumer, an aesthetic that sets a bar for itself in the users’ minds.
SaaS Branding: Whom is it for?
For SaaS or any product, the brand is not just for the prospective customers but for prospective employees, contractors and investors.
No doubt that the customer is at the heart of the company’s brand, and brand experience depends on the product and service you deliver and how you deliver. A product or service has to provide value to its users.
A company’s brand equity, i.e., consistent branding, is critical regarding investor relations. Investors are looking for a sound value proposition and return on investment. Hence, branding plays an essential role in communicating the image, reputation, integrity, market position, and vision of the company, leading to solid brand equity, which helps gain investors’ confidence for new products or extensions of the existing product line.
The brand builds trust, and trust leads to sales. And building trust takes time; there are no shortcuts. Hence to develop a good brand, persistence & patience is the key!
Branding Journey: How to get started
According to Harvard Business Review, those companies who do not have any branding strategies yet should ask the following questions –
- What makes or will make your customers/prospects choose your services?
- What is your differentiation factor from your competitors?
- How unique is your service and offer which cannot be easily copied by others?
A SaaS company should first focus on understanding these questions before building a brand strategy. Once they have answers to these, they can start aligning their branding efforts based on their product’s value proposition and differentiating factor. This has to be internalized by the whole team and should reflect the organization’s values, beliefs, and goals. Once this is achieved, the company can build or rebuild their websites, logo and design a brand positioning (based on target audience/ persona, competitive advantage, category), brand identity & tagline that would echo with its customers. Content and marketing messaging have to follow the same.
5 Major Steps in Developing a Brand
Summing up the five significant steps in developing a brand:
1) Strategy: Develop a brand strategy that aligns with the overall business values, plans & strategy.
2) Perception: To build a sound perception in the target audience’s minds about the company & product/services.
3) Differentiation: Have a unique factor that makes you stand out in the crowded market and is indomitable.
4) Communication: Communicate not to sell but build relations and trust. Communicate through value proposition, brand positioning statement, logo, and tagline, which has to be consistent across different marketing channels.
5) Patience: Building a brand requires building trust, and building trust requires patience.
Brand building is a conscious and continuous exercise. With evolving markets, technologies, and the evolution of your product and the company, the brand messaging should evolve, adapt and grow continuously. The value you want to add to solve real-life problems remains consistent in this journey.
At Scalefusion, a Mobile Device Management vendor that provides solutions for corporate-owned Android and iOS devices, we consistently innovate and adapt to new technologies. With emerging technologies and by understanding the changing needs of our market, we modulate our business strategies and have made amends to our branding from time to time.
In April 2018, we rebranded our product to an exciting new destination- Scalefusion. We launched a new brand identity, an improved website, upgraded to a brilliant blog & added more than 10 new capabilities to our product to offer a better experience for our prospective customers.
Read more about Scalefusion’s rebranding journey