When you're building relationships - business or personal - you know that it takes both a good first impression and sustained positive contact for the relationship to be a success. You can't simply rely on one meeting to sustain an entire relationship.
Many tech companies get stuck on one facet of their relationship with their customer base - the product. While the product is great, that can't be the only thing keeping your customers there. It would be like a coworker who constantly references that one successful project you did together five years ago. It was great, but if you want to grow your relationship and skill set, you've got to move past the one encounter.
Marketing for tech companies, this translates into building your brand awareness. Market your product, but don't forget about your brand. The best way to build loyalty with your customers is to not only create a great product, but also to let them know who your brand is and what it stands for.
Why focus your tech marketing on branding?
If you're a tech company, your marketing plan should be just focused on the tech itself and what it can do, right?
Almost, but not quite. Marketing the story of your brand in addition to your products has several benefits.
- Opens future possibilities - Promoting your product is good right now, but marketing your brand is paving the way for future developments. When you market your brand in addition to your product, you're planning for long-term success
- Builds customer loyalty - Customers respond well to brands, and brand stories. Lately, research has identified that building brand equity is a vital part of any business and customers are more likely to keep coming back to brands they believe in.
- Distinguishes your company from competition - There may be other companies who make and sell your type of product. But your brand is what makes customers choose you over competition.
Tech companies that understand branding - and what we can learn from them
There are a few companies that have a great handle on tech marketing - especially when it comes to establishing their brands.
- Google - This tech giant has spread it's brand to nearly every facet of society - from email to web apps to self-driving cars. It's because they have built a brand that people know and trust. Their company name has become synonymous with research and accessing information.
The takeaway: Creating a brand will ensure that customers will trust your new products and endeavors
- Netflix - There are other streaming sites; but Netflix's branding has made them a household name. Their social media presence is fun and they seem to be in touch with their fans.
The takeaway: Finding your brand's unique voice will help you create and continue to build a loyal customer base who come for your product, but stay for your brand.
- Slack - This tech company helped revolutionize collaboration and is now a fairly standard communication tool for many businesses. They clearly communicate their mission - to make people's working lives better and more efficient - and uphold that. Their Twitter account is a particularly great example of content-focused tech marketing. They frequently post tips for using their product.
The takeaway: Building a brand doesn't have to be complicated or overly complex. Slack's mission is to help people - and they do. A focus on your brand will help your customers know what to expect from you.
- Apple - Apple's marketing team is world-renowned and frequently studied as an example of excellent branding. Apple has established itself and it's products as sleek and modern. They make their customers feel special when buying and using their products.
The takeaway: You might have the best product in the market, but if no one knows about it, no one will purchase it. Like Apple, learn to connect with your core audience's sense of importance and well being and you'll create a loyal customer base.
Branding is too often overlooked when tech companies are creating their marketing plans. It's tempting to let your products speak for themselves, but branding will help your customers find you and convince them to stay for the long-run. Create a branding strategy to help boost your sales. Do this and you'll find the secret that some of the biggest names in tech know: branding is an essential.