We love our technology. We love the technology we develop even more so. It, usually, is one of its kind and solves a major problem for the potential users and customers. Then we start selling it and are incredulous when customers bracket us with so many other available options and push us to compete on price.
The truth is, there is now too much noise in B2B tech. Technologies, products, companies have proliferated. How do we get through the clutter?
Differentiation is what helps cut through. However, that is becoming more and more challenging. Functional benefits of technology are becoming table stakes. ‘Faster, better, cheaper’ claim also doesn’t last very long. Replication, catching up or bettering what we have is very easy for the numerous competitors.
B2B tech companies have typically shied away from understanding and defining a personality for their brand – terming it fuzzy and superfluous for tech B2B. But like the B2C brands have learnt over the years, it is the personality that provides the highest order of differentiation. As a sum total of overall company culture, history, products & services, pricing, communication; a brand’s personality is also impossible to be appropriated by competitors.
Most brands should have a personality and usually have one. It has to be discovered, articulated and reinforced through all touchpoints. Helping us understand how a brand makes its stakeholders feel, it is the fundamental source of differentiation and hence the premiums that a brand can enjoy. The alarm bells start ringing when there is no consistent personality for a brand being articulated by customers, employees, partners.
A simple question – “What kind of a human being or metaphor comes to your mind when I say Brand X?” has led us to breakthrough insights on what is working or not working in the products, services, communication, pricing of a certain brand. It provides actionable insights on what needs to change in our marketing mix if we wish to reinforce a certain kind of personality. The desired personality has to be close to the culture and competencies of an organisation and therefore the brand.
So, “What kind of a human being or another metaphor comes to your mind when I say IBM or Google or Apple or Microsoft or Amazon or ‘Your Brand’?” Why does this personality come to your mind? Would you like to change something about it? What in your products, services, training, pricing, communication needs to change or be reinforced to bring alive the desired personality?