Tips for Branding A Software Development Business in 2022
Branding your business is the easiest way to set your software business up for success. But branding is not as easy as it may seem. For starters, there are many branding principles, audience dynamics, and countless guidelines to consider if you want to achieve the perfect brand identity.
And just as our modern world relies on technologies and countless lines of code to succeed, businesses rely on branding and its influence to have the most significant impact in the market. Branding—coupled with their unique products—is the secret that powers major brands like Microsoft, Salesforce, and Adobe and helps them remain the leading brands in their industry.
Branding Tips for A Software Development Business
So, here are some fundamental tips to help you craft the ideal brand identity for your software development business…
1. Define Your Brand’s Purpose
The most successful businesses in the software industry all have solid and empowering purposes that focus entirely on providing top-notch services to customers.
In the words of Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, People don’t necessarily buy what you do but why you do it.
A great example is how Adobe’s purpose is to make it easy for people and businesses to create, edit, scan, share and sign digital documents so they can easily communicate and collaborate securely across devices.
So ensure that your software company’s purpose isn’t focused on your fancy AI tool or your next-gen strategy but your target customers.
But even after crafting your brand’s purpose, ensure you stick to commitment to achieving it. One look at Microsoft and it’s clear that the company’s vision of empowering everyone and every business on the planet to achieve more is a driving factor that has shaped their efforts.
And just like Microsoft, Salesforce's mission is empowering companies to connect with their target customers in a whole new way. And besides making a solid promise with their brand purpose, Adobe’s made it their mission to move the web forward by giving web developers and designers the best tools and services in the world.
The path to discovering your company’s purpose starts by answering these core questions:
Why does your business exist?
What specific problems does your company want to solve?
What differentiates your business from the competitors in the industry?
And why should people be interested in your business?
Research shows that 50% of customers in the world will purchase from a company based on its brand values and impact on the market.
Defining your purpose will help you set the building blocks for other major aspects of your brand identity, like your value proposition, core value, tone, voice, slogan, story, messaging, and colors. Understanding these building blocks will make it easier to find the best name that aligns with your brand’s identity on a startup name generator.
2. Know Your Competitors
It’s impossible to rise in the software industry without a profound grasp of how to outperform your competitors. Researching your competitors and staying aware of what they are currently doing, or plan on doing, is a necessity for succeeding in any industry.
However, your goal for researching your competitors shouldn’t be to replicate what they offer but to observe how they handle trends, how customers receive their products, where they failed, and where they succeeded.
Gathering this information will help you design and deliver better products that differentiate your brand from the competition and show customers your creativity and authenticity.
Again, when researching your competitor's brand, you must focus on their messaging, visual identities, customer reviews, marketing, and products or services.
3. Target a Specific Customer Group
The simple fact that most entrepreneurs only pay lip service to the software development industry is that ‘you cannot be everything to everyone.’
The market is filled with countless kinds of customers. And these customers are spread across several locations and come with unique personalities, desires, and expectations. Now, trying to meet all these expectations will literally leave your brand going nowhere.
As a startup, your goals shouldn’t be to gobble up every consumer that comes your way but to target specific customers you’re sure your product will satisfy.
Discover your ideal customers by creating your ideal buyer personas and detailing their behaviors, lifestyles, and needs. It’s easier to satisfy customers if your brand is tailored to their needs.
But even after you’ve narrowed your focus to a specific customer base, ensure your brand continuously evolves and satisfies their needs.
It may not surprise you, but most of the Fortune 500 businesses of the last 20 years don’t exist anymore. Renowned brands like Nokia, MySpace, Netscape, MapQuest, AOL, and Pebbles all had viable companies and were successful, but they couldn’t meet the evolving needs of their consumers, which led to their failure.
4. Build Your Brand’s Personality
The key to creating an exciting business is seeing your brand as a living being. And just like anyone you meet in the world, your brand must have a unique identity like Winc, exude a captivating personality through your chosen tone, voice, and messaging like MailChimp, and must know how to connect with your target audience through shared experiences like Nike.
Crafting an exciting personality will affect how your software development business communicates, connects with its audience, and sells its services. The easiest way your brand can create solid relationships with customers is by seeing your brand as a person.
5. Prioritize Consistency
When branding your software startup, the biggest mistake you can make is not staying consistent. Inconsistency in your brand-customer messaging or product quality can undermine everything you’ve worked hard to build and will often lead to lost opportunities and disappointed customers.
On the other hand, consistency builds trust. And trust is the real currency in any market, as customers will only buy from a brand they expect to receive an equal or greater value for their money.
To build a consistent brand, it’s essential to communicate the same message about your brand across all platforms and within your institution. It’s important to emphasize your identity and values until your customers get familiar with them.
6. Leverage Your Employees
It’s a known fact that employees are one of the most valuable assets for any business. However, most companies spend a lot of their efforts on their customers and investors while they pay very little attention to the employees that make everything happen.
As a new software company still planting its roots in the market, you need to build the perfect culture and environment that helps your employee's competence and character shine. Setting up a great work environment will help you solidify your brand’s identity in your employees. And creating the perfect culture and environment for your employees to thrive will provide your brand with happy and satisfied employees that’ll help go above and beyond for your business.
Also, when hiring, make sure you not only hire talented employees but employees whose character matches the kind of brand you’re building.
7. Have a Brand Positioning Strategy and Stick to it
Every high-performing brand has a unique position they occupy in the market that appeals to its target customer. The goal of branding positioning is to actively work to give your business a special place in the minds of your customers and the markets.
Apple, for example, has positioned itself as a luxury brand with its premium pricing, beautiful designs, reliable technology, excellent end-to-end user experience, and exclusivity.
Meanwhile, instead of positioning itself as a luxury brand, Microsoft prefers everyone to get their hands on windows. So ensure you identify the best brand position to yield maximum input for your business and stick with it.
8. Maintain Positive Relations With Your Customers
It's easier to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones. Making your customers happy is the sole goal of your business. And this is why it’s important to establish and maintain positive customer relations.
To get this done, your brand must be able to communicate charismatically with your customers and make it a goal to exceed customers' expectations when tackling their problems. Customer satisfaction shouldn’t be relegated to just your customer care unit but should influence other aspects of your business and should help you decide on software updates for your products.
9. Use Co-Branding Partnership
Co-branding is the easiest way to get your brand off the ground and in touch with your target audience.
Co-branding happens when two different brands in separate niches work together to create a unique product that combines the best of both worlds. And we’ve seen a lot of brands take this route recently. Brands like GoPro and RedBull did a co-branding partnership that helped connect their customer base.
Other brands like Levis and Google, Spotify and Uber, Google and Luxottica, Snapchat, and Square’s Snapcash have all taken this route and received impressive results.
With co-branding, you essentially create double the efforts while bearing only half the cost. And that’s not all; your customers gain extra value, prove your credibility, and increase brand awareness. Co-branding is ideal for software startups finding their feet in the highly competitive market.
10. Go Online
The bridge between businesses and customers is the internet. Customers are super active on social media, and creating consistent content is the best way to grab their attention.
Several software startups without a working product have leveraged their online communities to show the viability of their product and attract a lot of customer interest, capital, and talent that gave their business an extra boost.
So, take your brand online. It’ll provide you a platform to position your brand, sell your vision, communicate with your audience, and even find out the needs of your target audience and how you can better fulfill them.
Branding is not a one-day affair. It’s something you need to build continuously if you want to see reliable results. And we trust that these ten tips we’ve shared here will play a vital role in helping you build a solid brand faster than you expect.