The Technologist and the Customer

by Tom Campbell


  • Posted: 2 years ago

Technology marketing, Brand Engineering: Brand design strategy for stage 2 tech companies

A 4-step love story brought to you by brand design

At Toolbox Creative, we’re connectors. Need a photographer in Walla Walla? We’ve got a connection. Need 200 cookies in the shape of your logo by Thursday? We’ll make it happen. But the most meaningful connections we make are between our clients and their customers. It’s why we love what we do, and it’s the kind of connection that only brand design can make.

The challenge of Alice the technologist

Take the story of Alice: While a fictitious technologist, Alice’s challenge is very real. She, like most of our clients has been quietly kicking ass for years. Her company’s big idea is better than the dominant players in the space. Whether it’s an innovative technology, software solution or superior business-to-business product — the challenge is the same. Alice’s brand doesn't look as good as it really is and the right people don’t know the right things about her company (if they know it at all). Alice is laser-focused on the tech side of her innovative tech company, as she should be. But when it comes to telling her brand story in a way that resonates with potential customers, Alice gets caught up in engineer-ese. That’s where we come in.   

Toolbox creates love connections between technologists and customers in 4 easy, super-scientific steps:

1. Understand your technology customer at the head, heart and gut level.

Where are they? Who are they? What keeps them up at night? How and why do they make buying decisions? The first step in getting more customers to love you is studying those who already do (and sometimes a few who have fallen out of love). Brand Assessment always starts with your clients. As a third-party with a healthy outside perspective, we enable your customers to open up, share why they love you, why they’re loyal, why they care. From there, we develop buyer personas and map out the customer journey. This critical research serves as the foundation for all branding work to come.

2. Show them what they don’t know.

What makes your innovative tech company different? Why should your prospective customer care? Alice knows her technology is superior to the industry Goliath. The challenge is her potential customers don’t. They’re comfortable with what they have. They don’t crave a better experience. They might not know a better product exists. Even if they’ve heard of Alice’s technology, simply knowing her product exists is not enough to change their behavior. Customers need to be able to compare and contrast Alice’s tech with the status quo. They need incentive to change their behavior and assurance that their risk will be rewarded. The Brand Strategy phase is designed to connect with your customers on a head, heart and gut level and, most importantly, inspire them to take action. At this stage, brand positioning and messaging is developed based on your buyer personas and customer journey map. 

3. Prove how you will improve their lives.

Demonstrate the true ROI. Return on investment is about so much more than money. Alice can speak for hours on the technology, science and engineering behind her innovative tech company — that’s the technologist’s sweet spot. The emotional and psychological benefits of her technology are more difficult to articulate. How will you help your customers get their nights and weekends back? Love their jobs more? How will you help them change the world? The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and Brand Implementation is where we get them to lap it up. Now your corporate identity takes shape — from logo, brand standards, website and ad campaign to explainer videos and tradeshow presence. Your brand identity as a whole should illustrate how you’ll take that thing that keeps your customers up at night and put it to bed. This is where the experiment works and everyone applauds. Customers change their behavior, embrace your brand and the love story begins.

4. Win hearts and minds.

Turn customers into advocates for your brand. Alice has some great brand love stories starting. Now she needs to increase the love exponentially, grow her business and gain a foothold in the market before the big players in the space (with their huge budgets) catch up to her innovative technology. To do that, she’ll need to turn customers into brand champions by giving those who love her company the tools to share the love. Loyalty programs, case studies, content marketing, social and earned media help expand your customers’ love and spread the good word about your brand.

At Toolbox Creative, we’re on a mission to help great tech companies get great results through great branding. If you’d like to start a love story of your own with your customers, drop us a line.