Building a InCredible Product Brand (Christina Inge) ProductCamp Boston May 2013

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Building a brand is what can make or break a new product. Often what distinguishes a successful product from an also-ran is a brand that's credible and resonates with the marketplace. …

Building a brand is what can make or break a new product. Often what distinguishes a successful product from an also-ran is a brand that's credible and resonates with the marketplace.

We'll look at what makes for a successful brand, going beyond image to finding the true value of your product. Make your product stand out from the competition, be first in consumers' minds, and gain a loyal following of advocates and customers.

If branding is tricky, re-branding is even ******, because you need to create credibility for the new brand when you have the legacy of what's gone before. Drawing on a case study of a successful rebranding of one product group from one industry to another, while completely changing everything from look and feel to target audience, we'll look at ways to both brand your new product right and rebrand it for success when you're changing directions.

This presentation was delivered at ProductCamp Boston, May 4, 2013 by Christina Inge

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  • 1. Creating an InCredible ProductBrandProductCamp Boston 2013Christina Inge, Senior Directorof Marketing, eZuce, Inc
  • 2. 2> First, have a holistic view of branding: it’s not a set ofvisual guidelines. It’s not about “pretty.” It’s about valuesand value> Know who you are, and express it boldly• So few do> Have honesty, integrity, and work with quality> Say something meaningful> Do it in a unique wayWhat Makes for an InCredible BrandIn a World of “Same”-How to Stand Out?
  • 3. 3> Resonance: it fits with what yourcustomers need> Other-Centeredness: it focuses onwhat your customers need, not whatyou’re “doing”> Uniqueness: it’s not a generic“corporate brand.” Nothing looks moreinsincere> Focus: it stands for something distinct,which can be articulated succinctlyKeys to a Good BrandIt’s A Formula, But Not A Simple One
  • 4. 4> Integrity: you honor what you say> Quality: in your product, in how youpresent yourself> Content: you explain why andhow, not just talk big> Respect: for the team, for thestakeholders, for the customer> Depth: not necessarily of productline, but ofcontent, documentation, andKeys to a Credible BrandBrands Are Not Fluff—They’re the Reason People Buy from You
  • 5. 5> More than just putting yourself in thecustomers’ shoes> So few brands really listen> Frontline feedback is sometimesworth more than focus groups> Listen to the industry• Listen to people who are not yourcustomers• Try to find out whyResonanceWhat Your Customers Need
  • 6. 6> Language is the key:• Talk about how you solve theirproblems, not how you solve your problems,• Talk about what your product can do forthem, not what it’s like designing yourproduct> It’s actually OK to talk about features-the “Features vs. Benefits” contrastdoes not ensure other-centeredness> Only truly thinking about benefits doesOther-CenterednessFocus on Customer Needs
  • 7. 7> Especially vital for smaller companies ora crowded market> Always essential for any brand> Being distinctive is not a handicap, butso few brands embrace> Fear of being too different smotherscreativity> A brand needs to be creative to survive> Even in B2BUniquenessDon’t Worry About Being Different!
  • 8. 8> Stand for a few basic valuepropositions> Don’t aim for more than 5—3 shouldbe enough> Temptation to say everything greatabout your product> People are busy, need bottom line,top 3> Lack of focus looks to “early” or“late”FocusDon’t Try the Kitchen Sink Approach
  • 9. 9> Few professional marketers wouldlie about a product, but beware notunderstanding end-users> Pumping up the product neverworks> Integrity also in offers and promos:• A webinar should have the contentpromised, minimal sales• Good value is a key form of integrityIntegrityHonor What You Say
  • 10. 10> Spend the time> Spend, if possible, on good collateral> What people look for:• Good, non-cliché, well-designed imagery• Good, clear, grammatical writing> Professional visuals, language, andpresentation shows company is quality> Adhering to marketing best practicesQualityHow You Present Yourself Reflects on the Product
  • 11. 11> Depth and honesty> Be technical. Geek out. Yourcustomers actually want that> No one wants to or will read fluff> Don’t shy away from more detail> Superficial “white papers” withclichéd advice have seen theirday• We hope• We really hopeContentHow You Explain Your Value
  • 12. 12> Live your values> Don’t talk down to customersor assume they aren’tdiscerning> Respect their time withinformative content> Respect their needs with two-way conversations> Voice of the customer is a partof your brandRespectCustomers Sense, Respond
  • 13. 13> Doing fewer things well builds brand value> Tap the expertise of your team> Be in tune with your industry, maintainknowledge> Respond, but also lead, especially if you’reemerging> Depth is what creates• Good content• Good value• Good productsDepthKnowledge Builds Credibility
  • 14. Evolving a BrandA B2B Case Study
  • 15. 15> eZuce delivers an open software platformdesigned to provide virtualizedcommunications.> Cloud, virtualization> Open source and open standardseZuce Corporate BackgroundBring communications and collaboration to IT and into the cloudCorporate HeadquartersBoston Massachusetts USABucharest - R&DSeattle - SupportBangalore - QAAnkara - R&D> Voice, Video, Conferencing> Chat, IM, Social Collaboration> 2.5 year old, venture-backed startup competing ina space with large, legacy players> Aimed at forward-thinking CIOs
  • 16. 16 Building a BrandAiming for Uniqueness and Value in a Market Dominated by Traditional Brands
  • 17. 17> Which would you rather have on your site?UniquenessDon’t Be Afraid to Deviate from the “B2B” Look
  • 18. 18> Develop series of thought leadershippieces that give genuine value• Not sales pitches, but real content• Really, real content> Taking a (sincerely) disruptive stand onindustry issues> This is what startups can do—and it’soften the best way to stake out a marketposition> Case studies: remaining other-centeredContent and ValueA Brand Isn’t Just A Visual
  • 19. 19> Focus: go deep on a few verticals, or messages, ratherthan a scattershot effect> Hone a message and think about how it can best bepresented through a few target media, such as video andsocial> Make sure the message is substantive—everyone isputting out sales pitches, but detailed product specs, in-depth case studies, and honest white papers make youstand outDepthBe An Expert—That, In Itself, Is Half Your Brand
  • 20. 20> Have confidence in going outside the usual B2B comfortzone> Detail the value of your product (don’t sell the sizzle)> Be real—even in B2B, authenticity trumps “corporate”look, feel, and message> Embrace what is distinctive about your market position,product, and worldview> Have fun!Lessons LearnedApplying Brand Concepts in the Real World
  • 21. Christina Inge978-296-1005, ext 2073. cinge@ezuce.com