Top 4 Tips to Branding Your Tech Startup

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Michiko Morales

A Brand Connects Personality

According to the brand strategist Scott Talgo, “a brand that captures your mind gains behavior and a brand that captures your heart gains commitment.” The sentiment still rings true today, regardless of industry. Here at Gabriel Marketing Group, we develop brands for high growth technology companies–from tech startups to large public companies, so we have learned a thing or two about what can differentiate a brand in a crowded, evolving marketplace. In this blog, we have laid out four tips to consider when branding your tech startup.

Tip 1: Be Interesting and Bold

From a branding perspective, it’s important that the brand personality be interesting and memorable–in that way, brands are like people. Would you really want to spend time with someone who is described as having no personality or is constantly a drag to be around? I didn’t think so.

Except for those naturally charming few, most of us work to develop our personality. So, it’s no surprise that developing your brand’s personality is equally important. When brands are treated as people, perceptions and behavior are often affected. Typically, this tactic makes the brand more memorable, which can lead to more revenue.

Tip 2: Communicate Functional Benefits

All brands have personality, defined or not. To ensure you have control over the core personality traits of your brand, define dimension and genetic attributes that reflect your core values and set your company apart from competitors. For example, the Progressive Insurance spokeswoman, Flo, does a great job at creating equality amongst established competitors. She provides an authentic and real personality to help keep the brand on top of mind for consumers. Once the personality is established, it can help provide the brand with benefits in the long term.

For brands starting out, it could be beneficial to create the brand personality that indirectly implies the functional benefit rather than directly communicate to your target audience that the functional benefit exists.

In general, it tends to be harder to attack or replicate a brand personality versus a functional benefit because the personality is based on elements that were established over time.

Tip 3: Offer Energy and Brand Relationships  

Strong brand personalities like Nike, Apple and BMW all provide energy to their target demographics by adding interest and involvement. These brands do a great job at amplifying the brand perceptions and experiences for their target demographics. Conversely, many hotel chains suffer the opposite by not being viewed differently or just being plain old boring.

For example, the hotel brand, W Hotels Worldwide, communicates to its target demographic that it provides iconic design and contemporary luxury by providing guests with vibrant lounges, modern guestrooms and innovative cocktails within their hotel locations. The brand strives to provide guests with more than just a hotel experience, but a luxury lifestyle destination.

Along the same lines, a brand can also attempt to create a relationship with the brand that the target demographic can better relate too. For example, consider the following relationship analogies below:

  • The romantic interest: “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” where the actor for Old Spice recites hilarious but smoothly delivered monologues, depicts a swath of traditional romantic skills and interests and shows his international tastes–all with a mix of classiness and edge.
  • The adventurous friend: a sturdy, powerful and outdoorsy personality such as North Face, L.L. Bean and Columbia Sportswear.

Refining the relationship dynamic, whether it be a personal or professional tone, can help provide additional clarity, depth, and appeal for the brand manager’s target demographic. 

Tip 4: Make Your Brand Functional

For the brand personality to be fully functional, it needs to be well-developed and consistently supported. This effort can be achieved by increasing the brand positioning, developing sponsorship opportunities, reworking competitive pricing or even have a more visible CEO. At the foundation, if authenticity does not permeate through your brand personality, then its viability as part of the brand should be reconsidered or taken back to the drawing board.

When the brand personality has been fully developed, it can help communicate product offerings, brand energy and define the customer relationship. It’s critical that the brand manager selects attributes that shed insight into the customer’s behavior but also on how the vision and brand image will be impacted moving forward.

Brands that excel in differentiation, visibility and loyalty programs generally will have the advantage in the market primarily because they will be difficult, ineffective and expensive to copy.

Are you looking to create a new personality or inject energy into your current campaign by combining your tech startup’s branding, marketing and public relations efforts under a winning content market strategy? We are the industry’s leading technology marketing company, and we are here to help. Give us a call to get the conversation started or download our eBook here.

From the Blog

Leah Nurik