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Creating an InCredible Product Brand

Slides featuring eZuce as a case study in B2B branding at ProductCamp Boston 2013

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Creating an InCredible Product Brand

  1. 1. Creating an InCredible ProductBrandProductCamp Boston 2013Christina Inge, Senior Directorof Marketing, eZuce, Inc
  2. 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. 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. 4> Integrity: you honor what you say> Quality: in your product, in how youpresent yourself> Content: you explain why and how,not just talk big> Respect: for the team, for thestakeholders, for the customer> Depth: not necessarily of productline, but of content, documentation,and industry knowledgeKeys to a Credible BrandBrands Are Not Fluff—They’re the Reason People Buy from You
  5. 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. 6> Language is the key:• Talk about how you solve their problems,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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 14. Evolving a BrandA B2B Case Study
  15. 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. 16 Building a BrandAiming for Uniqueness and Value in a Market Dominated by Traditional Brands
  17. 17. 17> Which would you rather have on your site?UniquenessDon’t Be Afraid to Deviate from the “B2B” Look
  18. 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. 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. 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. 21. Christina Inge978-296-1005, ext 2073. cinge@ezuce.com