For the last six months, we’ve been burning the midnight oil to revitalize our brand identity.
Not change it upside down, so that it was unrecognizable. But more to bring forth the essence of the company in such a way that would resonate with our target market and help us to stand out from the crowd, while honoring what already exists.
This change was driven by the fact that we were moving upmarket
As anyone can tell you, such a change involves more than just declaring that you’ll change. It involves a whole organization from top to bottom, not just in terms of people, but also of the brand.
What is a brand?
Although everyone knows the word, not everyone shares a common understanding of what it means.
Did you know that the word “brand” actually started in 2700 B.C. when the Egyptians used a hot branding iron to differentiate one person’s cattle from the other? (It seems that there were a lot of mix-ups back then between who owned what cattle.)
Over time, the word became known as a trademark, which is a name given to a product or service. People later started associating non-generic names for products with the brand name.
For example, a caramel, fizzy cola became synonymous with Coke. So, if you were at a restaurant, you would order a Coke instead of asking for a cola. Or, let’s say you wanted to search up something on the internet, you would “Google” it, and if you wanted to send something fast, you would “Fed Ex” it.
Perception is reality
Because there was no difference between a brand and a brand name, this presented a big problem for marketers, especially when we found out that we could create a distinction between the name of a product and the perception of the product or service.
Marty Neumeier, commonly thought of within the industry as the Silicon Valley’s godfather of branding once said: “A brand is not a logo. A brand is not a product. And a brand is not an identity. Brands live in people’s minds. They’re about gut feelings.”
Founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos says: “A brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room.”
What they both have in common are the intangibles of feelings, emotions and personal connections.
For modern marketers, this perception is known as “the brand”.
For the left-brain oriented people who are all about numbers, results and analytical thinking, this can be a little hard to grasp. What do you mean it’s not about product? Or, what’s the ROI of the brand?
There currently isn’t one way to value a brand because a brand consists of intangible assets AND tangible assets. I won’t go into the valuation of a brand because that’s not what this post is about. But, if you’re curious, you can take a look at the world’s most valuable brands as ranked by Forbes or Interbrand.
Brand consistency wins forever
When asked what a brand is, the first names that pop into people’s minds are the big brands like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Of course, Apple, one of the most iconic brands of all time, always tops the list.
You might say and rightly so, “Well, of course, Apple tops the list. They have billions of dollars to spend on marketing and they have a giant marketing team.”
Yes, and there’s something more that we can learn from them, as well as any other brand, large or small, who has been able to make their mark on the world.
Good branding is about differentiation. It’s about focus, and it’s about consistency. It’s about answering four questions: Who are you? What do you do? What makes you different? Why does it matter?
And once you have these answered, everything and everyone in the company needs to live, breathe, show and tell the same exact story over and over again until they are blue in the face and then some more. And it is only then, and maybe then, that your target market might start remembering your brand.
Let’s take a look at Apple again. Apple’s branding strategy far exceeds the “bitten apple” logo. Everything Apple aligns with their mission statement and core values.
When you buy an Apple product, you already know what kind of experience you’re going to get before you even open the box.
If you visit a “Genius Bar”, whether you’re in Japan, Europe or the US, there is never a doubt that you are in an Apple store and that you are met with knowledgeable and very capable people.
The marketing message, the visuals and the brand identity never waver off-brand.
If you tie all of it together, you know you’re getting quality, you’re getting an experience and a feeling that you can’t get with another or similar product. And this is why it is very difficult to get Apple’s customers to use any other product than Apple.
We call this the power of branding and it comes through consistency.
For you, left-brain guys out there, let’s put a number figure on brand consistency.
In a survey of 200 organizations, it was discovered that companies could increase revenue by 23% if they presented the brand consistently.
And when it comes to brand inconsistency, 71% of the study participants reported that the greatest negative impact was confusion in the market. This means that it’s difficult for customers to differentiate one brand from another, and it’s even more difficult for customers to build relationships with companies because they can’t figure out who those companies are and what they stand for.
What’s unique about SuperOffice?
When it comes to CRM suppliers, there’s a lot to choose from.
Every single one of them talks about the same thing – and that’s how CRM software can help you increase sales, improve customer experience and get more done.
We used to say the same thing too. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to tell the difference between the different companies.
For us, CRM is about relationships.
Our company has been in the CRM business for 30+ years and we still have customers that have been with us for 24 of those 30 years. This means – we must be doing something right!
We believe that business growth and success come through the creation and development of sustainable customer relationships. Business is about people and what people can achieve if given the right tools.
Our goal is to connect people through technology and help them achieve more. We do this because Relationships Matter. That’s what our company, our products, our services and people are all about.
Visualizing our change
We talked a little earlier about brand consistency and how everything around a brand needs to align with the same message. This includes the visuals.
Visuals help to express emotions and feelings in a different way than words do.
Let me walk through a few of the changes that we’ve made.
The red logo has been a key part of our brand identity and we now update it to green. The green represents the future, the growth for our partners and customers… and the growth of SuperOffice and our sincere focus on sustainability in all corners of our business.
Our new colors
This is our new color palette. The green colors subtly reference sustainability in customer relationships and growth, while a more mature version of red maintains a link to where we came from. The light blue signals the potential we offer customers. Just as SuperOffice has grown as a company, so have our colors matured.
The photographs visualize relationships and often focus on people. Because when relationships matter, people matter. We’ll show real people in real situations with genuine smiles.
This open, honest approach is part of our core values and a foundation for great relationships.
A sense of freedom comes when every relationship and every touchpoint in our work is naturally ordered, perfectly timed and logically laid out before us. Nature has a built-in almost spiritual sense of order and simplicity.
Here, nature symbolizes the ideal state in our work/life balance. A state we help customers achieve through our CRM solutions.
Our new website
We are pleased to announce that along with the launch of our new brand, we also launch an updated website. This is where you can see all the elements that we’ve just talked about come together.
This is just the beginning
As we relaunch our brand and our new website, we find that our job has only just begun.
We’ve got a lot of things to update and change in terms of logos, colors and fonts.
But as you read earlier, SuperOffice is so much more than that.
SuperOffice is – first and foremost – about customer experience and customer success. With the relaunch of our brand and website, we bring forward 30 years of CRM technology, know-how and experience to inspire and empower B2B professionals to create sustainable customer relationships.
We are now poised to spread the same message, the same feeling and the same experience across all our markets and to our target customers.
Will you help us spread the word?
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