Why tech brands should quit cloning around
Updated: Jul 13, 2022
What was the last great tech ad you saw?
Chances are, the examples you can think of are few and far between. And that’s despite there being more technology brands around than ever, with nearly 10,000 solutions in the marketing technology space alone in 2022 – up 24% since 2020. (source: Chief Martec, State of Martec 2022).
The trouble is, many new businesses are tempted to play it safe with their branding and comms. Take a look at a handful of tech startup websites and you may start getting a sense of déjà vu, with many relying on similar, conservative palettes and tried-and-tested messaging.
It’s easy to understand why. B2B brands are often cautious about alienating a professional audience with anything too playful or adventurous. And perhaps if you look like the industry leaders, you can borrow some of their credibility as a useful leg-up into the market.
But few brands become industry leaders by aping the competition. And relying on your product story to set you apart, rather than distinctive branding, misses the opportunity to make a memorable first impression. As the saying goes, people don’t remember what you say, but how you made them feel. Imbuing your branding with creativity, originality and meaning will drive a connection with your audience on that crucial first engagement
Only ice cream should be vanilla
Your branding has one job – to create immediate visual distinction. But that goes beyond jazzy fonts and colour palettes. For instance, creating a brand character or brand world through which you can consistently tell your story is a powerful way to catch, build and sustain attention. As is adding a musical hook, like Intel’s distinctive 4-note chime. In fact, Ipsos research revealed ads featuring sonic brand cues were over eight times more effective at gaining attention, and those with characters six times more effective than those without.*
As I write this, Conservative politicians are one by one declaring their intentions to stand for election to be the next party leader and UK Prime Minister. One front runner, Rishi Sunak, has accompanied his leadership bid with his own brand film telling the story of his family and upbringing. Is it good? There will be a spectrum of opinions on that. But it will be remembered, because it’s distinctive and no other candidate has done the same thing. And using a device such as a film, deploying emotive sound, visuals and messaging, is a powerful way to lodge in people’s minds.
But back to the B2B space and the mission of achieving memorability. Who’s doing it best? Here are 5 businesses who’ve broken the mould with their branding.
With its characters Astro & friends, based in the mythical world of Salesforcelandia, Salesforce is showing that businesses can embrace a lighter side of branding but still be taken seriously.
Vibrant branding, striking illustrations and conversational messaging sets Adobe apart from the software pack and strengthens their appeal to their creative audience.
Fintechs are shaking up the traditionally conservative world of business banking, and none more so than ANNA Money, which adds a splash of colour and humour with its distinctive orange branding and cartoon animals.
Mailchimp’s branding lives up to its characterful name, with a vivid yellow-and-pink palette and quirky illustrations that celebrate its customers’ entrepreneurial spirit.
We can’t write an article about memorable branding without mentioning Apple. The clean, minimalist design of its products carries across to its communications, focusing people’s attention on what really matters to them.
To sum up, new brands may be tempted to create a homogeneous visual identity to fit in with the crowd – but to gain mindspace, they should prioritise creating ownable, distinctive branding assets.
Like a talking unicorn, perhaps? Just saying. To learn more about the LogicLogicMagic approach and how we can help your organisation become more distinctive, download your copy of “Mogic’s guide to making marketing more memorable” here.
*Ipsos, The Power of You: Why distinctive brand assets are a driving force of creative effectiveness