Your logo is not your brand. But it IS reflective of your brand. Here's how to build both and get real results.
A strong brand identity can make your Software as a Service (SaaS) business stand out from the competition. When done effectively, it makes your customers feel something whenever they think about your brand.
Consider any number of brands you interact with any given day. Chances are, the most successful ones don’t merely help you get something done. They also emote a feeling. Disney, for example, is magical – and that magic pervades every part of the brand. Volvo, on the other hand, isn’t about magic. Rather, the brand emotes “safety.”
The examples above are for iconic B2C companies, but we hope they drive home the point: Your brand identity is important. Use branding strategically and you’ll thrive in the highly competitive SaaS market. Neglect it and customers will struggle to understand how you differ from others in the marketplace.
Let’s dive in.
Six Questions To Get Your SaaS Branding Right
- What Makes My SaaS Product Unique?
- How Does My SaaS Product Help People?
- Who Are My Best Customers?
- What Are My Company Goals?
- What Visual Feeling Would Best Target Those Customers?
- What Content Do My Best Customers Want to Read?
#1. What Makes My SaaS Product Unique?
Chances are, other people make products that offer similar benefits as yours does.
As a result, to brand yours in a way that stands out from the competition, take some time to consider what makes your product different?
Sometimes, you’ll discover these unique qualities in the product itself. BMW, for example, is a driving machine.
Other times, you may need to dig a little deeper, by exploring your company’s values, mission, or culture. Consider how, at one time, Google was known to “do no harm” or that Ben & Jerry’s was known for its environmental commitment.
If, initially, you feel stumped, rest assured that your company does offer something unique. Talk to colleagues and customers. Or, if needed, get help from outside consultants, such as a creative agency that specializes in SaaS branding. Eventually you’ll hit on it.
(Related: How to Choose a Software Marketing Agency)
#2. How Does My SaaS Product Help People?
Here’s a mistake lots of tech companies make: Getting deep into the weeds about how their product works.
We get it. It’s exciting to tell other people about all of the engineering and coding that went into a product’s creation. Thing is, your customers are less interested in how your product works as they are in how your product will change their everyday existence.
Think of it this way: What if, instead of showing customers how an iPhone will change their lives, Apple’s television commercials explained what’s happening under the phone’s hood to enable Siri to do her thing. Sure, someone, somewhere would get excited about that kind of stuff. But most people? They just want to know what Siri can do – for them.
It’s the same with your SaaS branding. We’re not saying that the “how this thing works” stuff is never important. It is, and there’s a time and place for everything. That said, it alone isn’t usually enough to nudge customers to buy.
Try to zero in on the problem (referred to as a “pain point” in marketing) your SaaS product will alleviate for the customer. If you accurately reflect how your product will change someone’s work life for the better, your target audience will be compelled to learn more about your company – which leads us right into our next tip.
(Related: The Surprising Secrets to Unbounce’s Success)
#3. Who Are My Best Customers?
Now that you know your pain point, let’s talk about your target audience. This is your top customer, the person most likely to care about your product.
What pain point does your product solve… for them? Your SaaS branding needs to point back to this. Every time.
Take some time with this question, as it’s not as easy to answer as you might expect.
Again, going back to the example of BMW, it would be easy to make the mistake of thinking: This is a car for people who like to drive cars.
Is that really true, though? Is it more likely that BMW’s target audience is someone who cares about status (they like that BMW symbol), who earns enough money to afford the vehicle, and who deeply cares about how their car corners? That’s not just any driver; it’s a specific kind of driver.
So, when thinking about your target audience, consider:
- Geographic location
- Job descriptions
- And as many other factors as possible
Answering this clearly can help you push your SaaS branding in the right direction.
#4. What Are My Company Goals?
Let’s say you want to be known for being one of the top ten best email content creation platforms.
The messaging, visual appeal, and unique features of your branding can absolutely make or break that goal. To establish clear SaaS company goals:
- Set benchmarks for long-term goals so you can stay on track
- Analyze the market
- Analyze your brand’s past performance
- Ensure your goals are measurable and that you have the tools to track them
#5. What Visual Feeling Would Best Target Your Customers?
Your company’s colors, fonts, imagery, sounds, and packaging all communicate a message and a feeling with your customers.
Visual SaaS branding connects right back to your target audience. Every inch of a design has to have the right structure to target the right people.
For example, if you are targeting CEOs who are mostly women in their forties, maybe you’d want to incorporate classic, chic fonts, neutral colors, and white space. If you’re targeting male construction workers under the age of 30, maybe you’d want to use bold colors and thick fonts. There are tons of different ways to attract your audience visually, but no matter how you do it, make sure you’re being strategic.
#6. What Content Do My Best Customers Want to Read?
Blogs, guides, whitepapers, and other types of content all help you communicate key messages to your target audience.
Figure out where your audience gets their content – scrolling on LinkedIn? Perusing an industry publication? Searching on Google? Then, be there.
Conclusion: Your Brand Identity Matters
The questions explored in this article will help you to create branding that makes you proud – as well as makes your product memorable. That said, great branding requires both art, skill, and science. As a result, many of the world’s most iconic SaaS companies lean on digital creative agencies to help them get things just right.