Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Five C’s of Successful Branding

There is so much jargon, hyperbole, and marketing ‘bull****’ (excuse my French!) used in corporate communication, especially in IT, that branding should be seen as an opportunity to build clarity and focus. Branding can help you move from complexity and over-sophistication to simplicity by creating straightforward messages that are relevant and easily related to, and that allow your customers to see that you understand their problems and know how to solve them. 

The best way to prove that you stand behind your brand promise is to show how you have done it for others. Together with building your brand promise, you will gather customer success stories and customer quotes that support your messages. It’s not about you; it’s about what you helped your customers to achieve. Your customer history and the consistency in which you deal with their challenges are  the proofs that build your credibility.

The timing you choose for launching your new brand is critical. Make sure to link the company rebranding to significant events happening in your market or at the company level, such as a new technology release, a new business strategy, or a recent acquisition that changes your business model. These emerging needs will allow you to connect your rebranding to a broader context that will resonate within your customer community, and not only relating to your own private story. This also means that as a living and breathing entity, the brand has to evolve as new needs arise and as the context in which you operate changes.

Step away from what everyone is expecting you to say, try to be edgy and unexpected. This is not just about spicing up your messaging. It is about looking at emerging needs from a new perspective and delivering a message that comes from that fresh and smarter approach.

A careful and precise execution of the brand is the key to its success. The brand messages and promise need to be aligned with the company’s core values, and synchronized internally with employees and externally with business partners. The brand is not a static entity. As the IT market evolves very quickly, the brand needs to be constantly updated and refreshed throughout the years to maintain market relevance.

It was with these principles in mind, as well as accumulated experience of similar exercises in different technology companies, that we led Magic’s rebranding effort.
I hope you’ll agree that our messaging is focused on our main market value, and that our corporate language is approachable and direct. We also changed and simplified the way we present our product portfolio (brand architecture) and the connection between our products and Magic’s corporate brand. Our family of products will be named after our main registered brand name, Magic, with Magic xpa Application Platform and Magic xpi Integration Platform as part of the Magic technology umbrella.

Our promise to help our customers ‘outperform the future’ is supported by hundreds of success stories from around the world, featured on our web site, demonstrating that our customers have been loyal to Magic’s technology throughout the years because it offers them the ideal path to keep pace with ever-changing IT trends.

The launch date of our new branding was not picked randomly. It was very carefully chosen and planned to synchronize with the introduction of our new platform for enterprise mobility for iOS and Android, which is expected to create a real shift in our business and certainly a revolution for our customers and partners. The choice of our dynamic logo, which changes shape just as our market evolves, is a daring and edgy decision, and certainly not one expected from such a long-term veteran of the enterprise software industry. This logo symbolizes the flexibility, versatility and adaptability of our platforms and the freshness of our technology approach - even after 30 years of existence.

Tania AmarThe author of this post is Tania Amar, Global Marketing Vice President at Magic Software Enterprises. Prior to Magic, Tania was Vice President for Marketing and Business Development at Jerusalem Venture Partners, the leading venture capital firm in Israel. Prior to JVP, Tania was the Director of Global Marketing for NICE Systems (Nasdaq : NICE) where she led the Company’s rebranding in 2004. Tania also worked as Corporate Public Relations Director for Comverse Network Systems (Nasdaq : CMVT) where she was part of the rebranding team.