Category: Company News

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Tech Startup Brand Messaging: Telling a story that resonates with your audience.

Hi there! thanks for checking back into the 3 Colours Rule blog. This week, the focus is going to be on tech startup brand messaging.

Author Seth Godin once said that “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but about the stories you tell”.

Godin recognised that there had been a trend shift in the marketing world in response to a change in what was important to audiences. What a company was selling didn’t matter as much anymore. The thing that was important to consumers was the story behind why the company was selling it.

He went on to say that “a great story is true. Not necessarily because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are too good at sniffing out inconsistencies for a marketer to get away with a story that’s just slapped on”. Godin knew that audiences were too well informed, too passionate about these stories, and that they could easily recognise when a brand is faking it.

To be able to tell an authentic brand story that connects with your audience, you need to begin with your core brand values.

Communicating your core brand values

Core brand values are the qualities and virtues that you care most deeply about. They form the essence of your company culture. Your core brand values feed into a lot of the business decisions you make, they’ll dictate who you do business with, who you choose to partner with, and who you recruit.

By communicating your core brand values to your audience and educating them on what you stand for as a brand, you’ll attract customers and clients that share your values and beliefs.

So how does this relate to brand messaging? Or perhaps more importantly, what is brand messaging?

Orange half containing sweets.

Tech startup brand messaging

Tech startup brand messaging is the underlying value proposition conveyed and language used when promoting your tech startup. It’s how consumers relate to your brand. With a unique core message and tone of voice, companies are able to define a specific way of conveying their ideas and messages to their audience.

To make sure you’re communicating your values in a way that will achieve your desired results, there are a few rules that your brand messaging should follow:

  • Be authentic: Remember that consumers will always know whether you’re genuine in your beliefs and your values. Don’t put yourself in a position where they can catch you in a lie. Just be genuine and speak from the heart.
  • Be accountable: Don’t be flimsy with your morals. Consumers should be able to depend on you to uphold the values that you share with them.
  • Be applying: Don’t leave your brand messaging sitting on a shelf, so to speak. Let it inform your recruitment and your performance measuring.

There’s another rule but I think it deserves its own paragraph: be distinctive.

It’s like I said on the blog a few weeks back: there are so many tech startups and they’ve all got a story. If you want to break through the noise and really make an impact, you can’t just talk about the same thing that everyone else always talks about. Honesty, reliability, integrity, respect, they’re all important values no doubt, but they aren’t unique, in fact, they’re pretty much a given. Really dig deep and work out what’s important to you, and present it in a way that avoids all of these cliche buzzwords.

Brand tone: finding your unique voice

Brand tone is something that’s easy to forget when you’re writing any kind of content. It’s not something you really notice when you read another companies content, and that’s sort of the point. Your tone of voice subconsciously communicates your brand through your choice of language. think about it, your local nail salon will use a very different language in their promotional materials than an organisation like JPMorgan Chase.

The tone you pick will depend on a variety of factors, including your industry, whether you’re B2B or B2C, and the subject matter that you’re writing about, but it should always reflect your company culture and be in line with your overall brand messaging.

Let’s take a look at this in practice with an example- Apple vs Dell.

Apple is a B2C company that believes in helping their customers unleash their creative potential, so they use a confident, passionate, intimate tone when they’re communicating with their audience.

Dell, on the other hand, are a B2B company, and they like to let their technical specifications do the talking for them, so they adopt a much more candid, concise and professional tone.

Wrapping up.

Storytelling is so important for branding, I can’t really overstate it. It’s your path into the hearts and minds of your audience, so before you go, I want to leave you with the last few pieces of advice to make sure your brand messaging is the best it can be:

Make sure your story is framed inclusively. There needs to be an aspect to it that your audience identifies with, otherwise they can’t get invested your story. All the best stories throughout history: The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars, they’re all great because we as the audience can empathise with the characters and the situations that are presented to us. Odysseus just wanted to go home, Romeo just wanted to be with the person that he loved, and Luke Skywalker just wanted to be a Jedi, and who doesn’t want that!?

Something else to consider: people love to root for an underdog (Leicester City anyone?), so playing on your position as a startup to play to people’s emotions isn’t a bad idea.

Finally, remember that good stories are universal. Ultimately we’re emotional beings, and emotions are a powerful tool when it comes to branding and marketing.

Coca Cola open happiness

Helping you develop your tech startup brand messaging

If you’re running a tech startup but aren’t clear on how to communicate your core brand values, don’t panic, we can help you! Our expertise lies in branding and neuromarketing, which means we know what it takes to develop brand messaging that actually connects with your audience. Fill in the form below or get in touch if you’d like to hear more.

About us
3 Colours Rule is a branding and marketing agency specialising in growing tech companies and start-ups. Beyond our brand strategy, design and marketing services; we also have a podcast: Tech Brains Talk where our founder has conversations with experts and entrepreneurs in tech. We also have a branding and marketing academy to support marketers expand their skills and entrepreneurs too. We also run our non-profit organisation, TLA Black Women In Tech, one of the fastest-growing communities for black female professionals and entrepreneurs in tech.  

Request a brand insight session to discover brand opportunities you could secure. Get in touch with us today!

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    Developing strong tech startup branding with Brand Soul Searching

    What makes tech startup branding great?

    Think about it for a minute.

    What is it that makes some tech brands so influential, so popular, so memorable, whilst countless other tech startup brands fail to make any kind of impact?

    Is it the logo? Would Apple be where they are today without that iconic rainbow-striped apple? Perhaps it could be the brand name, after all, it is the thing that’s most synonymous with a company. The word Microsoft doesn’t make you think about anything other than the tech giant.

    The truth is, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Uber, etc. all have one thing in common. They have strong brands because they began with a strong brand foundation. The question then becomes, what exactly is a brand foundation and what is it made up of?

    This blog will answer that question and look in detail at each element of a brand foundation.

    Creating strong tech startup branding through Brand Soul Searching 

    The foundation of a brand is composed of three core elements:

    The three elements of a brand foundation for tech startup branding.
    Brand purpose graphic for tech startup branding.

    Brand Purpose

    The first thing you need to know is your brand purpose. Brand purpose is the why. Why are you doing what you’re doing? What impact is it that you want your tech startup to have?

    When defining your brand purpose, it’s important not to be generic. It’s all well and good to say your company ‘wants to make the world a better place’, but that doesn’t offer much in terms of direction or focus. A more specific brand purpose will give your organisation and your brand a goal to strive for.

    Take into account your target audience. Make sure you know what issues your audience are passionate about, and how you can position your brand purpose to relate better to them.

    Apple is a great example of the importance of brand purpose. Apple’s brand purpose was the following:

    Apple's brand purpose.

    In the early days of Apple, they looked at the computer market and were unimpressed with the design and ease of use of the products available. They then decided their purpose was to build and sell computers that were beautifully designed and easy to use for anyone, regardless of their computer literacy. Apple’s success is a testament to the importance of brand purpose. In fact, Apple recently became the first company in the world to achieve a $3 trillion market value. Convinced yet?

    Brand vision graphic for tech startup branding.

    Brand Vision

    Whilst brand purpose focuses entirely on an external component of your tech startup branding, the impact you want the company to have on the outside world, your brand vision is all about your internal motivations. What is your vision for the future of the brand? Where do you think you’re headed?

    A brand vision will set the overall direction of your organisation and will define for everyone who comes into contact with your brand, including your employees, what you strive to be and what your ambitions are.

    Don’t be afraid to dream big. Be ambitious, visualise exactly what it is you want for your business (within reason of course)

    Bill Gates created Microsoft with an incredibly bold vision for his brand; he wanted to see “a computer on every desk, and in every home, running Microsoft software”.

    Of course, he didn’t achieve exactly that thanks to competitors like Apple, but his vision for the future drove Microsoft to unimaginable commercial success, and they’ve continued to spearhead innovation in the computer market since their inception in 1975.

    Brand mission graphic for tech startup branding.

    Brand Mission

    Once you know your brand’s purpose and vision, you can create your brand mission, also known as a mission statement.

    Your mission statement is a sentence that succinctly defines your brand’s purpose or reason for being. It is the target at which all plans and programmes should be aimed. It summarises how you’re going to achieve your purpose and your vision. A good mission statement will immediately give those unfamiliar with the business an idea of who you are, whilst simultaneously providing direction and guidance for your business.

    Here’s a look at some real mission statement examples from successful tech businesses:

    Microsoft logo.

    “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

    Tesla logo.

    “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

    LinkedIn logo.

    “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

    Twitter logo.

    “To give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers.”

    TED logo.

    “Spread ideas.”

    When you’re developing your mission statement, don’t be afraid to look at big brands and the brands in your industry for inspiration, but remember to make your mission statement unique to your company and your brand.

    Helping you develop your tech startup branding

    If you’re running a tech startup but aren’t clear on what your brand’s purpose, vision and mission are, don’t panic! This is where 3 Colours Rule’s Brand Soul Searching Activity can help you. We help new and developing tech brands get to the bottom of their brand purpose, vision and mission, so they can go forward confident in the knowledge that they have a strong foundation for brand success.

    About us
    3 Colours Rule is a branding and marketing agency specialising in growing tech companies and start-ups. Beyond our brand strategy, design and marketing services; we also have a podcast: Tech Brains Talk where our founder has conversations with experts and entrepreneurs in tech. We also have a branding and marketing academy to support marketers expand their skills and entrepreneurs too. We also run our non-profit organisation, TLA Black Women In Tech, one of the fastest-growing communities for black female professionals and entrepreneurs in tech.  

    Request a brand insight session to discover brand opportunities you could secure. Get in touch with us today!

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      Tech Brand Positioning: Distinguishing Yourself in a Competitive Market

      Welcome back to the 3 Colours Rule blog! This week, I want to focus on something that I feel gets overlooked when discussions on tech branding are held: tech startup brand positioning.

      It probably won’t shock you when I tell you that the tech market is crowded. Like, really crowded. In fact, an estimated 1.35 million tech startups are created every year. That’s an intimidating statistic for any budding tech entrepreneur. Even more intimidating is that, for a variety of reasons, 90% of those startups will fail.

      With the market is constantly changing, with new tech startups constantly entering and failed tech startups constantly exiting, it can be really difficult for tech startups to stand out and get noticed by their prospective audience, regardless of which tech space they’re in. When standing out is the name of the game, knowing how to do it better than your competitors can be the difference between graduating from startup to success or joining the 90% that failed to make an impact.

      Tech Startup Brand Positioning 

      Brand positioning is all about creating value by differentiating yourself from competitors. It defines how you’ll be perceived in your customer’s minds, which means that you need to decide how you want to be perceived before you start positioning your brand.

      How well your brand is positioned will determine the value that customers place on you, which means before anything else, you need to know your audience and the expectations they have for you. Your brand value ‘sweet spot’ is between what your customers expect from you, and what you do that your competitors don’t.

      Lets take a look at a couple of famous examples of competitors who have positioned themselves differently to increase their perceived value:

      Samsung vs Apple's brand positioning.

      A great example here is how Apple and Samsung, although they sell very similar products, differ massively in how they position themselves in the market. Where Samsung focuses on appearing trendy and user friendly, Apple’s focus is on the way in which their products will allow their customers to unleash their creative potential. As a result, consumers view these two companies and what their brand represents to them in very different ways.

      Nike vs Adidas' brand positioning.

      Another classic example, Nike vs Adidas. In Nike’s case, they want their products to be associated with sports and exercise, with pushing yourself to the limit and ultimately achieving athletic excellence. You can see this reflected in their advertising campaigns:

      Nike adverts.

      Now take a look at some of Adidas’ ads for comparison:

      Adidas advertisements.

      Adidas focuses much more on appearing ‘cool’, trendy and fashionable, filling an entirely different niche than Nike.

      Sources of Differentiation 

      Now you’ve got a good idea of the importance of your brand positioning, the next step is understanding the ways in which you can position your brand to stand out from the rest. Differentiation comes from a whole range of places, but the main ones you’ll see in the market are these:

      Let’s take a closer look at these sources of differentiation:

      Price

      An obvious one, but coming into the market with lower prices is an easy way to turn heads. Most startups will be hesitant to go down this road however, as it cuts into their already thin margins.

      Brand Expertise

      What do you know that your competitors don’t? What can you do for consumers that they can’t? If you can work that out, you can capitalise on it and draw in customers with your specialities.

      Technology Innovation

      Does your product or service have some new and exciting technology? if it does, don’t be afraid to show it off. As the saying goes, if you’ve got it, flaunt it!

      Value & Purpose

      Going back to the learnings from last weeks blog, do your values and purpose align with your customers’ values in a way that your competitor’s don’t? People love to align themselves with movements and causes, so if you care about the same things as your audience, it can make you seem a lot more attractive.

      Brand Experience

      Offering a unique brand experience, something memorable or never before seen, will immediately set you apart from your competitors. Customers are always on the lookout for something new and different, so why not give it to them!

      Product Innovation

      You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but offering even minor improvements to existing products will hugely increase the value of your brand in the eyes of consumers and make your competitors’ products look relatively antiquated.

      Opportunities for Differentiation

      Positioning and differentiation opportunities can come from a whole range of places so you should be constantly on the lookout for new ways to set yourself apart:

      • Complaints and reviews – listen to your feedback, both good and bad, and see if your customers have identified any positioning opportunities for you!
      • Market changes – If a competitor drops out of the market, capitalise on it and see if you can fit your brand into their niche to acquire some of their customers.
      • Regulatory change – Presenting yourself as fully compliant to government regulation is a great way of standing out as trustworthy.
      • Innovation – Keep an eye on your industry and the advancements in technology going on around you. If you can be the first to integrate an exciting new bit of tech into your product, your perceived value will skyrocket.

      The important disclaimer with all of this is that you shouldn’t strive to be different just for the sake of being different. It’s important that everything you do to improve your tech startup brand positioning is targeted at providing benefits to your audience and meeting their expectations and desires. Remember, it’s them who define your brand value, not you.

      Functional Benefits Vs Emotional Benefits

      The benefits you can offer to customers can be broken down into two categories: functional benefits and emotional benefits.

      Functional benefits are the tangible things, the look, the feel, the utilities, something you can point to as a positive aspect of a businesses offerings. A technological innovation exclusive to your product would be an example of a functional benefit.

      On the other hand, emotional benefits are entirely intangible. they’re the feelings, the inner responses and reactions that you have with a product. The feeling of secureness that a mobile banking app might provide would be an emotional benefit.

      As an example, here’s a Nike trainer:

      The functional benefits are that it’s a high-technology shoe that will improve athletic performance and provide comfort.

      The emotional benefits are that it provides an exhilarating feeling of enhanced athletic performance, and makes you feel engaged, active and healthy.

      Nike has met consumers wants and desires with their product and so in turn, consumers have placed a high value on their brand. This has allowed Nike to dominate a large portion of their market, and charge a premium price.

      Nike trainer sideview.

      Helping you Develop your Brand Positioning

      If you’re unsure where to start with your tech startup brand positioning, fill in the form below and we’ll get in touch to see how we can help you on your tech startup journey.

      Next week on the blog, we’re going to look at how brand soul searching can help you create a strong brand foundation. See you then!

      About us
      3 Colours Rule is a branding and marketing agency specialising in growing tech companies and start-ups. Beyond our brand strategy, design and marketing services; we also have a podcast: Tech Brains Talk where our founder has conversations with experts and entrepreneurs in tech. We also have a branding and marketing academy to support marketers expand their skills and entrepreneurs too. We also run our non-profit organisation, TLA Black Women In Tech, one of the fastest-growing communities for black female professionals and entrepreneurs in tech.  

      Request a brand insight session to discover brand opportunities you could secure. Get in touch with us today!

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        Press release: Unilever, PepsiCo, Shell and TUI join forces to improve black representation in UK marketing (BRiM)

        Black Representation in Marketing (BRiM) is calling on marketing organisations to sign up for its new framework, after finding 42% of marketing professionals haven’t made any decisions to increase black representation in the past year.

        London Tech Manifesto for the 2020s

        London’s Tech Manifesto for the 2020s is a virtual event, laying out 12 policy recommendations for the next Mayor of London.

        About the London’s Tech Manifesto

        Tech London Advocates, techUK, London First, Centre of London and Here East are hosting The London Tech Manifesto, which is a virtual event. They will look at the future of the tech sector in London over the next few years.

        Alongside the event, Tech London Advocates will publish The London Tech Manifesto which will lay out 12 policy recommendations for the next Mayor of London. It will help to support the growth of tech companies in the capital. In addition to that, it will ensure London is embracing technological innovation.

        Each mayoral candidate will be provided with the manifesto in advance of the event. They will be asked a series of questions relating to the policy recommendations.

        There will then be a series of panel discussions with high profile entrepreneurs, investors and experts to give their reaction. Flavilla will be a speaker at the event!

        Date and Time

        The event will take place on Tuesday, 20 April 2021 from 17:00 – 19:00 CEST

        Click here to register for free and hear how the Mayoral candidates will support London tech.

        Press release: The agency enabling tech startups to launch their tech brand in 21 days

        Tech entrepreneurs and tech startups can now affordably launch their brand in 21 days with 3 Colours Rule, the innovative creative agency that changes the way creative agencies support tech entrepreneurs and startups.
        3 Colours Rule
        03/07/2019

         

        The award-winning branding agency, 3 Colours Rule, officially launched this July bespoke and affordable branding packages for tech entrepreneurs to help them gain recognition.

        The statistics are undeniable, only 3 out of 100 tech entrepreneurs make it to their fifth year. The main reasons for their failure are poor brand articulation, credibility and identity in a highly competitive market. 

        To solve this dilemma, 3 Colours Rule decided to design a catalogue of tech branding collaterals that can be personalised to fit the needs of every tech entrepreneur.

        “We really wanted to give tech entrepreneurs a chance to do it right from the start. They have great tech ideas but poor brand execution. Now they can present themselves the right way. This is why we did it, so they can focus on growth, not their brand.” said Flavilla Fongang, the founder of 3 Colours Rule.

        The tech branding packages include a logo, business card, website and engaging copywriting. All the essential branding collaterals tech entrepreneurs need to grow for their business. Thanks to this service, tech entrepreneurs will be able to create a brand identity and strategy that matches their ambition and unique value proposition. 

        For more information about those affordable branding packages for tech entrepreneurs, you can go on this page.

        About 3 Colours Rule:

        3 Colours Rule is an award-winning creative agency specialising in branding, brand strategy and marketing. The company was born out of a burning desire to help great businesses achieve their full potential. Since 2008, we’ve embarked on a journey of passion, with clients who trusted us to make their brands our work of heart. This mission allowed us to grow healthy with clients around the world.

        We use our expertise in neuromarketing and a drive to continuously learn new skills in order to develop your business as a loved brand that connects to the heart and mind of every individual. 

         

        Press Contact: Ambre Kerleau – ambre@3coloursrule.com or 020 3617 8706

        Company address: 40 Martell road, Office D113, Dulwich, London, SE21 8EN, UK

         

        3 Colours Rule won the best branding and marketing agency award

        Small and medium-sized businesses are often overlooked for recognition despite the myriad of achievements they make every day. As such, here at SME News we aim to rectify this by showcasing the talent, hard work and commitment of firms from a wide variety of industries nationwide.

        Each and every our deserving winners are selected by a combination of votes gathered from our network of respected industry partners and our own rigorous in-house research. To ensure these awards are a true representation of the very best that the SME landscape has to offer, we leave nothing to chance, carefully scrutinising everything from a nominee’s region to their performance over the past 12 months, their commitment to innovation, their methods and even their competition to ensure that only the most deserving names walk away with one of our prestigious awards.

        Of course, there’s no use winning an award if you can’t shout about it, which is why we’re also committed to working closely with all of our nominees and winners to promote their success throughout their industry and beyond, making sure they gain maximum exposure, reach their target audience and, fundamentally, really benefit from this great achievement. We offer an online winner’s list, supplement and a range of logos, trophies and plaques which are a great way for winners to celebrate and showcase their win.

        Click here to discover who are the other winners