5 branding lessons for top SaaS leaders
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Every year more and more people are turning to the internet for problem-solving and shopping, with 2021 seeing a particularly large spike in online eyeballs. It’s no wonder then that software as a service has become a flooded market.
With so much competition, it’s never been more important to keep the edge – and branding is the way to do it.
Here are some of the most important things I learned when it comes to effectively letting your SaaS flag fly.
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Names improve search and vice versa
Everyone is looking for a search engine optimization that will bank the best. If they can turn it into a copyrighted name? So much the better. However, keywords don’t always make the best brand names.
Take a look at Google’s first iteration: BackRub. If they had stuck with THAT, instead of Google searching for terms, we would be “BackRubbing” them.
The name you choose for your SaaS business should be easy to pronounce and write, which will help your audience’s memorability. Keeping it short is also a good idea, as is the uniqueness factor. If that sounds too much like the competition, it could be confusing.
But another branding lesson that stands out is to use searchable, industry-related terms in your business name. Logo Design, my latest logo maker software, is a phrase that is directly related to its niche and easy to remember.
In short, he ticks all the boxes.
Don’t follow the trends – CREATE the trends
One of the most important parts of a successful branding image is visuals. The way we design our image sends a message to our audience, catches the eye, facilitates marketing and creates a wedge between our brand and the competition.
It’s inevitable that in my SaaS business – and maybe yours – there will be some overlap with the competition. There are needs that all demographics have in common. We can see how this spawns companies that offer the same basic services: I can communicate with my team through Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook Messenger and a host of other apps that offer the same basic solution.
It’s not the services, but the image itself that defines a successful SaaS business. The appearance of my brand can be even more important than what it offers.
Different industries have different visuals, from colors and fonts to logos and for SaaS? I have found it more effective to deviate from trends.
If you do it right, you will have competitors trying to follow you as a trailblazer. The audience remembers who did it first.
Related: This SaaS Founder Sold His Company To Oracle For $ 9.3 Billion
Word of mouth marketing
The example I cite most often when it comes to word of mouth marketing is Slack. It’s the fastest growing SaaS brand ever and this strategy is what got it there.
Not only is this the most profitable technique, but it can also give a brand a lot of dynamism, especially at the start. We’re all inclined to pay more attention to a service if someone we trust has had a personal experience with the company, which in turn illustrates the importance of great customer service.
Happy customers will talk about your brand, but so will unhappy customers. If you can resolve complaints to customer satisfaction, you’ve just guaranteed yourself great word of mouth (and free) marketing.
Find the emotion
SaaS communication brands are not all based on the same need and are therefore oriented around different emotions. Google Apps, for example, relies on professional teams and daily users. It’s no less of a need, but it varies widely from apps like ZenDesk, Salesforce, and Concur, which are used to bring together customer support, sales, and finance professionals as often as colleagues.
A successful branding means that we need to know the needs of our audience and harness the emotions associated with that need to motivate them to use the services we offer.
Know yourself first, the audience then
Rather than assessing the demographics of the competition, I’ve found it helpful to start from the source: myself. Analyzing what I had to offer, and how it would meet the needs of my potential audience, has been my business model from the start.
The only way to build a successful SaaS brand is to start from scratch. This way, you can be sure of your ability to meet the needs of your customers – and they will be confident, too.
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