With so much competition in the tech space companies are always looking for a way to stand out. Whether it’s for a launch, a fundraising round or entering a new market, brand identity is essential to making an impact.
We asked Rebecca Rochon and Alejandro Quinteros – co-founders of Vancouver-based design agency Pivot & Pilot, who just opened up a US office in Austin, TX – to explain the brand process to us and how it can help companies stand out, reach the right markets and bring in more money.
When people think about branding – often it’s a logo that comes to mind, but you say a brand is so much more than that. What exactly does a brand encompass?
A brand is not just a logo, it’s an entire experience. Your brand is the combination of everything that sets you apart from your competitors and makes you unique. It encompasses your company’s values, personality, tone of voice, messaging, visual identity, products, services, and customer experience.
Your brand is the emotional connection that your customers have with your company. It’s the way they feel when they interact with you, whether it’s through your website, social media, advertising, packaging, or in-person interactions.
To create a strong brand, it’s essential to start with a clear brand strategy. This involves understanding your target audience, your competitors, your unique selling proposition, and your company’s vision and mission. Once you have a clear brand strategy, you can develop your brand identity, which includes your logo, color palette, typography, and other visual elements.
But a brand is much more than just its visual identity. It’s the sum total of all the touchpoints that customers have with your company. Every interaction with your brand should be consistent and reflect your brand values and personality.
We’ve all heard the word “pivot” a lot over the past few years. How does branding help a brand pivot – whether it’s into a new market or to raise growth funding?
Branding is essential when it comes to pivoting a brand, whether it’s entering a new market or seeking growth funding. It’s crucial to control your first impression and ensure that it’s making the right impact, attracting the right audience, and reflecting the true essence of your brand.
Many brands focus too much on what their product does rather than how it changes the lives of their users or customers. Good branding will help you define your product’s unique value proposition, define your target audience, and create a visual identity and messaging framework that clearly communicates how your product or service improves your audiences’ lives.
It’s important for tech companies to consider pivoting early on, between year 1-5, as they have data from early adopters, which can help refine their messaging and make informed branding choices. An agency like Pivot & Pilot can refine this data and help the brand show up visually strong and with a compelling storytelling strategy.
Investors are often drawn to products that are backed up by data. By proving that your MVP or product has been analyzed to serve early adopters better, it shows investors how you can capture and retain an audience. When selling a business, branding is something that is evaluated and purchased, making it even more critical to have a strong brand identity and strategy.
In entering a new market, it’s important to be strategic and focused. Sometimes pivots can shift completely, while other times they may entail refining your approach to a particular market segment. For example, targeting males over 30 years old. By focusing on a specific market segment, you can create a more targeted and impactful branding strategy.
Tell us a bit about the work you did for Audette – what problem did they approach you with and how did you help?
Audette approached Pivot & Pilot with an ambitious idea, an app that would transform their industry, but they were facing a problem. The language they were using and an outdated visual identity did not effectively communicate how their app would change the lives of their users.
In order to create a successful branding strategy for Audette, we needed to understand the motivations of their main audience: property portfolio owners. These decision-makers were primarily concerned with avoiding tax increases on their carbon emissions that could negatively impact the value of their portfolios in the long term. Our task was to communicate how Audette’s app could help secure their investment and “future-proof” their portfolio value.
Our team worked closely with Audette to refine their messaging and create a visual identity that resonated with their target audience. We emphasized the benefits of Audette’s app in terms of securing their investment, while also highlighting the larger goal of helping cities become carbon neutral. By focusing on both the short-term and long-term benefits of Audette’s app, we were able to help them effectively communicate their value proposition to their audience and retain their brand value.
The end result was a successful branding strategy that positioned Audette as a leader in their industry and helped them attract the attention of investors and customers alike. We are proud of the work we did for Audette and look forward to continuing to help other innovative companies achieve their goals.
When it comes to fundraising, why should a tech company involve a branding agency when putting together their pitch deck? What other areas can you help with that make a strong ROI impact?
At Pivot & Pilot, we understand the value of involving a branding agency when creating a pitch deck for a tech company looking to fundraise. Our work with Audette is a prime example of this. Since partnering with us, they have raised over $12 million in investment.
Our role as branding experts is centered around communication. We bring a fresh perspective to the table, allowing us to identify and address any flaws or gaps in the company’s messaging that may not be obvious to those within the organization. By doing so, we can help ensure that the pitch deck effectively communicates the company’s goals and unique value proposition.
In the tech industry, it’s not uncommon for companies to feel cold or impersonal, but our approach aims to change that. By focusing on humanizing the brand and emphasizing the real-world impact of the product, we can help tech companies connect with their audience on a more personal level, making a stronger impression that can ultimately lead to a better return on investment.
Anything else about branding that you think we should know?
Making a great first impression is essential in any business, and for this, branding is key. It’s important to present yourself today, in the way you want to be perceived five years in the future. This will allow you to target and capture your ideal audience now and achieve your goals more quickly.
In a crowded marketplace, establishing trust is critical to standing out among competitors and winning over customers. Branding plays a significant role in building that trust. By working closely with our clients, we help them create a brand that resonates with their target audience and positions them as a reliable and trustworthy option in the market.
Many businesses miss out on opportunities to connect with their audience because they are not effectively communicating their value. As branding experts, we help our clients develop strategies to better communicate with their target audience, both visually and verbally. By doing so, we help our clients sell more and establish themselves as leaders in their respective industries.
If you’re interested in taking your branding and business to the next level, we invite you to reach out to us. Let’s work together to create a brand that truly reflects your vision and resonates with your target audience. Contact Pivot & Pilot today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.
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