Technology Product Rebranding for B2B Software With Distility 1day1brand
In the summer of 2012, Distility was approached by a publicly traded, b2b software company selling to small and mid-sized businesses in the U.S. and Canada. The firm was in the process of making innovations to its flagship online service and needed to refocus that product’s brand strategy before the in-house communications team could begin work on the launch.
Why They Chose Distility for Technology Product Rebranding
The software company was completely self-reliant with in-house design and copywriting resources, and the product team was passionate and highly skilled. However, the company’s marketing manager recognized that the team was stuck and would benefit from outside help to define the core elements of the product’s brand strategy. The marketing manager told us that he had found “nothing like what Distility is offering” in his search for an agency to provide technology product rebranding. The company scheduled its Distility 1day1brand workshop based on our proven ability to deliver a fully actionable brand strategy in a single day, with key stakeholder ideas built into the result.
Assembling the Team
An important step to achieving a successful result in a Distility 1day1brand workshop involves assembling the right mix of participants. Before the technology product rebranding workshop, the software company’s marketing manager met with Distility to define the core needs of their target audience of small to mid-sized business owners, and to select the right mix of the company’s stakeholders to attend. Participants included employees from the corporate marketing, product marketing and creative teams, including the in-house vice president of marketing, director of product marketing, and the creative director.
Creating the Space for Innovation
Physical proximity and interaction has been shown to be an important aspect of true innovative breakthroughs. This is a big reason that Distility holds our brand strategy sessions as an in-person workshop.
The software company had offices spread out across several cities. Because of this, their key decision makers and hands-on creative staff did not have an arena in which they could come together for the sole purpose of refining and committing to essential brand strategy components. This also meant that they had a limited window to have deeper discussions on the technology product rebranding project before having to get back to their daily roles at the different offices.
The Distility 1day1brand workshop provided a space and an occasion for these key individuals to collaborate on their brand strategy in a single day, allowing them to easily meet their personal time constraints. At the workshop, attendees were taken through a unique workflow that optimized their time together, using a digitally projected workwall and touchscreen voting software to efficiently arrive at the best possible group decisions. These systems allowed them to achieve in one day what would have otherwise taken months, given the fragmented communication that came with their geographical limitations.
Encouraging Disagreement Before Consensus
Collaboration in live meetings can be challenging. There are many different group decision making pathologies which can get in the way. Having a facilitator work to ensure the optimal approach to team members sharing, evaluating and discussing ideas is essential. A certain degree of creative tension can be important. However, it is also important not to squash input and idea generation. In Distility workshops, we focus on the promotion of good ideas, instead of focusing on killing bad ideas.
Attendees from the software company were lead through morning exercises that allowed them to fully explore the key elements of their brand in relation to the need of their target audience. The team members had enthusiastic but differing opinions on the potential brand strategy components, especially on how the product was to be positioned in the customer’s mind. With the help of the Distility team, participants were able to identify that there was a deep divide in how the brand category was perceived. Some participants felt that the brand category had been in customers’ minds for decades, while others felt they were pioneering a new category altogether (this was the same positioning problem that set the Tivo brand back).
Achieving Focus and Momentum
Groups (even, or perhaps especially, very smart groups) can get stuck. Bringing in an outside facilitator with their own domain expertise can make a dramatic difference. An outside facilitator also frees up team members with domain expertise to participate more fully, so they don’t have to act as de facto facilitator.
For the software company, having outside facilitators helped the technology product rebranding team pinpoint the root of their differing viewpoints. Once this was identified, Distility facilitators were able to point the discussion in the right direction, getting the full team to thoroughly discuss and weigh several focused ideas from the point of view of the customer. The team was then able to commit to a solid brand position for the first time in years. From there, a winning brand promise, position and personality could be cemented and distilled in the form of a 1Page Brand Strategy document that they put to work immediately.
With focus and momentum achieved, plus a unified view of the customer and the best strategy, the software product brand was ready for the creative and marketing teams to get working on materials for the new campaign.