My name is Daria Volkova, I am a brand strategist working with IT products and classic businesses, a communications specialist. I supervise the process of creating and developing brands for the businesses of my clients, giving lectures and running a professional Telegram channel.
This article is about tools that you can use to make users fall in love with your IT product or bring it closer to the image of a love mark.
In the process of creating an IT product, the brand strategy can be adjusted every 3–4 months, and this is normal. New target audiences and new hypotheses appear, markets change, bugs need to be fixed and new difficulties overcome. And then there is a pivot, and you have to start all over again.
Make a product or service that you would use yourself
Run the idea through the very first filter — yourself and your team. Of course, not all startup founders are users of the product, but your team should definitely have 1–2 people who have expertise in a specific topic and who can give feedback — are the benefits communicated, is the usage algorithm clear, what level of professional training is the product aimed at? etc.
For example, when you set the cost of a subscription at $ 30 / month, but yourself (honestly) would not have paid $ 10 to resolve this issue, then you need to reconsider either the price or the value that you give to your users.
Value propositions for different types of clients
A value proposition is a promise of value that you make to a potential customer to convince them to buy a product or service from you. This is not a positioning or a slogan. When formulating value, facts are important, not promises to make the world a better place — this is already done by thousands of other companies.
It is rare that there are one or two consumer portraits among the users of a product. Typically, your product can be used by completely different people, in different parts of the world, and solve different problems.
● The DuckDuckGo search engine does not track or distribute users’ personal information.
● Stripe payment system makes it clear to audiences that their product is the ideal solution for online businesses, which fully integrates into any websites and applications that require payments.
● MailChimp delivers the value of transforming your audience knowledge into personalized marketing with a platform that gets smarter all the time.
Reduce the distance between brand and user
Statements in the style: “The mission of our company is to provide the highest quality services, so we are introducing innovative technologies … blah blah …” are ignored by people and perceived as information noise. Today there is very high competition, so the love of customers is won by brand-friends who do not press on with their transatlantic scale, but can find a common language with the audience.
This also includes the personal brand of the founders, who publicly present the company and carry its ideology. People directly associate the company’s activities with the image of its top management — the overall reputation of the business depends on your public actions and statements.
Add physical evidence and interaction with people
Any digital product should sometimes go beyond the “numbers” in order to form a community of loyal people in an offline environment. It is to build a community that platforms like Dribbble and Behance organize portfolio reviews and meetups, where designers can exchange experiences, communicate, get inspired and once again express gratitude to the online platform.
Of course, during a pandemic, it is more difficult to build an offline community, but there is always the opportunity to “go out into the fields” and get to know your customers: become a mystery shopper or seller for a couple of days, work in a call center (if your business involves this), send merchandise or souvenirs for loyal customers, etc.
Ability to turn failures into good
When a crisis occurs, a choice arises:
1. Pretend everything is ok and hope for the best.
2. Try to hush up with the possibility of making reputational mistakes along the way.
3. Admit mistakes and draw conclusions.
It’s easier to stick with the first two behaviors, but it’s much more honest to admit, correct mistakes, and become stronger.
Companies and products become successful that, in addition to making money, create value for their customers, devote time and effort to work with marketing and brand strategy, form a community around themselves, communicate openly, believe in their idea and find confirmation of their faith in real work cases.
I’m a brand strategist, startup mentor, product strategy and customer service improvement consultant. I help IT products, classic businesses and individual entrepreneurs to identify growth zones and perfectly represent their strengths.
More information about Product Strategy, Value Proposition & Brand Development you can find on my website: https://dariavolkova.com/product-market-fit-and-value-proposition