Last week, had the opportunity to attend an event hosted by a major technology company (software) which was attended by the journalists, bloggers, media houses and their own PR agencies. After listening to about 4 hours of presentation (death by Powerpoint of course), the company could still not articulate clearly what the rational benefits of the brand or the emotive connection of the brand. All that they talked about was their technology, engineering, new products and new service offerings. All inward looking, and not a single customer story, or how the company wants to position itself in terms of trust, reliability and peace of mind offerings, though they kept harping on these issues.
Makes me wonder, whether the company really thought through its initial brand equity signals and what the final brand message is for their partners and customers.They also failed to articulate how it expects the brand to be perceived by customers in some of the new market segments that they were planning to enter.
On the contrary, I saw some very compelling messaging by another software vendor which has become a category leader in recent times giving the incumbents some scare. The key thing that this software vendor articulated was how its eco system would project a sense of fun and ease of use / deployment and how it created customer success stories. In fact, the messaging was so compelling and consistent that a lot of us in the room felt a sense of exhilaration despite the fact that their offerings were short of great functionality.
One notable difference between the two companies was in their choice of language — the weaving of an incredible story, that brought the brand completely live in the room. One also saw the marketing managers, even product specialists using the story metaphor with an amazing clarity and sense of purpose.
Why do communication managers fail to articulate the emotional connection? Is it because they beleive it is anathema in the technology world? Or do they just exhaust all their creativity in inward looking activities? Or is it just inertia to make the change?
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