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Give your technology wings

Marketing has the power to give your technology wings

For me, being able to witness the ingenuity and engineering prowess of innovative tech companies up close will never get old. Even after working side-by-side with big blue-chips and small start-ups in the world of B2B marketing for the last 15 years, the stories behind the solutions still feel utterly compelling. But sadly, some stories are left untold and growth potential goes untapped.

While the investment in the process of research and development of new technologies, products and services is incredibly robust – market adoption and sales growth are often sluggish at best. A peculiar scenario when you consider just how impressive and differentiated the products often are.

What’s stopping industry-leading solutions from taking off?

One significant factor that we have seen is that the positioning, branding and marketing approach of these significant product development investments varies hugely. Often resulting in an under investment of time, energy and money. Why is this?

In short: marketing in these organisations is generally under represented. With an engineering focus firmly established at the heart of the business, technology is seen as the key – or even only –value driver. Any marketing team is usually small, accounting for just two or three people out of a payroll of thousands of employees. Making it difficult to explore the value creation potential branding and marketing could play in bringing these solutions to market.

The potential for growth is sky-high – just look at consumer brands

Let’s consider consumer brands for a second. Many brands are launching into crowded markets with little technical innovation or product differentiation to talk about. Yet they leverage branding and marketing to generate huge growth.

Take RedBull. Caffeinated, carbonated, sugary water is nothing new to the food and beverage market. Yet they have convinced millions of people worldwide that it ‘Gives them wings’. Using clever behavioural economics, big activation ideas and a clear, confident, brand proposition to drive sales of 7.9 billion cans in 2020 alone.

Branding and marketing have played a key role in every step of the product’s development. Leading to innovation that runs against the conventional, logical, approach often seen in the world of B2B. To quote behavioural economics guru, Rory Sutherland, from his book Alchemy, the art lies not in creating the perfect product, but in convincing people of a perceived reality:

“Imagine the pitch:’s a new soft drink that tastes considerably worse than Coke and comes in a much smaller can. Oh...yeah...and we’re planning to charge more than twice as much for it.”

But it worked. By placing their run-of-the-mill sugary drink in a smaller, thinner, can that appeared concentrated, giving it a slightly medicinal taste and charging a premium for the privilege – they created a product with the perceived reality that it did in fact have performance enhancing properties. An idea reinforced by their bold vision to become the face of extreme human achievements – where even freefalling from space wasn’t off the table.

Bringing a consumer marketing mindset to B2B

If RedBull’s branding and marketing efforts can create value for a technically worthless product, what could it achieve for great products packed with innovation and tangible value?

At Emberson Marketing, we’ve seen first-hand how the right marketing approach can give even the most technically complex and niche products the wings to grow. Here are just some of the key ways branding and marketing can create value for your business and help you grow faster.

  • Create your compelling idea. It gives your customers something simple to believe in. Every brand should have one and with a technology-based brand it can be much more tangible.
  • Make your value visible. Make it easier for your customers by clearly communicating all the value your product delivers in their terms. Make sure you don’t leave value on the table with a strong value proposition that is clearly communicated.
  • Show your differentiated way. Just like a consumer brand, the way your product is delivered or the way it works is part of your differentiation. Starbucks has a unique way of serving coffee and Dyson owned first mover advantage in the bagless vacuum cleaner when they educated the world the bagged vacuum cleaner lose suction.
  • Capture your differentiators. Technical differentiators are the starting points, these are the comfort zone of engineers, but what about your intangible and emotional ones? A battle purely based on the specification is a procurements dream.
  • Prove your points. Back up what you say with facts and evidence, so the belief turns into action. When you combine this with setting the criteria for judgement by showing customers a better way it is a powerful combination.
  • Be relevant and engaging. The customer context is a powerful tool to create value. We worked with a company and managed to sell an identical product (under a different name) where customers paid significant margin for the application they used the product for – creating value purely by branding and marketing.
  • Hold the mirror up. Just like people, businesses like to see themselves in the brands they work with. Reflect your customers in your communications to build strong affinity.
  • Presence builds confidence. The more you are seen and the better you look builds confidence. Be seen in the right places and often, and you don’t have to look like a small company, even if you are one.
  • Define your market. Why fit into an existing market when you can create your own or define a new category? If your product really changes the game, then you can rewrite the rules.

So how do you create this added value for your business or new technology? Well, just like your product development your brand and marketing development requires investment in a methodical approach and a bit of creative inspiration.

Ian Goodall, MD at Emberson Marketing

So, if you’re frustrated with the speed of growth or want to find out more about giving your technology wings, talk to us about our unique B2B brand growth process, using proven frameworks and models. Simply get in touch or drop by our website to find out more.