The recent release of the New iPad and the upcoming release of Angry Birds Space made me think about this important aspect of entrepreneurship. Most of the companies that I see consider that software is better than branding. In fact when you see how they behave, you see that branding is not the first solution and it is usually not used well.
What Did They Miss?
When we talk about tech companies that work in a large scale market such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, the software doesn’t have the same weigh as branding. Although the software must work properly, it doesn’t require to be perfect; the majority of the people that are going to use it are average and common users that are not computer science experts. The minimum requirement is a decent and correct software. What I am saying is not that people are stupid, but just that they don’t care if you use the best algorithm or if you program for hundreds of weeks. What they are looking for is a perfect and good design, because the users sees just the design.
In the same way, when Ubuntu releases a new version of the OS, I don’t care much about what it is behind the screen, but how the desktop works. This is the main and the most important concern, given by the fact that I am not a OS developer and I don’t care much about recent bug fixes and updates.
What the user sees is the design and the culture behind it. In order to build a good brand you need to have the best and most creative designers, who are able to understand what the users love. A good and perfect Apple as a logo could change the way you play in the market. A toy related to a game is able to increase your revenues drastically. With this idea in mind, what we want to say is that you need to build an idea behind the product. It is the idea that makes the market.
Further the design and the software should work in a close relationship with branding. In fact the way the software has been developed should reflect the mission and purpose of the company.
Users Want To Love You
The large mass of users are willing to love you. What you should do is to create an easy way to let them love you. As I have said, users do not expect a great software, they expect an engaging one, a software that is able to let them dream. Easy, Fast and Reliable. The philosophy and the way the product is presented can make the difference. Yes, because in many cases is the way you present your software that builds a strong brand and a good range of costumers. This what Steve Jobs did in the past years.
The Apple Case
The Apple success is mainly based on branding. Although they do a great job and they create outstanding things, users buy them because of the branding. The iPhone is a must have device, not because of its software, but because it has a perfect and unique shape and it is an Apple’s product. The iPad works in the same way, I am the owner of an iPad 2 and I am completely certain that the iPad is so famous because of the logo that it has on the back.
Steve Jobs was a master of building a brand. Since the release of the first Apple’s computer, he tried to build a philosophy behind Apple’s products. He made the users love them and further he presented them in an unique way. Is Tim Cock going to screw what steve jobs did? We don’t know it, we can just observe how Apple is doing.
The Rovio Case
Another interesting case is what Rovio is doing with Angry Birds. If you understand how business works and if you want to increase revenues thanks to the game, you need to build a brand. Rovio isn’t just trying to sell an app, but they have also increased the ways they arrive in our houses.
Nowadays you can buy Angry Birds’ toys, t-shirts, bags and many other things. What they are trying to do is amazing and extraordinary. Angry Birds isn’t just a mere App, but it is something that in a way or in another has influenced our lives.
The Facebook Case
On the other hand there are companies that aren’t obliged to build a brand.
Are they building a strong brand? No. Why? They don’t need it. Facebook is so popular because it helps people to be connected. Here a brand could be pretty funny and popular. I would love to have my personal Facebook Bowl or a Facebook T-Shirt, but they simply don’t need it.
Although building a brand could be fundamentally, you should always understand your market. If you don’t do it, you could lose a lot of time with branding while you shouldn’t have a brand. The market is not easy to understand, but after several failures and mistakes, you should be able to connect the dots.