My Take On: How to rebrand a tech company
Whether it’s shedding an outdated image, taking your company into the next phase of growth, or as in managed IT services and cloud hosting provider SysGroup’s case, a combination of both - re-branding is never easy. This is especially true for a B2B company that needs to portray a technical message in an easily digestible and user-friendly way.
So where do you start? What are the most important considerations? And how do you manage the process? Drawing on experiences from the recently completed SysGroup re-brand, Emmy Lippold, group marketing director, gives her take on re-branding a tech company to ensure the process runs smoothly, including how to push through all the technical jargon to make your brand the best it can be.
Find a partner that ‘gets it’
First and foremost, you need to consider what external support you’ll need. It must be a team that understands your company offering, with proven experience in the tech sector. We worked with creative agency Tokyo Wolf, which understood the requirement to communicate our technical expertise and employee-centric culture in an exciting and creative way.
Establish your personality
Having acquired four companies over the past three years, SysGroup had changed significantly, both in terms of the teams we have in place and the organisations we work with, as well as the services we provide. From the offset we were keen to engage all employees and customers – new and existing – to identify what our personality is and the traits that define it. To do this, we gave the team an opportunity to vote on their perception of the company.
The exercise revealed four key traits and we were identified as being innovative, authoritative, dependable and helpful. These qualities are demonstrated through our level of expertise and our commitment to using powerful technology in creative ways, as well as our relationships with clients.
One of the most exciting parts of a re-brand is the visual identity. Taking all the insights gathered from the discovery stage, we worked with Tokyo Wolf to create a sharp new design and logo, which includes circular nodes in a connected pattern to highlight the importance of connections with partners and technology alike.
The colour scheme is also important and must reflect your company’s personality. For SysGroup, that meant a bold, sharp pallet that made a striking impression.
Roll it out
It’s not a complete re-brand unless all company assets are revisited, from website copy to marketing materials and social media, everything must be in line with the personality traits you’ve established.
Your internal message is equally as important – prepare communications (whether that’s on or offline) to showcase the new brand to your employees, customers and partners in a way that makes them just as excited about it as you are.
We had a unique situation at SysGroup as we are spread across multiple offices with one central marketing team, meaning we had to come up with an idea to make sure our message reached everybody at equal measures. To tackle this, we selected one person from each office across different job roles to become a brand advocate and lead the way. Not only did this complement our initial objective of having the entire team as part of the brand rollout but also meant that each office had one centralised point of contact for all things re-brand.
Address the challenges
As with all projects, big or small, there will be challenges to address along the way. For us, that came with the need for an entirely new website that brought several existing companies together, as well as a launch of one unified brand.
While it was a challenge, it gave us a blank canvas to be fully creative and establish a brand that was a true reflection of our values, customers and employees alike. That said, with a number of established businesses in the mix that employees were naturally attached to, the process needed to be dealt with in the appropriate way.
By taking the team on the journey with us and not just expecting a re-brand to happen overnight, we were able to introduce the new identity in an exciting phased approach. This included small changes to the company newsletters and bringing different solutions and systems together over a number of months to get the entire team talking and create a ‘buzz’ around the next step for us as one team.
Prepare for the next phase
So now you have a shiny new brand, you need to shout about it; talk to media, share your resources with colleagues and partners, and push it out on social media. For b2b companies in particular, events are also a good platform to showcase your new look in a visual way. When we launched our new SysGroup brand we strategically planned to exhibit at IP Expo in Manchester where we can launch the brand to the industry. The show attracts a lot of our customers and prospects and offered a great platform to communicate and engage.
All in all, re-branding a tech company takes time and careful consideration at each stage, but it’s an exciting project to be part of. And it’s not just one for the marketing department, a successful re-brand is one that goes much further, taking people, customers and services into account to ensure it is something that everybody is proud of.
Also remember that in today’s ever-changing technology landscape, a company’s brand and positioning should be revisited continuously to ensure the message being portrayed is an accurate representation of the people that work there and the customers it attracts.