In an increasingly crowded landscape, tech companies can break away from the pack by defining what "better" means for their brand — all with the help of user feedback.
Everyone wants to be a unicorn. Who wouldn't love to launch a company that's first to market with a unique and world-changing concept?
The vast majority of successful businesses, however, are just really good horses. No magical powers, no rainbow mane or sparkly horn — they may be a stallion among ponies, but they're still part of a herd.
Just look at the the Fortune 500 list
. Health insurance companies hold several top spots, along with retailers, banks, energy companies, phone and internet providers, and even the largest paper company in the world, International Paper. (Thanks to them, now all I can think about is the Michael Scott Paper Company
These companies may be first in their industry, but they are not unique concepts by any stretch of the imagination.
No matter what service or product a company supplies, it has competitors. You have to give users a reason to choose your company over the rest. This is where brand identity comes in.
Many think of brand identity as a purely visual effort. Yes, the colors and fonts and logos all matter, but it's so much more than that.
A brand identity, if well-executed and crafted to truly speak to a company's purpose, can translate into a powerful brand image
that inspires loyalty. Great design breeds trust, after all.
The strategy behind a brand identity should align with both user sensibilities and the core functions of a digital product. Key interactions should speak to the spirit of the brand, thereby differentiating it from similar tools or services.
For example, Asana sends delightful creatures shooting across the screen when a user checks an item off their task list. This speaks to the satisfaction one feels when completing a project. It also reinforces the distinct brand identity behind the work management tool. Can Asana precisely quantify the market share gained through flying narwhals? No. But, it's memorable moments like these that drive continuous engagement.
And frankly, it's a big part of the reason I personally use Asana.
By developing a distinct identity and leveraging key interactions to make a positive impression, companies are finding novel ways to separate themselves from the herd.