When thinking about B2B SaaS growth marketing or about growing your SaaS business in general, what importance would you attribute to your brand?
What does brand even mean, right? And why focus on brand building when you need quick results. If you had gotten a dime every time someone told you to focus on lead generation instead of brand awareness, would the Elon Musks and Jeff Bezos hide in shame of your wealth?
Ironically, brand has a branding problem. With marketing and sales moving closer and closer together, the value of brand has decreased. Maybe because marketing is approached from the same quarterly goal perspective as sales. And not to mention, often led by people whose business is in Sales and not Marketing.
Does the problem go away for low/no-touch sales models? Not really. Once you have a free trial it's easy to focus on acquiring new users and harder to stop and think if your solution is positioned correctly, are you getting the right people for the right reasons?
On top of that, product lead companies are well, product lead. This often means that the marketing team, if there is any, has more of a product marketing background. The idea is that the product will bring in growth because users get value out of using it. That's great, however, if your product is in the wrong category, doesn't solve the jobs to be done of your ideal customers, and hasn't nailed its value probs, the product can be as great as ever but you will encounter growth bottlenecks that no fancy-schmancy feature will ever fix. You gotta focus on your brand to drive growth.
This was the theme we discussed in this webinar with our customers Lyyti former CEO, brand and marketing leader: Heikki Sivonen.
Heikki joined us and shared his experiences:
- Concrete examples of how a strong brand can help to conquer new markets (and also which parts of this are particularly challenging).
- What kind of learnings he has encountered on the way from taking companies global with brand-driven growth marketing as a core ingredient
- How to combine short-term growth marketing tactics with long-term branding approach in an effective way - and what are the favorite tactics he likes to rely on.
One of the biggest issues when it comes to brand is that people have a misconception of what brand really is. Often the association goes straight to imagery, logo, and maybe colors. But brand is so much more. It's the DNA of your product. Think of us as humans, without our DNA we would be all faded clones of each other, nothing unique (granted, I am pretty sure we wouldn't even be alive without a DNA but bear with me for the metaphor).
Brand is the story you tell, it's who you choose as your ideal customers and the category in which you want to operate. And it's of course also the culture and values, the invisible glue that holds your company together.
If success would be as easy as creating a great product with great features, I believe we'd have more successful B2B SaaS companies out there. But it's more than that. Success lies in combining and uniting two opposite ends of the spectrum you will: the ambitious and engaging story with the 1s and 0s that make up your product and therein lies the true importance of brand for B2B SaaS growth.
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