What is IT branding? Many of the company owners associate this notion only with logo elaboration. We hasten to assure you: the logo is only the top of the iceberg named Brand. In this material, we will tell about the advantages of branding for IT companies and about problems existing in this sector. Let’s see.
Is IT branding necessary, if everything is ok?
Is IT company branding necessary, if profit growth is observed anyway?
Spoiler: yes, it is.
Analysts are convinced: sustained growth is expected in the IT market in the future — demand for technologies in all sectors, from business to the social sector, facilitates it.
However, along with that, competition both for customers and for qualified specialists will grow proportionally. What to expect?
- Growth of investments in technologies is expected. According to Gartner, in 2022 investors will spend $4.5 tln on information technology, which is 5.5% more than in 2021.
- The number of startups is rapidly increasing. Only for the first 6 months of 2021 investors invested $292.4 bln in startups. Moreover, the number of decacorn startups, valued at $10 bln or more, doubled. According to Crunchbase, 30 startups obtained such status in 2021 so far.
- The number of IT vacancies will considerably exceed the number of specialists. Forbes.ua claims that by 2030 deficiency of IT specialists worldwide will exceed 85 mln positions.
How to attract and retain employees under ever-growing competition and deficiency of talented professionals? What is to be done to strike the attention of new customers? Branding will help here.
Why do IT companies need branding?
Many of company executives strongly associate branding only with its visual component: with corporate identity at the best, only with the logo at worst. If however, we go deep into the branding process, we may discover that there are many details requiring consideration, particularly, if the business growth prospects are considered.
Good branding has quite distinct profit-equivalent advantages. Apart from sales growth promotion and formation of a solid foundation for cooperation in the b2b sector, even at the team recruitment stage the following bonuses, which are not always obvious, may be identified:
A QUALITATIVE BRAND HELPS TO SAVE MONEY WHEN SEARCHING FOR EMPLOYEES
Companies with bad branding have expenses for searching for and recruiting new employees 43% higher as compared to their competitors with an elaborate and identifiable brand. A good brand also helps to save on increasing awareness about the company among its potential employees and customers.
COMPANIES WITH A STRONG BRAND ATTRACT 2.5 TIMES MORE CANDIDATES
A strong brand increases the flow of active candidates and gives a boost to the passive ones, which allows company executives to be more scrupulous when recruiting the team.
THE BETTER THE BRAND IS ELABORATED, THE HIGHER THE PROBABILITY OF CATCHING THE INTEREST OF A SPECIALIST
If a candidate, even before the interview stage, forms a positive vision of the company, the probability that he/she takes an interest in the job will be notably higher.
A “WORKING” BRAND ALLOWS NOT TO SWELL SALARIES AND TO SPEND LESS MONEY ON EMPLOYEE RETENTION
Companies with a bad brand are forced to pay employees 10% more as compared to their competitors.
Each company has a choice: do they want to attempt developing their brand, or are they comfortable with the fact that candidates independently form an opinion about the company?
IT branding problems
Having analyzed a great number of IT market participants, it is easy to draw the following conclusion:
- conservative blue color prevails in the color palette
- roots of borrowed words are often used in names, such as -soft, -tech, -group, etc.
- most brands have no concept elaborated, which confirms a lack of integrity in various media
The predominance of blue and a compounded-abbreviated name with a root from a borrowed word — that is how the IT brand category pretty much looks like today. It is not bad, sometimes it is even good. For example, Design Buddy logo statistics suggest that more than one-third of the best-known global brands use any shade of blue in their logos. It means that there is something to it.
HOWEVER, IT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING HERE: the IT branding problem in the domestic market does not lie in a specific color or name. The problem goes somewhat deeper. What is it about?
The development level of many IT companies is far ahead of their image in the market. However, the team and the executives may be even unaware of that. In some cases the company owners fully disregard anything that is associated with branding, leave websites half empty, copy corporate identity from competitors, and maintain social networking websites in a random way.
Neither the candidates nor potential customers have an opportunity to evaluate the company, to understand the conditions it offers and the prospects for cooperation.
How to understand, whether the IT company has any problems with branding? Answer the following questions:
- Does the brand have any strategy elaborated?
- Is there any positioning? Can you tell, in which way you differ from your competitors? What is the advantage of dealing with you? What is your market share?
- Does the website/profile on social media allow the customer or the candidate to understand what the company is really like?
- When examining the design and contents of the website, social networking websites, and documentation, is it possible to understand that it is a single brand?
- Is the color palette and design elements in compliance with the brand philosophy (or have they just been copied from successful market participants)?
Each negative answer points out the necessity of elaborating positioning, the concept, and communication for the brand to look integral in all media, and to facilitate the formation of the appropriate image in the minds of customers, partners, and future employees.
What are the specific features of IT branding?
There are no fundamental differences between the promotion of IT brands and brands from any other market segments. As in any other market, there is competition and certain rules here. Here you need to look for creative solutions to be distinguished visually and strategically, and to find your communication concept. What is to be done in particular? Elaborate media.
Media relevant to IT branding
Acquaintance with the brand begins with media. It depends on the first impression, whether your company image will attract appropriate people. Let’s give a simple example: is a company searching for juniors or seniors? Is it ready to train young professionals, or does it need experienced senior officials? Is it possible for a potential employee to understand, when visiting the website/social networking websites, what kind of professionals the company is focused on?
All the power is in the details. So, we wrote an ad in code to attract employees to IT. The results exceeded all expectations, the target audience received our message
Media in the IT sector are divided into four categories: design and office space setup, digital (or web-media), print media materials, and merch.
Important: it is necessary to begin media elaboration with the formation of positioning, so that their design and contents communicate the brand message, and still maintain its integrity.
Does your company have a positioning? We know how to elaborate on it.
At the end of the material we will publish a list of popular media highly demanded in the IT sector.
What about merch?
First of all, let’s explain that merch is an essential component of HR branding. It is an operating tool, which helps to promote brands, festivals, clubs, and even political forces. But there are some details.
When we say “merch” we mean promotional gifts, clothing, and accessories satisfactory to the audience demands, i.e. demands of customers, partners, and employees. We will explain why it is important by giving a simple example.
Professionals with high income will hardly appreciate a budgetary merch set of a mug, a pen, and a notebook. Young eco-activists will most probably criticize the abundance of plastic in the company gifts. Therefore, it is worth beginning merch selection with the inquiry of the audience: what it wants, and what it does not want, and to make a list of relevant gifts and promotion products based on the data collected.
ONE MORE IMPORTANT POINT: when elaborating on brand media, it is important to bear in mind, how well the corporate identity/logo is scaled on them.
When creating a corporate identity for any brand, we elaborate on the most popular media
What does successful IT branding look like?
Let’s begin with popular examples. Names of Yandex and Google have made us sick and tired, this is why we cannot but mention them. That is how good branding works – it should invade all human activities.
Among IT companies introduced to the Belarusian market, we may single out Andersen. It has an easy-to-remember name, and attention-getting logo – this company is easiest to stick in memory amid its competitors.
Top-class branding is common in the game industry. Vizor and Playtika look fine in the Belarusian segment: they have elaborated websites, recognizable HR branding on social networking websites, and everything is ok with the merch – the company employees actively display it on social networking websites.
Generative design to help IT specialists
Generative design is a revolutionary solution in corporate identity development. It is relevant to the IT sector like never before. We explain it thoroughly as follows: generative design is an approach to corporate identity development, where an individual delegates some processes to computer programs or artificial intelligence.
Corporate identity-generating tools do not need a designer. Absolutely any specialist may input task parameters, indicate restrictive factors, and launch the process for generating dozens and hundreds of variants of ready logos and corporate identities. All that is left to do is to select a suitable variant – it is very convenient and fast.
Artificial intelligence has been already applied in CIS countries. Art. Lebedev Studio tested the artificial intelligence within the year as a designer working in the remote mode and even gave it a real name — Nikolay Ironov. Nikolay has successfully implemented 20 commercial projects in the utmost secrecy and has been revealed neither by the customers nor by the studio staff.
IT branding solves a variety of problems and issues associated with the recruitment and retention of employees, facilitates the creation of a favorable company image in the minds of customers and partners, and helps to stand out among same-type competitors.
To leave an IT company without elaborated branding under ever-growing competition means allowing customers and potential employees to arbitrarily form an opinion about the company. What kind of opinion will it be..?
The face of IT-company. It should be convenient and correspond to the image and aesthetics of the company. It must have sections for partners and the team.
FORMS FOR CONGRATULATING TEAM MEMBERS
They help to bring the tone of communication, the visual component, and the structure of the copyright into a unified pattern.
SOCIAL MEDIA DESIGN
The profile covers and posts on platforms like VKontakte and Facebook, as well as Instagram posts and stories, can and should be branded.
They open up a lot of room for creativity.
BACKGROUNDS FOR VIRTUAL CALLS
All internal and external communications must be consistent with the brand.
All internal and external communications must be consistent with the brand.
GUIDE FOR SOCIAL NETWORKING
It helps provide techniques for easily generating a large amount of content and explains how to prepare content for publication through mobile applications.
VIRTUAL BUSINESS CARDS
They are needed for the design of emails and newsletters. Simple and eco-friendly.
It should convey the corporate identity, regardless of the specifics.
an approach to shooting a team and selecting photos for other media.
Office space design
The office is the second point of contact after the website or social network profile. The interior of the office continues to shape the image of the company in the eyes of potential employees or partners.
OFFICE SPACE BRANDING
Introduction of corporate identity elements in the interior of the company’s office.
It makes staying in the office as comfortable as possible for employees, prevents professional burnout, and helps to strengthen relations between employees.
It helps to effectively use the office ecosystem.
It is necessary for distribution at exhibitions, conferences, and seminars: printed sticker packs, magazines, catalogs, etc.
It is a mini presentation of the company through official papers: letterheads, envelopes, business cards, signatures, printing, including electronic.
T-shirts have stood the test of time among all merch. The reason is simple: they are the basis of any wardrobe and are moderately priced.
Another popular wardrobe item. Comfortable, warm, and suitable for everyone.
They are useful both in the office and at home.
CAPS, PANAMA HATS, SCARVES
Emphasize team unity not only in the office but also at offsite events.
BLANKETS AND PLAIDS
They are soft, warm, and necessary. They are used in the office, at home, and on the road, they are thrown over the shoulders when going to the smoking room.
WINDBREAKERS AND RAINCOATS
Cool branded clothing. Show care — shelter your employees from bad weather.
Without further ado: they are needed, full stop. However, it is important not to save a lot and brand bags and backpacks of good quality, so that the happy owners of such merch do not even think that they can not wear it.
BRANDED BOARD GAME
It is not only a unique team building for a few weekday evenings but also a truly original gift for your employees and partners.
Any kind of clothing or souvenirs for the children of the company’s employees. Parents love when their children are given attention.
Be sure to poll all parents in the company for the ages and clothing sizes of their heirs.