The Bilingual Technology Brand: Appealing to a Contrasting Customer Base

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Technology companies face a unique branding dichotomy: their complex product or service must “speak” to both the technical buyer (often the CTO) and the financial buyer (typically the CFO). One of our clients, a materials discovery firm with a revolutionary technology for life sciences, faced this challenge as it tried to attract partners and clients.

To realize its full potential, the firm had to translate its unique technology platform into a set of messages that appealed equally to scientists (who would be interested to know that the technology could save time and accelerate discovery) and CFOs (who wanted the bottom-line value proposition and payback scenario of the high-ticket item). One brand had to simultaneously address very different issues and speak two languages: that of science and technology and that of dollars and cents.

This is a branding conundrum for many technology firms: at the corporate level, you can only have one brand, yet that brand has to straddle both messages, the scientific/technological and the financial, speaking to very different audiences.

While the process of building a “bilingual” technology brand is far too complex to cover comprehensively in a single blog post, it is important to note that the first step is gathering the right information. You need to understand what (each of your) your target audiences want. Based on this research, as well as an in-depth competitive analysis, you can begin to lay the foundation for a compelling brand strategy that bridges both audiences.

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