How Software Will Differentiate Brands

Posted on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 @ 7:00 am

With the multitude of devices owned by consumers today and the large amount of time they spend using them daily, businesses are realizing the powerful impact that good software can have on driving revenue. Software provides a personalized, direct way for businesses to reach their customers, and it is continually being used by forward-thinking firms to come up with new and original ways to accomplish business goals.

In order to appeal to 21st century customers in today’s fast-paced, connected world, clever, personalized and efficient software has become the way to engage, delight, and serve them, as customers are coming to expect advanced digital offerings from every brand they encounter.

Research firm Forrester explains, “Customers expect to interact with your products, services, and company — in short, with your brand — through software” (Forrester Research, Inc., Software Must Enrich Your Brand). Applying the latest technologies, like the SMAC stack—Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud—to your business software can help your company come up with some truly innovative and valuable digital offerings that engage and delight your customers. In achieving this, businesses will find new ways to drive revenue and differentiate themselves from their competition.

In the coming days, businesses will utilize compelling software to differentiate their brands in four “TRUE” ways that have a great impact on consumer brand preference, referral, pricing power, and overall brand resonance. As Forrester states in the same report, these four dimensions are those that establish a brand as Trusted, Remarkable, Unmistakable, and Essential.

1. A Trusted Brand

People that make an emotional connection with a brand are much more likely to become repeat customers. Providing a seamless, clear software experience for your customers will give them confidence in your reliable delivery and engender trust in your brand. Bad software is incredibly frustrating, so it is important to protect customers from this and to show you are invested in them and their experiences. The result will be customers who feel confident they can turn to your brand to deliver what they need.

2. A Remarkable Brand

Software today offers nearly endless possibilities. Firms must realize this and innovate to find new and intriguing ways to delight their customers. One way to delight through software is to provide users with a more custom, personalized experience. Obtaining data from customer devices on how they are using your software, including when and where they use it and what they are doing on it, will allow your business to collect important information on user context and personal preferences. With this, you can deliver a more personalized brand experience based on your customers’ individual situations and preferences. In offering software that is relevant to your user, you make your business remarkable by keeping it at the forefront of your customers’ minds and conversations.

3. An Unmistakable Brand

Businesses also turn to software to help them serve customers in unique ways that differentiate themselves from their competition as being the one and only to do what they do. Advanced data analytics, location-based info, and customer loyalty records gathered from customers’ software usage allow businesses to anticipate their customers’ needs, and then to proactively serve them. By providing your customers with what they need when they need it, when they didn’t even know they needed it, you create an experience that helps to distinguish your brand and make it unmistakable.

4. An Essential Brand

The service and convenience provided by a business’s software can contribute to making a brand essential to consumers’ lives, meaning they go out of their way to choose this brand over a competitor’s. In order to do this, you must have offerings that make your business irreplaceable. Software that provides a valuable, added service to your normal list of offerings, and which is also not offered by your competition, can become such a draw for customers that they refuse to go anywhere else.

A TRUE Brand Example:

A major tax services firm was looking for a way to engage and entertain their customers while they waited for their taxes to be prepared onsite. The business turned to software to provide this engaging experience. OFS built a touchscreen application that incorporated games and social media with promotional offers and marketing information in a manner that was interesting and entertaining to the user. With this software, customers could spend their time playing games, educating themselves on taxes, writing reviews of the company, getting coupons and sharing them with friends, checking out the latest company news, liking them on Facebook, and occupying their children with fun digital activities. Using innovative software to provide this enjoyable experience during a normally long and boring wait time has helped this firm to delight their customers and to differentiate their services from their competitors.

Since software is often the channel that connects you with your customers on a daily basis, it is becoming the face of your company in many ways. Harnessing the latest software technologies will allow you to create a branded software experience that will engage and delight your customers. It is through providing these enhanced customer experiences with your software that you can bolster your brand as trusted, remarkable, unmistakable, and essential in the eyes of your customers.

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