The decision was two-fold.
Firstly, when I joined Leapwork in July 2021 and reviewed the brand, I was having a lot of conversations and meetings with various team members. I realized that there was quite a disconnect between how they spoke about the company, the difference we were making, the problem we were solving for customers, and how Leapwork was being presented to the outside world. We are addressing a problem in an industry in a way that’s never been done before, but it was difficult to see that as an outsider looking in.
As with many companies in the B2B tech space, we were focusing entirely on features and the product, which underpins the core of why we exist. But when I spoke to people at Leapwork, the value we were creating didn’t come through. I wanted to match up the Leapwork that I was experiencing with what the outside world could see and feel.
Secondly, as with many B2B technology companies, we were finding ourselves in a sea of sameness. We looked and sounded the same as many of our competitors, and it would’ve been difficult for someone from the outside looking in to understand why we are different. Leapwork offers a truly unique way of solving the huge reliance many organizations have on manual testing, and it’s important that our brand accurately reflects that.
The biggest misconception that people have with brand is that it’s a visual, creative marketing experience. That it’s about slapping a new logo and color palette on a website and calling it a day. In my opinion, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a well-known online retail founder once said, brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. It’s the place you hold in their heads, and how you make them feel in their hearts.
Developing a new brand is a strategic exercise – it should be an encapsulation of everything you do as an organization that is visible both internally and to the outside world. Color may be one element, but a brand is made up of all aspects of a company. The way you pick up the phone during a sales call, the way you interact with each other in the office, the way you stay true to what you’ve promised your customers. Whether you’re a developer writing code or a customer success manager speaking to people every day – every person in that chain of interactions makes up your brand. If you can’t back up the visual elements of your brand with a great product and people that live out your company’s values, the brand will lack authenticity.
Creating a successful brand is incredibly powerful. Within the B2B space, when people think of CRM systems, they think of Salesforce. When they think about computers, they think of Apple or Microsoft. This is brand preference, and for a company, it means that you have reached a place where you are the given choice. Creating brand preference is one of the most impactful things you can do as an organization. It is a long-term challenge and certainly won’t happen overnight, but it’s something we are striving for.
In the B2B space, consistency is so important. Whether or not you’re changing the cosmetic outlook, your brand should be rooted in a very clear and consistent strategy, and all decisions should ladder down from that.
We worked very closely with the team at our brand agency Wolff Olins and spent the longest portion of time collating perspectives from customers, investors, partners and employees, and using that as the basis to define the problem we are solving and the difference we want to make in the world. We want to create a brand that is rooted in our product, and that has longevity. That is what will set us apart in an industry that focuses on features.
We’ve created a product that breaks down the language barrier between humans and computers and solves the very complex problems of scalability that manual testing and code-based test automation is causing for companies today. In the longer term what we are trying to do is root our brand in the value we offer our current and prospective customers, and be a source of thought leadership to these audiences. As long as our brand is rooted in our product and the problems we solve, it will help to set us apart and open up opportunities with organizations whose problems we can help fix.
The core of my belief is that marketing should be firmly rooted in art and science. The art part speaks to the connection we make with companies we work with that is hard to put a finger on – it generally goes beyond the practical problems we are solving for customers, and speaks more to how we connect with people. The science part of marketing is very data-led – we can measure if messaging is landing, or if people are interacting with and responding to the assumptions we have made. Speaking to users and gathering and interpreting data is equally as important as connecting with customers, and vice versa.
We’ve only come to realize and acknowledge that B2B buyers are human beings in the last few years. There’s also really interesting trends these days when it comes to data – you can go wider and deeper than ever before. The combination of the human element, paired with the data that we can access and interpret, makes up the foundation of how I think about marketing today.
For the time being, yes. But brand should never be static. We have achieved what we set out to do in this initial stage, but we will have to continue to challenge ourselves time and time again to look at our customers and the problems they are facing. This is the beginning of an ever-evolving journey that should always be rooted in our customers and their needs. A big part we play in marketing is making sure the decisions we make are beneficial for our customers – that also goes for our brand.
Over the course of my career, I’ve learnt that when it comes to brand, many companies will have a pre-conceived notion of where they want to be, and brand then starts to become a marketing exercise.
At Leapwork, we’ve not just spoken about brand transformation and evolution, but also brand adoption – ensuring the brand becomes engrained in our company and our culture, and how we can best empower our employees to interact with the brand internally and externally.
Brand is a living, breathing thing, and if there’s a disconnect and your brand doesn’t resonate with your team internally, it won’t resonate with your external audience either. Every year I become a firmer believer in including a wide set of employees in the process and incorporating different opinions and experiences to ensure that your brand strategy resonates with your team from the very beginning.