The cybersecurity industry is rife with competition and innovation. With new Venture Capital (VC)-backed startups entering the market and established players expanding their services, standing out from the crowd is essential for companies wanting to succeed.
Getting ahead of the competition is, however, proving exceptionally difficult to do with audience segments becoming gradually overexposed to competing brands all vying for their attention. The question is how cybersecurity businesses can differentiate their brand and highlight their brand’s authenticity to capture an audience’s attention, while still retaining their all-important competitive edge.
While that answer will differ for each company, this short guide should at least present some interesting ideas to bring forward.
Before defining your brand, you first need to identify what makes you different from the plethora of other cybersecurity firms out there. What are your unique strengths and offerings compared to your competitors? Do you cater to a specific niche of customers? Pinpointing your USPs gives you a solid foundation for brand positioning and messaging.
Assess and analyze your services, specialisms, credentials, track record, customer service, flexibility, innovation, and values to create an actionable summary of your brand’s uniqueness. Uncovering these compelling factors will be the baseline with which you can begin setting your brand apart from the crowd; they will be the crucial ingredients for crafting a notable brand identity.
Some examples could be:
- Specialist experience and technical knowledge in key industries like healthcare or finance, with proven case studies to back that up.
- Advanced proprietary technology and services that improve cyber threat detection rates, such as comprehensive, end-to-end, managed detection and response solutions.
- Exceptional, round-the-clock support and consultancy services tailored specifically for each customer.
With your USPs defined, condense them into clear, simple messaging that gets to the heart of what makes you different, and also messaging that addresses your customers’ pain points. Avoid overly complex, contradictory, or hyperbolic positioning statements. You want crisp, memorable messages that customers immediately grasp.
If comprehensive, 24/7 cyber incident response services are your strength, your messaging could encourage prospects to enlist experienced, professional responders to handle all security incidents. Concise messaging conveys your offering in an easy-to-understand and direct way, without any room for unnecessary, fluffy text.
Your customers will interact with your cybersecurity brand across multiple touchpoints, including your website, social media, printed sales material, events, paid advertisements, and more. The last thing you want to do is confuse them with conflicting or misaligned branding, messaging, and visual identity.
Creating clear brand guidelines, including design assets, logos, tone of voice, color schemes, key messages, straplines, product names, etc, will ensure that your brand is consistent at all touchpoints in the customer journey. Consistency will boost recognition and customer trust in your brand.
As you scale, dedicate time to reflect on whether your guidelines reflect your current positioning, and audit your materials and channels to ensure sufficient alignment and consistency.
While your core, top-level brand messaging will remain fixed, adapt your brand’s positioning to resonate with different buyer personas (if such exist within your audience). For example, positioning could emphasize the cost-saving benefits of your services for CFOs, the risk mitigation advantages for CISOs, and the growth possibilities for CEOs.
Map relevant messaging to personas to enable greater engagement from your target personas. Make sure any adaptations in brand messaging don’t contradict your core brand identity.
Targeted, engaging content boosts brand visibility and recognition, and reinforces consumer trust. If you can capture the essential pain points and interests of your buyer personas, while reflecting your core branding, you can create a steady stream of relevant content that acts as valuable sales material.
A whitepaper for new cybersecurity startups that details common pitfalls to avoid could target common startup business owner pain points while positioning you as an expert resource. Similarly, comprehensive, succinct case studies that detail problems you have solved and technical issues you have fixed can validate your extensive product and market knowledge. Dedicate space on your website to discuss relevant industry topics from your perspective, and demonstrate your presence in the sector by publishing news pieces on seminars, trade shows, conferences, and events of note. Thought leadership coupled with branding reinforces your identity and authority as an industry innovator.
Develop a bespoke content strategy that aligns with and supports your brand strategy. Adapt your strategy to suit your most appropriate and effective marketing channels, and ensure they are best positioned to enable the best results. For maximum effect, create numerous types of valuable content that accomplish your key goals, whether that’s brand awareness, engagement, or boosting sales.
Attacking the competition is a big no-no, as it can damage trust and create friction in the industry. Competitive comparisons, however, when used carefully, can be great opportunities to highlight your strengths.
With careful, diligent PR and training, you can focus any highlighted comparisons on objective advantages, such as customer retention rates or price points. The goal here is to position your strengths in ways that come across as valid and transparent without being undermining, combative or dismissive of rivals in your sector. This can be done with considered, informative and careful messaging in material like press releases, news bulletins or interviews. Use verified data to lend more credibility to your assertions.
Using advanced, comprehensive analytics tools, you can measure the important metrics and data that matter the most. Whether this is content engagement, website visits, online sales, contact form fills, or anything else, your analytics are pivotal to how you structure and tweak your marketing efforts.
A solid starting point would be to survey your customers and gather their opinions and perceptions of your brand messaging and identity. Which brand pillars do they resonate with best? Do your values support or contradict your identity? Tweak and refine any aspects that underperform or don’t serve any tangible value. Using data as the backbone, you can build an increasingly sharp and unique cybersecurity brand.
It’s clear to see that establishing your brand as unique in the crowded cybersecurity space requires a methodical and strategic approach. However, by committing to the steps outlined above, you can begin to create the ideal foundations to build an authoritative and respected brand that makes the right kind of noise. Consistency, brand personas, content, and analytics will all work cohesively to hone your brand further for maximum effect.
If you enjoyed this blog, then why not check out another from the author, regarding how to personalize branding for business success, here.