A Technology Brand Built on Love
When launching their businesses, most tech entrepreneurs devote the lion’s share of their time and energy to building their technology and creating a business model for selling it. Getting pricing, product, sales and service operations in place is the priority and everything else – including brand – takes a back seat. As a result, many companies hit the market with fabulous technology but virtually nothing to differentiate them – or their offerings – in a vast sea of competitors.
A Different(iated) Approach
Jon Lieberman, a veteran tech entrepreneur, came to Brandstone this year with a different approach in mind. Jon planned to launch his new venture - itopia - in the rapidly growing “cloud computing” space and knew from past experience the vital importance of a strong and differentiated brand in an industry where everyone has access to the same basic technology. Jon asked idea-ware to help him create a brand that would capture the imagination of seed-round investors, attract strategic partners, and lead to a fast start within key market segments.
So we conducted our brand discovery process – a “brand articulation session” with Jon and his key internal team members, in-depth interviews with select customers and partners, and a thorough audit of the competitive landscape – and set to work creating a brand platform that captured the unique nature of itopia, including the messages, images and overall brand story that would connect on an emotional level with customers, prospects, partners and employees alike.
“Love” Is in the Air
While all cloud computing vendors talk about features and benefits, few actually take the time to humanize their impact… to capture and articulate how they affect people’s lives in real and meaningful ways. Together with Jon, we recognized this opportunity early on and positioned itopia as a company whose cloud-based IT services are so easy-to-use and worry-free (compared to traditional, rigid IT infrastructures) that it will fundamentally improve the relationship that each person in an organization has with information technology. Whether you’re a CEO, IT manager, or simply an end-user, itopia is going to make everything about computing so easy that you’ll fall in love with IT again.
From Zero to 100 in 90 Days
The story connected immediately and powerfully when tested with a variety of audience types and became the foundation of the itopia brand, infused in all external-facing materials, including website, collateral and sales and investor presentations. Just 90 days after engaging idea-ware, Jon was able to host his first board meeting and wow investors with a comprehensive, market-ready brand framework and identity that further solidified their support and engagement.
As Jon puts it: “Brandstone helped us create a brand, a story, and an identity that strike an emotional chord and have created real, meaningful separation in a rapidly emerging marketplace. Their ability to articulate the messages and visuals around a grand vision in a way that transcends ‘features and benefits’ is incredible. They built us a foundation that far too few startups take the time to lay down…and I know from experience how essential that is.”
---------Update March 30, 2013---------
Brandstone is happy to report that itopia founder and CEO Jon Lieberman was selected as a finalist for Miami Chamber of Commerce "Technology Entrepreneur of the Year" Awards. The winner will be announced at the April 11 awards event.
----------Update April 11, 2013----------
Brandstone would like to congratulate Jon Lieberman, founder and CEO of itopia on being the Miami Chamber of Commerce's "Technology Entrepreneur of the Year!" We're proud to have been a part of itopia's success! Way to go! Here is the video that announced Jon's win and highlight's Brandstone's work: