June has been a busy month for the cybersecurity industry. It was refreshing to see a host of both familiar and brand new faces at two events this month: RSA in San Francisco and Infosecurity Europe in London. Across my three days at RSA and one day at Infosec (thanks to an unfortunately-timed train strike), and my countless conversations with professionals in the cyber industry, I noticed a few common themes that reinforced just how important it is to establish a compelling and unique brand narrative.

A crowded market

Cybersecurity is still a very crowded market, and there are a lot of overlaps in vendor offerings. This is exacerbated by the fact that every year a major overarching theme emerges, homogenizing the messaging that brands go out with. In 2018 the introduction of the GDPR and the impact of AI and automation dominated conversations. In 2019 concern surrounded the growing impact of ransomware. But this year, one of the stand-out themes is indisputably Zero Trust.

One of the biggest buzzwords in cybersecurity, Zero Trust has become a key consideration and is top-of-mind for many CISOs. But with so many vendors and big industry names building their campaigns, messaging, and USPs around the concept of Zero Trust, how can CISOs and key decision makers differentiate?

Building a brand story

To stand for something more than just the latest buzzword, tech companies need to find their unique position in the market. By refining Go to Market strategy and market positioning through collaborative workshops, vendors are able to articulate their unique selling point, market fit, and brand story, distilling this information down into their overarching brand essence. With this clear picture of who they are and their product’s true value, they can effectively appeal to their customers’ human emotions. When applying concepts like Zero Trust, tech players also need to remain honest and pragmatic, providing clarity on what aspects they support and how, without over-promising or getting carried away with technical jargon. There are also opportunities to play on the popularity of these well-known terms to create attention-grabbing marketing, like Appgate’s stand at Infosec, for example.

appgate - unique brand narrative on zero trust

Terms like Zero Trust are still important in quickly grabbing customers’ attention, but without a unique story and brand personality to back them up, tech vendors end up looking confusingly similar. That’s why at FMXA, we help tech players avoid homogenous campaigns, whether they’re a seed-funded startup or an established market leader. By building purposeful brands strengthened by concise, localized content, we ensure that you hit the language and trends that your customers want to hear, while crafting a unique brand story that gives you credibility.

Guerrilla marketing

I couldn’t talk about RSA and Infosec without mentioning the creative and eye-catching campaigns that stood out to me. Some of the vendors who didn’t have dedicated stands were still engaging with customers in unique and innovative ways, both in and out of the conference halls.

At RSA, I was thrilled to see SecureAuth’s guerrilla campaign promoting their brand new product offering, which was featured on digivans and placards around the Moscone Center (pictured below). Their new product name, Arculix, was a product of several workshops and brainstorms held earlier this year by the team at FMXA. By looking at language translations and connotations, and drawing upon the GTM strategy and brand messaging we previously established, we came up with Arculix, a fusion of Arculus, the Roman God of lockboxes, and helix, which ties back to their digital DNA concept.

secureauth arculix

Walking around both RSA and Infosec Europe, it struck me how open, friendly, and welcoming everyone was. And with many vendors leaning toward more relatable and emotive messaging, it’s clear that humanizing technology, FMXA’s key mission, is more important than ever. By putting the target audience at the center of a clear and consistent story, tech companies can remain memorable beyond the booths of the convention center.

I can’t wait to do it all over again at Black Hat in August!

Please drop me a message if you’d like to chat at an upcoming event, or if you’d like to find out more about FMXA and our experience humanizing tech.

From artificial intelligence and biotech to smart homes, IoT, and the metaverse, technology is one of the fastest-growing and fastest-evolving industries, cementing itself as part of everything we do and experience.

This rapid growth is encouraging innovation, fuelling unique ideas and bringing new players to the market. But with competition intensifying, the need for tech vendors to differentiate, engage, and build trust with their customers is becoming more important than ever.

 

The need to humanize technology

All too often tech organizations aren’t empathizing with their customers, either opting to take a product-focused approach, or heavily diluting all-important technical messaging. And with concerns around the impact of technology such as privacy and automation increasing, organizations need to better convey not just who they are, but how they benefit and work in partnership with people.

 

“Throughout my years in the cybersecurity industry, I noticed a lack of emotion in the way solutions were marketed and sold. A lot of vendors choose to emphasize the features and benefits of their technology, using very technical language and ultimately battling with long sales cycles and complex buying journeys. All customers want is to be understood and spoken to like a human being, so it was obvious to me that this human touch was missing from tech marketing.”
- Alisha Dattani, CEO at FMXA

 

How we do it

At FMXA, we want to change the way tech companies talk to their customers. We do this by taking a customer-first approach, considering their emotions, needs, and behavior whether they are the CIO of a Fortune 500 company or a teenager downloading their first banking app. We then ensure that we appeal to these emotions and form a powerful connection with every customer.

 

And as technology marketing is all we do, we can demonstrate empathy with customers without diluting any of your technical messaging. We know the industry inside-out and share a passion for technology, which enables us to effectively define who your customers are, how to speak to them, and what their challenges are. Our experience also allows us to come up with innovative and unconventional ideas, making our brands, campaigns, and content stand apart from the rest of the industry.

 

“By focusing on building emotional connections, we enable tech companies to demonstrate empathy toward the personal challenges of their customers. Not only does this make clear the specific problems you’re solving, but it also allows you to personalize your brand to specific decision-makers, fostering stronger brand loyalty that turns customers into advocates.”
- Yamit Dattani, CSO

 

Our human-first approach

We carry this ethos through our three distinct service areas: Brand, Content, and Campaigns. Our brands are built to convey your purpose and unique story in a way that best reaches your customer, ensuring you stand for more than just your product. We strive to create content that enhances the trust your customers have in you, fueling creative and new conversations. And our campaigns effectively cut through the noise, speaking directly to the emotions of the customer.

 

Our human-first approach earned us the first-ever The Drum B2B For Good award in 2021, awarded for our “66 Days Back” campaign with Malwarebytes. The “66 Days Back” campaign recognized the challenges of stress within cybersecurity and aimed to open up the conversation around the mental toll that malware has on cyber professionals. Our messaging confronted topics that traditional cybersecurity providers shy away from, emphasizing the importance of mental health in cyber and highlighting the people behind the technology.

 

By building your brand, content, and campaigns to emotionally resonate, you stand for something more than your technology, stand apart from your competitors, and your customers understand and trust in the value you bring. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be working in the industry right now, so we can’t wait to see, and be a part of, the new and inspiring ways that tech will impact people worldwide.

 

Humanizing your technology

Get in touch for a chat about your marketing plans and how we can help.

When we connect with a brand, we feel an affinity to it that’s difficult to define. The most loved and trusted brands connect with their customers on a deeper level than their competitors, creating a persona that captures their imagination, tells a clear story, and appeals to both rational and emotional desires. Simply put, these brands seem familiar and make us feel valued.

 

Brands generate this attachment by tapping into universal patterns of behavior that humans understand instinctively, mirroring the personalities that we see in ourselves, our peers, in stories, art, and even religion. While we don’t immediately think of a specific archetype when we see a brand, our understanding of personalities is instinctive, so based on our unconscious perceptions, we’re able to decide which brands we want to connect with and which we want to avoid.

 

According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman>, the vast majority (95%) of our purchasing decisions are made in the subconscious mind, so brands with a unique archetypal personality that connects them with customers have a huge advantage over the competition.

The 12 brand personalities

Psychologist Carl Jung theorized that humans use symbolism to understand complex concepts more easily. As a result of his research, Jung identified that brands fit into four key goals: Paradise, Impact, Belonging, and Stability. No matter which of these goals your company mission fits into, your brand will act as a pathway to achieving it. Brands do this by acting as a reflection of one of these 12 archetypes, connecting with people who exhibit the same.

 

Brand Personality Wheel

 

Paradise

 

The Innocent

The Innocent brand archetype exhibits happiness, goodness, optimism, safety, and youth, valuing simplicity and authenticity. Innocent brands don’t want to offend or harm anyone, and often have an extremely positive outlook on life.

Example brands include: Whole Foods, Nintendo Wii, Dove

The Sage

Sage brands are committed to helping the world gain deeper insight and wisdom, serving as thoughtful mentor or advisor. This archetype is a trusted source of information and uses solid facts to back up statements.

Example brands include: Google, The New York Times, TED

The Explorer

The Explorer taps into their audience’s desire to discover new places, people, and worlds. These brands find inspiration in travel and the thrill of adventure, always looking for pathways to self-fulfillment.

Example brands include: Jeep, The North Face, NASA

 

Impact

 

The Rebel

The Rebel, or the Outlaw, questions authority and dislikes rules, always looking to break the status quo. Craving rebellion and revolution, Rebel brands might even go against societal norms out of pure boredom.

Example brands include: Virgin, Harley-Davidson, Diesel 

The Magician

The goal of the Magician brand is to create something special and dream-fulfilling for each customer. The Magician is seen as visionary and spiritual, focusing heavily on creativity and imagination. 

Example brands include: Mastercard, Disney, Polaroid

The Hero

On a mission to make the world a better place, the Hero is courageous, bold, and inspirational. The Hero archetype is a source of inspiration, never intimidating but always inspiring others to work harder. 

Example brands include: Nike, FedEx, Duracell

 

Belonging

The Lover

The Lover brand archetype is a true romantic, valuing relationships over anything else. These brands create intimate moments and find strength in love, intimacy, and romance, focusing heavily on aesthetic appeal. 

Example brands include: Victoria’s Secret, Chanel, Haagen Dazs

The Jester

Bringing joy to the world through humor, fun, and mischief, the Jester archetype doesn’t take itself too seriously and encourages the audience to laugh along with them. These brands help their customers let go of stress and come out of their shells.

Example brands include: Old Spice, Ben & Jerry’s, M&Ms

The Everyman

Everyman brands simply want to let their customers know that they belong. Unlike other archetypes that have an elitist personality, this archetype seeks connections and belonging and is recognized as supportive, faithful, and down-to-earth.

Example brands include: IKEA, Visa, eBay

 

Stability

 

The Caregiver

The Caregiver brand archetype is empathetic, nurturing, and generous, focusing on protecting and caring for others. The goal of the Caregiver is to make customers feel secure or emotionally and physically supported.

Example brands include: Johnson & Johnson, Pampers, UNICEF

The Ruler

Creating order from chaos, the Ruler is typically controlling and stern, yet responsible and organized. This archetype strives to be the best of the best and is known for perfection and attention to detail.

Example brands include: Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, IBM

The Creator

The Creator archetype is all about innovation and creativity, usually the first ones to introduce new technology and ways of thinking. Creator brands prioritize imagination and free self-expression, building products or services with enduring value. 

Example brands include: Lego, Apple, Adobe

 

How can you use your brand personality in practice?

By identifying and using your brand personality, your business can be built with empathy at the forefront, ensuring that you make decisions based on what will resonate with your customers, rather than just your individual likes and dislikes. Using a brand personality also ensures that messaging and visuals are consistent across all customer touchpoints, developing a unique tone of voice and highlighting the points of difference against your competitors.  

 

The best way to work when getting to know your brand personality is collaboratively. At FMXA, we work with your team to gather an understanding of your customer, how they should feel when interacting with your brand, and how your company should be perceived. This allows us to identify together which brand personality you best fit into, which we combine with our work defining your competitors, ideal customers, and values, to inform your unique messaging story, visual identity, and key differentiation points.  

 

By treating your brand personality as the foundation when developing your website, sales and marketing assets, and social channels, you can establish a stronger human connection with your customers unconsciously, turning them into advocates who feel passionate about your brand.

 

Helping you find your brand personality

We’d love to help you take your brand to the next level. Get in touch for a chat about our brand services and how they fit into your business plans.