Cybersecurity requires a story-focused brand identity more than most industries.
For Cybersecurity firms, how your customers feel is your brand identity. You can market the features of your software and services all you want, but your brand identity—your story—is your customers’ safety.
The “features” approach to advertising means long lists of capabilities that potential clients have to overlay onto their unique cases. Matching features and integrations with pain points and use cases gets you into the weeds immediately.
There is a better way to convey your brand identity than listing product features. Tell prospective clients how your brand will make them feel. Tell them a story where they can be the hero.
Market your brand identity, not your features.
Your brand identity isn’t your API integrations or threat identification tools. Your brand is more organic than that. Your brand is:
- The story your customers tell themselves about your brand.
- The story potential clients tell their managers about your brand.
- The story your users tell their peers about your brand.
The features approach to marketing answers the question of “could” this solution work. The storytelling approach to marketing answers “should” this be their chosen solution.
And sure, use cases are great conversations to have further down the sales funnel. But they’re terrible conversation starters. You don’t discuss wedding plans or exes on a first date, and you shouldn’t lead prospective business conversations with jargon-heavy sales pitches.
Instead, show potential clients what their lives look like when they partner with you. The truth is, your happiest clients already think about you in these terms.
What’s your organization’s story?
Years ago, I worked with an engineering and architecture client who shied away from listing their technical proficiencies (though they were at the top of their field). Instead, they said, “We want to be your indispensable partner in creating a beautiful, comfortable, and functional space for your organization.”
That’s a hell of a story when you’re standing in one of their beautiful, comfortable, and functional spaces the first time you hear it. And it’s a much better story than any conversation they could have had about beam spacing or color selection.
Your clients probably don’t think about you in terms of comfortable spaces. But if you’re doing your job right, they associate you with organizational safety. And safety is a compelling component of a powerful and personal story.
Safety isn’t a feature. It’s not a data point. Safety is a story, and it should be at the center of your cybersecurity firm’s brand. Or maybe your story is about the confidence and relaxation your clients have knowing their cybersecurity is handled. That’s a powerful story, too.
Your story and your brand are more complex than any one keyword. Everyone involved in your service has their own story for why they want to work with you, from those using it to those advocating for it to those actually signing off on the purchase. Users want their lives to be easier, managers want their team to hit its goals, and leadership wants to see a compelling ROI.
Those people don’t want a technical treatise on your list of your firm’s products and services. Most of them aren’t even literate in the technical details. So, you need a way to bring them on board without getting into the weeds. Making the use case for non-technical stakeholders is best done through storytelling.
Build a compelling cybersecurity brand identity with bold content.
We’ve talked about how content can help cybersecurity brands. You can take the same approach to building a bold, brave brand that shines through and connects each piece of your content marketing strategy. But you have to drop your dependence on cybersecurity marketing’s two biggest crutches: product descriptions and fear-mongering.
Step one is to stop relying on your product or service as the brand. Talking about the product rather than the story’s hero creates jargony content that sounds good in a board room but falls apart in a sales pitch.
Step two is to stop pushing fear on your potential customers. Your prospective clients are already terrified of a data breach—that’s why they’re searching for a better cybersecurity solution. Don’t make them feel worse. Tell them a story about safety and confidence.
Cybersecurity vendors struggle with making their brand identity all about their products and their marketing content all about fear. Neither of these things work.
How do you apply your brand identity to tell a story?
So, how can you tell a compelling story about Cybersecurity? It’s easier than you think because you already have a compelling story.
But you probably don’t think you have a story at all since the things we do each day seem mundane. And sure, staring at code is ordinary, but the Matrix isn’t. Finding a security threat is par for the course, but stopping an attempted burglary isn’t.
You don’t have to go far to find a good story. Cybersecurity stories are compelling, even to a non-technical audience. We’re talking about significant innovations, international espionage, hacking, and underdog heroes.
Disney has made more than $1 billion telling nerd-makes-good-and-saves-the-world stories.
But without a grounding story, cybersecurity is a lethal combination of over-technical, jargon-riddled, and abstract.
Flexibility. Scalability. Cutting-edge tech. Denial of service attack. Ransomware. Penetrations tests. IoT. The cloud.
You get the picture. The complex tools, abstract nature, and fear factor of cybersecurity drive most cybersecurity firms to rely on over explanation and a little bit of fear-mongering to sell their products.
Most cybersecurity companies need to improve at humanizing these technical conversations, which is why many of their marketing materials sound the same.
Your competition’s inability to tell a story is an opportunity for your organization. Break through the noise.
Your brand revolves around your messaging, your client personas, and employee and customer testimonials. It’s the sum-total of the experience you offer.
So, get curious about the experience your organization offers. The best place to start is by stepping outside your own experience and into the experience of your customers and employees.
- Start by talking to your best clients. They’re likely already telling your story.
- Read your reviews, good and bad.
- Interview your customer-facing staff.
- Find out what your team enjoys most about the work.
Their stories are your stories. So when your top client says your organization relieves 10% of his worry about data security, that’s your brand identity, and he’s your hero. When a customer service rep says her best days are days when she solves a problem, that’s your brand identity, and she’s the hero of the story.
Write those stories down and share them. When you have stories like these, you can leave your technical brochures at home.
If you pursue each of those steps and can’t find a compelling story, your organization has more significant problems than storytelling.
Do you need help finding your brand identity?
It’s hard to find your story when you’re living in it. Sometimes, you need to find a partner who can help you hone in on and polish your story.
Content Workshop helps organizations in the technology and security space tell a more compelling story. And we can help you too.