Everyone knows the power of brands – we witness them every day as consumers, as employees, and as business owners. Cynics might say ‘it’s just a name’ but they probably insist on owning either an Apple iPhone or an Android device.
Is branding in the enterprise segment important? Superficially no, but the strength of brands comes from what they represent – a service culture, a customer attitude, an approach to market. You only have to look at enterprise-focused social media activities from the likes of Colt, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Verizon, Virgin Media O2, and Vodafone to see the importance service providers attach to their perception and ethos, even if it apparently has no direct relevance to their enterprise services. Business decision-makers are humans too and intangibles like empathy play an important subliminal part in the choices they make.
How colorful designs can define the brand
Obviously, an enterprise’s choice of a cloud, connectivity or managed service will be based on its being fit for purpose, offering value for money, and being backed by appropriate levels of customer service. But what if there is little discernable difference between potential service providers? Softer aspects such as empathy and reputation influence decisions – this can be via a great relationship with an account executive, superior technology or historical experience…but these are all aspects of perception and therefore brand. Brand is an ethos, not just a logo. Brands assemble assets and actions that shape perception in stakeholders’ minds.
The element of color arises because Bleu is partly Capgemini (which uses blue in its branding), and Orange, the brand adopted by France Telecom when it looked to reposition itself as a global service provider and move away from being seen as the French national incumbent. Similar strategies have been adopted by Deutsche Telekom stylizing itself with the letter ‘T’ and using magenta across its branding, and British Telecom becoming BT and transitioning across multiple color combinations to de-emphasize historical/legacy roots and project a broader market-focused image – it is a classic part of the post-incumbent evolutionary process.
Equally, Vodafone associates itself strongly with the color red, and AT&T with blue – not forgetting IBM’s nickname of ‘Big Blue.’ So color and branding matter across the ICT industry whether targeting consumer, small business, enterprise or public/third sector customers. As human beings we react strongly to colors – it’s in our DNA. So, by successfully associating corporate values with a color, vendors can add an edge to their proposition.
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There are three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. So watch this space for future colorful service provision.