Branding, positioning and messaging a B2B services company in Silicon Valley
The Client: Rubric, a language services provider that helps technology firms globalize their products.
The Situation: Rubric’s executive team contacted Silicon Strategies with a simple request: help them grow beyond the plateau they had reached. For a number of years Rubric had not been able to expand their revenues or market share.
Silicon Strategies Role: Marketing research, strategy guidance and marketing operations.
Silicon Strategies Marketing started our engagement with several investigations to inventory Rubric’s strengths, weaknesses and original research into how their market preferred to find and vet vendor. The process identified a common malady of smaller companies and divisions within larger companies: Rubric had no institutionalized understanding of their market, their buyers or their competitive differentiators. Though Rubric had been moderately successful, their success was based not on strategy but sheer drive and an intuitive feel for needs in some market segments.
The Research: Silicon Strategies Marketing conducted several research initiatives. The first developed a thorough understanding of Rubric’s buyer genotypes and what motivated them. Several rounds of facilitated management discussions also drove development of Rubric’s go-to-market plan, documenting what regions, markets and buyer types would be approached.
Through formal surveys and management studies, Silicon Strategies Marketing also brought to light the one key differentiator Rubric offered. We compared this core value proposition against a competitive check list. Silicon Strategies Marketing uncovered Rubrics chief differentiator, unique value proposition and brand essence – a brand that even the largest competitors would struggle to match.
Finally, Silicon Strategies Marketing conducted a customer satisfaction survey to prove the new brand definition was based in reality.
The Strategy: Silicon Strategies Marketing led a corporate-wide rebranding project, resulting in the development of new market messages, a new website, new collateral, new presentations, and new promotional methods. All materials – down to the email signature block of Rubric employees – carried Rubric’s brand.
From a tactical perspective, there was a complete realignment of marketing effort and budget. Money was shifted away from activities which had little bearing on sales and revenue. Instead, Rubric used their brand to carry several brand-focused promotions. It was critical to leverage the strength of Rubric customers to deliver the Rubric brand and messages to other people in their organization and to peers in different companies. This approach included brand-focused testimonials and customer quotes throughout Rubric materials.
The Results: Results are very encouraging. Web traffic doubled from that of the old website. A new periodic newsletter, whose first edition had a strong 70% open rate, produced new leads even from established Rubric contacts. Rubric’s sales team is refocused and Rubric customers – like Amway – are volunteering to be references for Rubric case studies, which in turn amplifies Rubric’s brand.
The Lesson: Often, companies are too close to existing customers to see what the broader market needs. Rubric had tremendous core brand values that were not reflected anywhere in their images, their market messages or their promotions, and it was these strengths that the market craved. Rubric’s CEO told us that “Silicon Strategies provided the focus and guidance we needed to get to the next level.”