premium tech brand

How to Build a Premium Tech Brand so You’re Not Just Competing on Features, Benefits and Price Discounts

In a hostile market many business leaders, decision makers and managers can be prone to hunkering down on what they regard as basics which results in the unintentional sabotaging of their whole premium tech brand business model and brand positioning. Even some stalwart tech brand managers can be vulnerable this. 

When everything is in flux, sales discussions on both sides of the equation, from a customer and seller perspective, can be reduced to common basics: what a product or service does, what it offers, how much it costs — consequently everything becomes more transactional and generic. 

This is a very dangerous situation because it effectively becomes a race to the bottom enabling those with the deepest pockets to grab market share and survive. A strong well developed brand strategy enables you to counteract those vulnerabilities. It enables you to set your tech business brand apart from your competitors so you’re strongly equipped to ride out the storm profitably.

Building a premium tech brand, underpinned by a strong brand strategy, helps raise your business because it enables you to elevate the discussion and how you’re perceived so you’re seen much more favourably by your primary target customers. Instead of getting bogged down in very basic generic details and price haggling, a strong brand helps you refocus your clients’ perceptions around the ‘higher value’ of your offering which in turn supports premium pricing. 

Here we’re sharing five key insights on how to build a premium tech brand so you can command higher price points even in adverse trading conditions. 

Related: Leading in Adversity – 10 Practical Steps to Make Your Brand Work Harder to Grow Your Sales

1. A Premium Tech Brand Starts with Brand Thinking

Branding is about more than just a logo, website, social posts or a brand name. A disciplined approach to branding results in the enhancement of a product or service’s pricing potential by understanding the complete holistic picture of what matters most to primary users, how they will benefit from the brand’s products or services, what sets it apart from competitors. 

It also enables business leaders and decision makers to leverage appropriately the multiple ways in which the brand can be powerfully, effectively communicated to its ideal audience. Brand strategy gives you your brand architecture, which in turn enables you to shape everything from communications to brand tone of voice so you can really differentiate meaningfully and stand out.

Related: Brand Hierarchy Fundamentals for Multiple Brands To Avoid Confused Customers or Stagnant Sales

A lot of premium tech brands start from a technical perspective and marketing is an afterthought, if it receives any serious thought at all. In other words they’re tech led and not marketing or market led. That is a big mistake because it traps tech brands in a functional sell so it’s very difficult to achieve a premium pricing structure. The business ends up never reaching its full potential and, worse still, in a constant race to launch the next feature or benefit so it can continue to compete with low margin pricing [functionally] — relative to its competitors.

Successful tech brands achieve premium pricing power by focusing carefully on their brand thinking. They use this to drive their offering as much as the technology itself. 

premium tech brand

Image via © Over-C

A case study is the tech company Over-C. It specialises in helping clients manage compliance across the organisation, without a weighty paper chain. Compliance tends to be a vastly complex area which touches on a lot of users in financial organisations and other regulated companies.

While the users may be traders, backend offices and analysts, the people who make a purchase decision may sit in a compliance department and may not typically be regarded as customers. To sell a solution to such a market, a brand needs to do what Over-C has successfully achieved: get strong clarity on the user archetypes and the buyer archetypes within its target customers, and create compelling usage scenarios for them which show how its branded solution is an effective way to handle the needs around compliance.

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to build a brand strategy that really engages your ideal customers effectively so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you build your brand, depending on your preferences, so if you’d like us to:

  1. Build your brand for you – find out more here or get in touch [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724
  2. Empower you to build your brand – check out the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind here. This is a live, interactive programme online where you work on your brand with us codifying and mapping out your brand strategy for business growth. Alternatively, join our half-day Branding Accelerator Masterclass for a fast-injection of brand building essentials. Ask about our Personal and Corporate Leadership Brand Alignment Masterclass
  3. Want a DIY solution? check out our how to build a brand eprogramme here and our how to audit your brand yourself eprogramme here

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2. Premium Tech Brands Are Structured to Leverage Brand Building

In recent years, an increasing amount of tech development has used an agile methodology. Adopting an engineering-style approach, developers carefully identify the minimum elements needed for a viable proposition, through user research and engaging target users with rapid prototyping. This is a form of what is known as design thinking.

Related: Agile Branding and Top 6 Lessons from Fintech

Design thinking is a common tool which has long been used in the branding world. Although tech firms may not realise it, increasingly tech development and brand development have converged on a similar approach. By starting from user needs and wants empathetically, rather than from just product, they efficiently and quickly craft propositions which are more likely to be successful in the marketplace. Focus groups, A/B testing and rapid prototyping have long been familiar tools in the brand arena — now they are increasingly familiar to tech firms too.

Tech professionals understand and employ key elements of design thinking, such as minimum viable prototypes, user personas, product management and wireframe development. That means they are much better equipped to leverage the brand development process which in turn enables them to build a premium tech brand so they can increase their price points, margins and profits.

Related: Using Buyer Personas to Increase Your Business Profitability

Premium tech brand

Image via © Farmeye

A good example of a premium tech firm whose offering shows clear use of design thinking is Farmeye. Farmeye is an online map-based tool which helps agricultural professionals manage soil nutrition. The user focus shows through clearly in the brand positioning, from the clear product benefits to a streamlined interface and a contemporary look and feel. Branding elevates apps, such as Farmeye, so they’re not competing on the lowest common denominators such as pricing.

“An exceptionally talented individual. Lorraine Carter, Persona Branding and Design has a wonderful ability to ‘horizon scan’ for any business and then bring them on a journey that delivers value to their Balance Sheet.”

Dave Feenan


Technology Ireland & ICT Skillnet

Dave Feenan

Persona Unstoppable In Uncertainty Masterclass

“I really appreciate Lorraine’s energy and passion. Although good branding includes so many facets, Lorraine is able to simplify the process and make it so much more tangible for any company to put into practice.”

Lisa Kettman-Kervinen

Marketing Communication Specialist

The Switch

Lisa Kettman-Kervinen

3. Brand Building Helps Premium Tech Brands Compete on a Stronger Basis Instead of Merely Features and Benefits

Most products or services have a number of features (things they do) and benefits (ways in which such features may be helpful to target users). This is true for any kind of product or service and is part of what marketers consider when evaluating a brand’s positioning. But the prevalence of features and benefits is especially noticeable in tech, where a lot of brands list out their features and benefits in table form and show which ones are included at different levels of pricing.

This sort of haggling approach leads users to engaging with the product or service on a transactional level. If they don’t want a particular feature, or want one which isn’t offered, they may write the offering off altogether, or ask for a discount. By breaking communication down to individual elements of features and benefits rather than the higher order elements of the brand proposition, tech brands lose, or never achieve, premiumness because the branded whole as an entity is more attractive than the merely the sum of its parts.

Taking a holistic brand-based approach enables a premium tech brand to have a different sort of discussion with potential customers. The brand can focus on its brand purpose, vision, promise and brand story to create higher perceived value. Features and benefits help to support this, but they are no longer the sole focus of the sales and marketing strategy.

Related: Branding Psychology in Adversity – 7 Ways You Can Embrace Behavioural Shifts to Grow Your Business

Premium tech brand

Image via © Intercom

Consider as a case study Intercom, a CRM tool founded by four Irishmen, which focuses on customer interactions. Digital tools enabling customer interaction are two a penny and many of them are comparably fit for purpose with little perceived difference. Yet few have had the success of Intercom. With its iconic branding and tone of voice, the company is not just selling on features and benefits. Although its product is one of many on the market, it has been able to stand out with its distinctive yet relevant brand.

Related: Building a Brand with Big-Brand Know-How on a Shoestring and Doing More With Less

Are you a business leader, manager or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate or build your brand strategy so you can move the conversation above just features, benefits and pricing to a higher brand vision to increase your sales? Are you curious about how to build or scale a highly successful standout brand? Join one of our branding masterclasses because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value so you can command a premium.

In fact, the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ is all about fast-tracking you, your brand and your business through the brand building, agile branding strategy process using professional big-brand know-how with proven systems that get results so you can grow your business faster and more effectively.

The systems and toolkits enable you to make your brand highly visible, different, credible, trustworthy, memorable and much loved amongst your ideal customers so you can become more profitable and leave your competitors way behind. Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand of preferred choice commanding a premium.

If you want a tailor-made solution specifically for your brand then we also provide inhouse bespoke Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Intensives working with you and your team so you can grow your business faster and more profitably. Contact us to discover more [email protected] or +353 1 8322724

Brand Identity“Lorraine Carter has been the catalyst and an inspiration for MGI Learning to clearly define our brand.

Working with Lorraine has been both enlightening and enjoyable. Her blueprint for defining a brand is extremely comprehensive and challenged us to think very deeply about what we offer to our customers and really understand what underpins our success.

Lorraine is extremely knowledgeable, very focused and supportive and leads you through the process and ensured we got maximum benefits from the investment we made.”

Shona Cooper


MGI Learning

Shona Cooper

4. Branding Strategy is What Enables Premium Tech Brands to Charge a High Price Point

Commonly tech customers want pricing discounts, especially for large installations. Pricing by user or seat often encourages customers to seek cut prices, offering discounts for certain minimum numbers.

The economics of tech development can make it sorely tempting to cave in to requests for pricing discounts. Once the core development cost is covered, the incremental revenue is basically profit. So selling something even far below sticker price may still be very helpful for the firm’s cash flow. Once development and operating costs are covered, selling at even a fraction of the recommended price can still be profitable.

Related: Profitable Lessons from Luxury Brand Leaders, Brand Positioning for Premium Pricing

However, widely differential pricing can damage customer confidence. Also offering short term discounts can make it much harder to get the price you want in future because you’ve set an unhealthy precedent. Having a strong rationale for your pricing driven by your brand proposition makes the discussion more compelling and consequently your positioning and profit outcome better. 

branding strategy

© Persona Design

Branding strategy is a key rationale because it elevates your offering above the purely functional level. It influences customer preferences because it leverages brand psychology and communicates in emotionally engaging terms which forms the basis of premium pricing. Nobody expects to walk into an Apple store and successfully haggles on price for this reason.

premium tech brand

Image via © Human

Consider as an example Workhuman, which used to be known as Globoforce. They provide tech solutions to help manage employee reward and incentive programmes for large companies. That is not a very technically demanding area and barriers to entry for other tech firms are low.

However, as the switch to the simple but evocative Workhuman brand shows, the company has used branding to move it out of straight price comparisons by buyers. From its funky and emotionally compelling tone of voice to its bright visual identity, the brand helps users feel they are engaging with more than simply a piece of tech, and so consequently willing to pay accordingly.

Related: How Apple Does It: Five Tips for Getting Your $1Tn Brand Personality Right

If you’d like to discover more about building and maintaining a thriving, high performing, highly profitable standout brand, then get in touch because we’d love to help you make your brand into a profit powerhouse.

  1. Schedule a chat — we can meet in person online
  2. Let’s consider a customised plan for you
  3. And perhaps implement the plan together 
  4. Contact us [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)

Lorraine Carter is a branding expert and international speaker delivering talks that inspire and motivate along with masterclasses and workshops that inform and support transformational outcomes fast, and consultancy expertise that solves problems — using agile branding strategy underpinned by professional big-brand know-how — so you can outshine, outperform and leave your competitors way behind.

She enables you to Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand — commanding a premium with 7-figure growth.

Ask about the Persona 7-Figure Business Building and Brand Strategy Mastermind.

5. Branding Strategy Enables Premium Tech Brands to Optimise Their Business Models

Sometimes it can be confusing to decide what best to do next when running a tech company. Designing a product pipeline in a fast-moving sector like tech can end up being overly reactive, which reduces a firm’s productivity and potential profitability..

Taking a more strategic approach enables you to achieve a longer term vision of where you want to go, which in turn informs your product pipeline development. The tail no longer wags the dog. Developing products just because you have the development know-how doesn’t mean you should. 

Instead, be brand strategy led and start with a clear understanding of what the end market needs and wants. This approach also enables you to build longer term relationships and sustainable brand loyalty. Transforming to a brand strategy and market led approach in this context is also much better for your business because it’s cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to sell to a new one.

Equine MediRecord is a good example. The niche tech SME has a clear focus on horse medication management. It’s clear brand proposition allows it to optimize its market targeting, for example sponsoring its own handicap at the Curragh Races. Effective branding helps it be clear about what the company stands for, in internal branding as well as to the outside world.

Related: The Age Of Internal Branding And Selling It From The Inside Out

brand strategy“For anyone who has a well established business I would totally recommend working with Persona Design because it will provide them with a new perspective on how to think of their brand. You see in different markets and industries that are overly competitive what makes the difference is knowing what exactly your business is all about and why people would choose you instead of any other competitor.

What makes you different from all the other service or product providers in the market because that’s what’s going to make your business be the No.1 choice in the range of those specific products or services that you’re providing. Also that’s what’s going to make your brand stand out and have a long lasting life and thrive in the context of where you’re operating and delivering value. So totally go for it!

This framework provides you with a lot of insight and more than that, with a systematic process that’s easy for you to understand, easy for you to grasp, easy for you to work with so you finally nail what makes you different in your business, and what you are about and what those key points are that resonate with your audience.”

Camelia Păduraru


Crafting Minds

Camelia Păduraru

Final Thoughts

It is very accessible to build a premium tech brand, to break out of the cycle of competing on features and benefits pricing. Rather than fitting the brand to match your existing tech offering, take a structured approach to your brand development and use brand strategy.

Brand thinking and a well thought out brand architecture enables you to differentiate yourself in the marketplace, and also be clearer about what you stand for internally. It also informs some of your key business decisions and provides direction for your product development pipeline. 

Why not start today with a lean brand audit so you can re-appraise what your brand is all about? Use it to evaluate your current status; strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for innovation and growth so you can increase your profits. 

Related: Brand Audits, Why You Need Them and How to Perform One

Questions to Consider

  1. Have you thought through what your brand stands for and how credible it is?
  2. What do end users and buyers think about your branding? How does it help them make the purchase?
  3. What is most distinctive about what you stand for?
  4. How does your branding help shape where your company focuses its development efforts?
  5. How does your internal branding help your company?
  6. Could a brand audit help you increase your profits and premium tech brand pricing?

Your Persona Client Satisfaction Guarantee

  1. When you work with us we’ll create a customised brand building plan and strategy with clear investment for you tailored to your specific requirements and preferences
  2. You’ll know each step of your brand building journey before we start because we’ll discuss it, document it and agree on it with you before work commences
  3. You’ll have timelines, key milestones and deliverables to evaluate and approve for each stage and part of your brand building process
  4. Because we know the unexpected sometimes happens we can make adjustments along the way if you need it and if something extra is requested we’ll ensure you’re fully appraised about what that entails before committing
  5. As we achieve pre-agreed objectives you’ll be able to evaluate your brand building work and strategy in progress, coupled with the outcomes to ensure return on investment


Get in touch today because we’d love to enable you to re-evaluate and build your standout, powerhouse brand so you can Be The One — increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind.

Email us [email protected] or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about our VIP Brand Strategy Re-Evaluation.