How a singular brand message helped a complex B2B technology product succeed
Acopia Networks sold a data virtualization product for large enterprises that solved a big technology problem: with multiple server sites and multiple tiers of data, IT systems were getting too complex and expensive for big companies to manage. Inefficiency was causing costs to skyrocket, and stifling growth opportunities.
Its technology was remarkable, but Acopia’s solution was expensive, complicated and hard to explain. When they called on Brand X to help position their product and focus the brand, the current brand message was technical and convoluted.
We provide a powerful technology that embeds application intelligence into the enterprise network to increase performance and utilization of existing NAS and file server resources. Our products are used by many Fortune 500 enterprises to increase application performance while reducing both capital expenses and the operational management burden of file storage resources.
This messaging was not enticing customers to engage with salespeople from Acopia, or effectively differentiating them from competitors. Yet theirs was a product requiring a long, multi-level sales engagement. They needed to appeal to CIOs, business unit managers, IT managers and even System Admins who would need to use it on a daily basis. The situation called for a simple, memorable idea that would connect emotionally, yet also have relevance to customers with 4 completely different job responsibilities.
Freedom to grow fast. Grow capacity and increase user service levels.
Freedom to think big. Big increases in operational efficiencies and big savings in storage expenditures.
Freedom to make my own decisions. Eliminate vendor lock-in and choose technology based on business needs.
Freedom to love my job again. Get control of storage growth by automating data management.
The visual approach for the brand also changed dramatically. It employed images that reinforced the feeling of freedom, while the words articulated the technical nuances of the product.
The single word that focused the brand
The new approach gave Acopia’s salespeople an opening with their prospects who wanted to know “How can I do that?” A salesman would never need to stray too far from the thing that attracted interest in the first place - Freedom. Even when explaining complex technical benefits. For instance:
Forget about spending hours manually deleting files, reconfiguring client systems or copying files between storage tiers. We automate data management policies in real-time which gives you the freedom to love your job again.
The new Acopia brand inspired customers to share stories of how the product helped them transcend rigid technical silos, and created freedom for them in their own jobs. Beyond that, the new brand positioning helped Acopia stand out dramatically from competitors. They were able to sum up the feeling this complex virtualization technology gave them in one word: FREEDOM.
Within a year of rebranding, the success of the Acopia brand led to the acquisition of the company by F5 Networks. From F5 Networks' CEO John McAdam:
"This acquisition is highly complementary to F5's strategy of optimizing the application infrastructure from the core of the datacenter to the edge of the network... When we were looking at various solutions in this space, Acopia was the clear winner due to its performance, scale, and feature richness."