Cyber security innovator Thycotic started out as a scrappy underdog. The company culture evolved naturally as collaborative, agile and transparent and the team built those traits into their product experience. Throughout its rapid growth, they took pride in helping customers achieve rapid time to value by protecting their privileged accounts.
Thycotic had been growing so fast they never really invested in defining their brand personality, at least not in terms of a formal marketing process. As a result, competitors crafted their own characterization of the company as a bit player – in essence, defining their brand personality for them.
As it grew, Thycotic launched powerful products and gained market share. Customers switched to Thycotic because they liked the agility and control Thyotic’s products provided. But, the Thycotic website and marketing content were inconsistent with their culture and values. The language and visual imagery didn’t paint an authentic picture of the innovative leader the company had become or the benefits it provided for customers.
The Thycotic team worked with Centerboard Marketing to define and launch a distinctive brand personality authentic to the company’s culture. Thycotic is now able to tell their story to influence customers and clearly differentiate its approach from competitors.
How We Did It
We held several workshops with a cross-section of employees to define and prioritize the company’s core values and behaviors. We identified customer pains and triggers that drive them to select a security solution. With additional customer and competitor research, we looked for patterns and gaps that provided opportunities for radical differentiation.
The Thycotic team wanted customers to feel empowered. Their most satisfied customers choose them because they provide direct control to their software, making it easy for customers to use and customize, rather than rely on a vendor. In a market filled with complex tools, Thycotic had an opportunity to lean in to its competitive advantage.
We looked at Thycotic through the lens of “brand archetypes,” iconic characters that embody specific personality traits and behaviors. Using common archetypes as a base, we defined the unique Thycotic brand personality as The Guide (with a bit of a rebellious streak). From the Thycotic brand book:
Thycotic is a knowledgeable, experienced companion who always has your back. We help you navigate uncertain terrain and explore options with you, while keeping you on course to achieve your goals. Our ultimate objective is to make your life easier and more secure. This means shaking up the status quo of our industry to eliminate complexity and make you self-sufficient.
We then turned the skeleton of a brand archetype into a living, breathing, feeling, brand personality. We built a prioritized messaging architecture to convey key messages that address customer pain points head on and a style guide to define the language and tone of the brand personality.
With all content creators working from the same playbook, Thycotic can maintain consistency its external marketing across all brand touchpoints.
“I have been involved in a lot of branding projects and typically they are just ideas on paper and rarely contribute to revenue and market share objectives. Margie transforms ideas into tangible actions, makes them happen and delivers results. You can see a direct line from the brand personality she helped us develop to the marketing messages and the content she creates.” – Steve Kahan, CMO, Thycotic
Key Web Pages
In a staged rollout of the brand personality, we revamped key web pages with the most influence on the customer experience. We developed the content from start to finish with distinctive messages and crisp language. We worked with Thycotic’s web team to express the brand personality with fresh visuals and plenty of white space to help visitors focus on the most important information.
New Sales Pitch Deck
A critical step in the Thycotic sales process is the pre-demo sales presentation. B2B customers – particularly technology buyers – are subjected to “death by PowerPoint” by vendor after vendor. Our goal was to respect their time and address their concerns head on.
We worked closely with the Thycotic sales team to create a new presentation to match the brand personality. The result was a flexible deck that helped the sales team guide customers through the decision-making process while showcasing the benefits of working with Thycotic.
“The reaction from my team has been GLOWING vs. the old deck.” – Damon Tompkins, VP of Sales
“We used some slides from this deck for a CIO presentation today. The CIO stopped the meeting to say he sees 100s of these slide deck presentations and this is one of the best ones he’s seen. – Ben Holcome, Director of Sales
The year of the brand personality rollout, website conversion rates reached 7%. Thycotic’s enterprise sales more than doubled and they outpaced the market by 2.5X.