The ability to trade on brand within the European e-business services landscape is fundamentally important to extending client relationships and winning new business.
According to a new IDC study*, choosing a preferred service provider strongly depends on the type of project – service firms that understand this dynamic stand the best chance of succeeding.
IDC believes service providers that understand where the opportunities lie can position their organizations more effectively. Still, there are no hard and fast rules for branding. Branding has to change in line with market opportunity.
Service providers have pushed “speed to market” with their e-business branding messages; however, this is now dated as European organizations take a more studied approach to e-business, quantifying its effect on their employees, infrastructure, business processes, and competitive positioning.
“Building corporate awareness is the easy part,” said Euan Davis, senior research analyst with IDC’s European e-business services program. “To ensure that the brand is current, one needs to have a good understanding of the European services marketplace.
"Potential clients associate types of service provider with types of investment; therefore, how a service provider is perceived determines how strong its market play can be. The larger service providers possess an enormous service capability – to capture mindshare and opportunity, their organizations should mimic the preferred type.”
Companies are recommended to emphasize technical skills, as technical ability is a strong sell in Europe.
“Service providers with a strong heritage in system integration and technical ability should aggressively push these messages into their branding efforts. From a positioning perspective, technical ability and industry expertise are winning plays; speed to market is not,” Davis said.
Services firms are advised to develop a structured approach to the localization of offers and showcase the company culture.
“Contrary to the Nike philosophy, one brand does not fit all cultures. European dynamics come into play within the decision-making process – areas of investment vary as do the qualities sought from the service provider. Leadership and innovation still go far in generating brand. Centers for innovation are still relevant today. The culture and the personality of the service provider expressed through these outlets will feed its image and brand,” Davis concluded.
IDC believes companies should understand that brand effectiveness is dynamic. Its effectiveness is measured by its alignment with market opportunity, the qualities potential customers look for, and the ability of the service provider to drive the message into the marketplace. When they all work together, the brand thrives.
* Opportunity and Brand: European Perceptions (IDC #RE01H) quantifies the success of brand within the European e-business services marketplace. End-user research examines actual market perceptions of vendor brand strategy and places these within a competitive context. This study identifies what constitutes a successful brand in Europe and which service providers lead the market.
Opportunity and Brand: European Perceptions
Using a combination of research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content.
IDC is a division of IDG, the world’s leading IT media, research and exposition company.