Trust is built by showing up consistently. It's why we remember our friends who we see regularly, but forget the person we sat next to on the bus.
Software companies operate under the same parameters.
Every single interaction with your software company, from the ad the user sees on Facebook, to the website they land on, to the experience of signing up, to the onboarding experience, all the way to the follow-up afterward is part of building that trust.
If these experiences are misaligned or disjointed, you lose cohesion. You lose trust.
Getting these experiences to line up uniformly and in a way that delights your user is called branding.
My workout wasn't that great this morning. I'm having a hard time writing this. It was difficult to read this morning. I kinda feel lethargic.
I could examine each of these issues and think of a solution to each one, but it would just be addressing the symptoms.
You see, the issue was that I got sub par sleep last night. While I could have some caffeine, get shot of taurine, or do anything that would give me more energy, it wouldn't be a long-term strategy. Fixing the root of the problem, my lack of sleep, is what will makes these symptoms less prevalent.
Branding works the same way. If your marketing efforts, design systems, naming conventions, and other efforts seem off, you might have to backtrack a bit. Most likely, whatever is wrong is a symptom of something deeper.
You can spend all the time you want cleaning up the garbage downstream, but you'd save a bunch of time if you cleaned up the filth at the headwaters.
A few weeks ago, I saw the new, "live action" Lion King in theaters with a friend of mine. While I wasn't necessarily disappointed, it felt like something was missing that was inherent within the original. I couldn't put my finger on it, even though the new movie had far better animation, a higher budget, and an opportunity to improve on something that was already there. It just wasn't the same.
Disney + launched recently and after watching the original, I got it. The new version's characters were so realistic that they couldn't convey emotion (hard to make a lion cry or show happiness), but cartoons make it possible.
Watch any scene from the original, be it Mufasa rescuing Simba in the gorge, Scar and the Hyenas' ghoulish anthem Be Prepared, and the return of Simba as king, and it's impossible not to become emotionally invested. That is what was missing from the new rendition.
The point that I'm getting at is this: you can have the fanciest tools, the best animation, or a better mousetrap so to speak, but if you miss out on getting emotional buy-in, it falls short.
Story beats features.