"I don't give a rat's ass about software branding. I can go on Fiverr or Upwork, grab my logo and colors for $300 and build my freaking product."
Sound like you? Maybe. Since there is so much confidence and assurance behind your statement, there is really isn't anything that can be done to convince you otherwise. Branding is just the rat's ass, a lofty term used to charge a lot of money to those who've invested serious blood, sweat, and tears into developing something useful.
True... in some cases.
But the same could be said of your software. I don't give a shit about it. At least not right now. In fact, there are probably a lot of people who don't care about your software.
I know, how dare I? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are thousands of software products out there, many of whom could compete head on with yours and potentially win. Think about how easy it would be for them to mark their price down one dollar and undercut you or how one new feature could swiftly pull the rug out from under your feet. It happens.. a lot.
The truth is, unless you are emotionally gripping a specific user base, you have nothing. Nothing you can count on for long, anyway. And if you want to grab emotional value, you build a brand.
So, is branding still the rat's ass or is it a something you can leverage to charge a higher price to loyal users?
Being better is a unsellable proposition. Better is subjective in nature, difficult to see from the outside, and even harder to define.
For example, Webflow is a web design tool. So are WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. Which one is better? Well, it depends on who you are asking.
Webflow's proposition is that they are a web design tool for designers. Specifically, designers who work within a hybrid engineering-like role and can think in systems. Squarespace is also for designers who don't care about code quality and are instead focused on making things look pretty and working fast. WordPress is not for designers at all and is catered toward those who want as many features as possible regardless of code quality.
The point? The person that you anticipate to use your software is who will guide features, prioritize them, and dictate which ones are misnomers.
That is how you create an interesting proposition.
Much like Thor's hammer, your software is a tool used to control something more potent. No, it's not thunder, it's culture.
Good software changes culture.
Facebook changed culture and made people more connected. Google changed culture and gave access to information from around the world instantaneously. Netflix changed culture when they decided movies could be enjoyed from home without cluttering your cabinets. Spotify changed culture by making it easy for people to discover music.
The point: look beyond the deliverable. What are you trying to change about our culture?