"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?
I recently deleted several apps from my phone, ones that I had previously used on a daily basis (Gmail, LinkedIn, Slack, etc). Apart from not being bothered by the constant slew of information or feeling the need to satiate a hunger for attention, something else happened after deleting these apps:
I could critique and analyze them more effectively.
Akin to seeing the forest through the trees, opening an app after not using for a bit gave me a new perspective. I could examine each step in their onboarding, I could observe their interactions with a keen eye, I could look at their layout and better empathize with someone who hadn't seen it before.
Using these apps or obsessively critiquing them daily wouldn't allow me to do that.
In the interest of getting good ideas and understanding what makes these products great, delete them... for a bit.
If you show up to a gun range with no target, you have zero chance of hitting something worthwhile.
Conversely, even if you can't hit the bullseye every time, a target makes the process exceedingly more enjoyable. You can track progress, you can try new methods, and you will hit a bullseye at some point.
If you try to build a brand without first defining it, you have zero chance of making something worthwhile.
Conversely, even if you can't be on brand every time, defining it makes the process exceedingly more enjoyable. You can track progress, you can try new methods, and you will be on brand at some point.
Point being, have an aim.