Defining their brand helped JetBrains raise their profile.
It’s great to grow a business one product at a time. But eventually it’s important that people know who you are.
Imagine having a million passionate customers who love one of your products but don’t know you make any others. You would miss out on a lot of cross-selling opportunities and you might have a problem with up-selling as well. If the company is invisible how do you talk to people about it? Especially people who might buy a few hundred products at a time instead of one or two.
Broadly speaking this was the challenge for JetBrains when we met them. They had built a great business in software development tools essentially one product at a time. Many of these were famous among communities of developers but the company itself was pretty well invisible.
As usual our approach was to seek a unifying idea that captured the soul of the company. We researched the market, interviewed key people and ran workshops to explore contrasting candidate ideas. The one which found favour is ‘the drive to develop.’
The drive to develop connects the company and its customers in a shared impulse and dedication to writing great code. It gets beyond the feature-driven, macho-competitive positionings characteristic in this field by articulating a higher level of generality, engagement and motivation. Today JetBrains has more than twice the customers