How Xero increased awareness to take on the market leaders

Xero UK used smart thinking and clear insights to drive brand awareness and take advantage of new legislation that could drive users to its product.

Business accounting software provider Xero had struggled to expand its reach beyond a limited base of younger, tech-savvy users, and expand its share of voice to anywhere close to that of market leaders Sage and QuickBooks.

Making that even harder was the fact many business owners were uninterested in accounting, reluctant to sign up for software and reluctant to change brands once they’d signed up.

With new legislation Making Tax Digital in 2019, though, came a new opportunity to change this status quo, forcing many new users into the market. Working with agency December19 the challenge was to grab these new users, and make Xero the default preference over its rivals, despite a meagre 6% share of voice.

With the overarching message that ‘Xero takes care of the mundane tasks of business’, the project conveyed this in an entertaining, non-technical way, while reflecting the real concerns and challenges that business owners face in juggling all the moving parts. Plus, to give the impression of a much higher-spending campaign Xero maximised its exposure in the drivetime slot, sponsoring the LBC Breakfast Show, and secured placement in key publications, such as The Evening Standard and The Telegraph. Digital and out of home content targeted roadsides and key commuter areas too.

This impressive strategy helped deliver increased brand awareness, image and consideration, beating both the market leaders in its penetration growth. It was seen by 15% of business owners, a growth of 18%, and generated £2.41 in incremental revenue for every £1 invested. That this was all achieved without any significant change to the product or pricing makes Xero the deserving winner of the 2021 Marketing Week Masters award for B2B, sponsored by Really.