Create a Culture, Not a Product | Software Branding

The real reason why certain apps take off.

January 26, 2021

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?

More you say?

Keep Playing

The absolute worst thing you can do amidst COVID-19 is quit.

3.16.2020

I'll keep this short.

Things are weird right now, but you have two options:

Keep playing or quit.

You might fail if you keep playing, but I guarantee you will fail if you quit.

Get in the game.

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Seek, Steal, and Repurpose

Don't create your brand's identity, steal it.

10.1.2020

One of my favorite stories about Apple (one that is actually applicable to building out a brand) is how Steve Jobs came up with the idea for Apple store layouts.

Think about a traditional computer store, or any store for that matter, what do you see? Boxes, boxes, and boxes. Boxes on shelves, boxes on the floor, boxes everywhere. In short, the place is packed with product and no matter how neatly arranged and organized, it treats products like cattle for slaughter.

True to his rebellious nature, this concept didn't sit well with Jobs so he sought out inspiration. But he didn't look at other stores, he looked at museums. Museums that house priceless works of art and marvels of nature like dinosaur fossils. These items are treated with so much respect and given ample space to let viewers bask in their presence. You feel awestruck staring at them.

Now think about an Apple store. There is one variant of every product they have placed on single metal stand for a shopper to interact with. There is minimal product storage happening in the consumer facing end of the store. Apple treats their products like the works of art seen in museums and it makes them special.

When applying this to brand identity, it opens up the door for magic. Where can you find a name that starts a story? Where can you find a symbol to represent your company? In whom can you find a personality to best characterize your brand? Where can you find patterns and imagery to reflect who you are? Lastly, how can you mix it all together to become something novel?

This applies to everything. From experience design, brand naming, visual identity, collateral, packaging, whatever. Seeking and stealing creates magic.

Happy hunting.

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