The brand is not what you say it is, it's what they say it is. Thank you Marty Neumeier.
Brands exists in the hearts and minds of customers. If you want your startup to be impactful and leave a legacy, you must accept the fact that you are not the focus.
Can you imagine in Star Wars was all about Yoda? We'd be bored stiff. Yoda already has the answers, there's no story there. No change to watch unfold. Luke Skywalker? That guy has a lot of stuff to work out. That's your customer. Focus on them.
Trust is built by showing up consistently. It's why we remember our friends who we see regularly, but forget the person we sat next to on the bus.
Software companies operate under the same parameters.
Every single interaction with your software company, from the ad the user sees on Facebook, to the website they land on, to the experience of signing up, to the onboarding experience, all the way to the follow-up afterward is part of building that trust.
If these experiences are misaligned or disjointed, you lose cohesion. You lose trust.
Getting these experiences to line up uniformly and in a way that delights your user is called branding.
This is part of a 5-piece case study on Dashlane. Be sure to check out the previous pieces and stay tuned for what's next.
In full transparency, I'm a huge fan of this rebrand, there will be some bias. No shame.
Back to business. Dashlane's previous brand identity was centered on a shield emblem featuring an impala leaping across. Apart from this mark, there wasn't a cohesive structure to their design language that made them recognizable.
According to their CMO, the old branding didn't reflect where they wanted to go as a company or the attitude they wanted to convey to their users. Dashlane was seeking something elevated, elegant, and premium. Without appearing hoity-toity.
They hired a global design agency, Pentagram, to lead a rebrand. The results didn't disappoint. Here are a couple photos from Pentagram's case study.
The new branding focuses on a core concept of concealing and revealing. This is done by rooting it in a symbol (the slanted rectangle) that makes up the Dashlane "D."
When paired with an upgraded color palette, streamlined typography, classed-up icons, and a creative flex between all of them, their position as a premium internet security company is obvious. Yes, it looks clean and modern, but more importantly this brand helps distinguish Dashlane's position over competitors like LastPass.
This is speculation, but it seems like this new identity system helped streamline Dashlane's marketing as well. They use a limited color palette, two typefaces, and have a distinct grid system for their iconography. This allows for consistency between billboards, digital and print advertisements, ephemera, Dashlane's website, and even the product itself. Simplicity and safe-gaurds for their design team allow them to move faster and with grater peace of mind.
Coincidentally, that lines up with their mission of creating a safer and simpler life online for their users.
Design a visual identity that can scale across every touchpoint a user will come into contact with. Your product, your site, ads, all of it.
Focus on conveying an emotion through color, shape, and type.
Be different from your competition. No one is going to mistake Dashlane green for LastPass red.