One-Liner | Software Branding

If you cannot describe the impact of your software in one-line, try this formula.

April 13, 2021

P + S = R

The (P) problem when combined with a this (S) solution drives these (R) results.

Plain and simple.

Some examples:

Your passwords suck and expose you to risk. Dashlane's simple application makes bulletproof passwords and keeps your data secure.

Coding emails is draining and boring. Mailchimp's drag and drop email creator allows you to easily create email campaigns that customers love.

Handing your website designs to a developer ruins them. Webflow's no-code website builder allows you to create pixel-perfect websites that let your creativity shine.

Can you write a one-liner?

More you say?

Obi-Wan

Because your company is not the hero.

3.10.2020

Luke Skywalker is the greatest example of the "hero" archetype. He has humble beginnings and does not understand his full potential. At least, not until he is called to adventure after the murder of his Aunt, Uncle, and the desperate call of Princess Leia. Facing down this behemoth of a journey, you gotta wonder what was going on in his head at the time.

"I have no skills beyond moisture farming and I'm a decent pilot, but taking on the Empire? I need help."

That's where Obi-Wan Kenobi comes into play. The old wizard who sees the greatness within Luke and helps him to overcome his own, self-imposed limits. Despite the fact that Luke is lost without him, Obi-Wan never lets it be known. He's not focused on his own success, he's focused on the success of Luke. If Luke succeeds, that is his victory. Granted, he does all he can offering mentorship (guidance and knowledge of the Force), tools (lightsaber), instruction and feedback, and, most importantly, honest encouragement.

Here's the thing:

Most companies see themselves as Luke.They think they are the hero, that saving the world depends on them. They are wrong and their self-interest will not inspire others to be better. To quote Marty Neumeier "the best brand builders see greatness in their customers, and figure out ways to enable it."

Unleash your inner Obi-Wan, you rebel.

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Putting the Cart Before the Horse

A conversation with a client about skipping over the branding, going straight to the website, and why we're both glad we didn't do that.

1.13.2020

The past two Saturdays have been awesome. A client of mine and I have dove deep into the brand of his meal prep company and developed an outline of what his website should look like. It's safe to say that he and I are on the exact same page as to who this website is for, how it should feel, look, and the expected path this person will take. Before diving into the brand discovery, he asked something I thought was fascinating, "do you think we are putting the cart before the horse doing the branding before we do the website?"

I thought about this for a bit, and replied: "not at all."

Looking back at what we've done and the order in which we outlined these deliverables, we are both glad we started where we did.

Currently, my client's branding efforts are minimal and veer toward a male audience looking to get ripped. During the brand discovery, we unearthed that his most successful clients were busy, professional women who valued an easy-going, Southern California lifestyle. Diving deeper, my client had deep connections with farming and the peace that comes from working with your hands. That's a totally different story to tell, for a different audience, and so great a chasm between his current brand and those it was meant to serve.

How would we have come to that conclusion by focusing on building his website first? In short, we would have had a hard time getting aligned and the project would be a bust. We'd still be trying to talk with dudes who want to be ripped. We are going a whole new direction with the entire project. Hell, we're even changing the name of the company.

Here's the thing:

Whether you're building a website, designing a business card, marketing collateral, writing messaging, or coming up with the name for your company, understanding the brand you are trying to build is the foundation for a fluid design process and seeing results.

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