Robinhood in Rottinghamm | Software Branding

When going against your brand kills your company.

January 29, 2021

When you name your company after an Englishman whose motto was "Steal from the rich and give to the poor," it's expected that your company exists to serve the masses.

When Robinhood decided to stop trading of GameStop's stock to support a hedge fund invested in their app, they ruined their brand.

The emotional value they'd built up is gone because of the choice to betray their values.

If you think the brand of your software is something trivial, think again. Betray it and the market will react accordingly.

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Tear Your Brand in Half

The brand attributes of your startup cannot pull in opposite directions

11.25.2019

A common occurrence I hear from clients when discussing the attributes of their brand follows something along these lines: "We want it to look professional, but still playful."

Reading between the lines, what they are saying is this "we don't want to turn anyone off, so we are cool without adorning a personality that would offend anyone."

You cannot build a brand off that. Professional and playful are polar opposites on the spectrum. Your brand becomes a tied to two horses pulling in opposite directions and you go nowhere.

This comes in common forms, like companies that tout innovation and creativity, yet stick to a corporate blue because it won't offend anybody. Or the companies who claim to be different but choose to speak and act like their already successful competitors.

What would have been an otherwise inventive and distinct brand is torn in half by a lack of commitment.

Rather than trying to be everything, be something.

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A Little Bit of Courage and Color | Software Branding

Choosing good brand colors for your software has risk and reward.

1.7.2020

It takes balls to do something unexpected and different. In the case of choosing brand colors for your software, this is most evident and it matters greatly. Color is one of the core ways your brand coheres its marketing efforts, expresses itself, and distinguishes your brand from competitors.

Uber demonstrated this well during their rebrand in 2018. The black and white base of their brand colors allowed them to expand their marketing efforts globally and uniformly while shifting the focus to rich photography of their users. Difficult to do if you're playing with a myriad of colors.

Compared to their largest competitor, Lyft, who bolsters a hot pink badge of courage, the Uber color palette connotes feelings of maturity, elitism, and professionalism. A smart move in trying to distance themselves from the hyper-friendly and childish Lyft.

What's cool is that the flip-side of this is also true and valid for Lyft's color choices. It takes just as much fortitude to come up with the hot pinks, poppin' purples, and other vibrant hues that construct their energetic and playful appearance. There is no way you'd mistake ads from either brand for each other, in large part due to color.

The point? Have the courage to use color boldly and to stake your claim emotionally. Use it often, with confidence, and throughout your product as well as the pieces that sell it.

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