Posted 2 months ago by Shannon Healey
Enabling brands to reach their full potential is what we’re all about, but that quest isn’t limited to our customers – it’s what we want for our brand, too.
Our first priority has been (and always will be) to provide the necessary tools for brands to be their very best – enhanced with the “strong brand” pillars of consistency, efficiency, and involvement. That’s precisely why it made sense for us to turn the mirror on ourselves.
For the past six months or so – maybe longer, depending on who you ask – we’ve centered efforts on aligning all our brand touchpoints in clever and engaging ways, to form better connections with our audience and customers. We wanted to present a genuine impression of who we are, what we stand for, and what makes us us.
With an exciting new look for our brand management software, we’re pleased to present the rebooted brand of Frontify, and how we got here.
In the early days of Frontify, we weren’t even sure we truly had “a brand.” We did, of course – it just didn’t have clean edges. The company focus was fully on product development and generating awareness about the benefits of our software. We gained traction with new customers and steadily carved out a niche for ourselves in an emerging space.
As our offerings blossomed so did our team, bringing with them knowledge and talent that would continue to shape our identity. All good news.
We were on the right track, but had some trouble finding true north. It’s around this point we started looking inward, then called upon some outside expertise for support. For more on the route to kicking off our reboot, check out the talk given by our Founder, Roger Dudler, here.
In just a few years’ time, we skyrocketed from one to 90+ employees. Rapid growth can sometimes mean a brand isn't given the time and energy it deserves, but through it all, we always stayed true to ourselves. We were on the threshold of a new era, filled with exciting opportunities ahead, and it was time to take a deeper look at our brand.
Frontify is more than a lively startup; we’re a serious competitor in brand management. With worldwide clients, we’ve gained valuable insight and experience along the way. Our values, our identity, our competencies – our very core – had already been established. They just needed to be properly documented. We had to secure a base upon which we could continue to evolve, and use to map our future.
It’s not enough for us to provide the software and guidance. We need to represent all of the top brand qualities we desire for our customers. A reboot of our brand presented an opportunity to review our methods and materials, ensuring uniformity and clarity throughout.
Our platform is designed to bring together all the players, in an ecosystem that becomes second nature. It’s up to us to do it right, to practice what we preach, to be credible and trustworthy – principles we hold dear.
The brand reboot wasn’t just a fresh coat of paint; it was a facelift. The logo and base components of the identity remained untouched, while supporting visuals, text, and the website had an intense overhaul.
Through design, we introduced a city theme with a variety of human characters as metaphors for brands. As our own form of illustrative language, the theme enriches our products and emphasizes the strong brand message in a unique and appealing way. A combination of light and dark backgrounds provides a mature balance to the playful illustrations, alongside a well-matched typeface for cohesive and effective visuals.
The textual content is delivered in a clear and friendly tone that complements the look. This carries across a complete range of communication materials, mediums, topics, lengths, and languages; fully customized but always on-brand.
A fresh look and feel were not limited to static environments. Audio elements were introduced, adding another layer to the brand experience for use in a variety of capacities, such as sound for video.
Achieving cohesion and clarity was a major goal of the reboot. To document our entire brand in Frontify allowed us to connect everyone with the brand essentials they need and use on a daily basis. We defined a complete brand identity framework through the brand hub, organizing information to be simple and easy to find.
Going into the process, we knew it was going to take time. Doing it right also meant taking it one step at a time; the first of which was research, and a thorough brand assessment to redefine our brand identity.
Then came the lists. We detailed all materials and items in need of review and redesign, to uphold the improved brand identity, by defining asset types, versions, ownership, expertise, and lifecycle after rollout. Priorities were established, leading to a clear scope of work for projects. In turn we made a plan and shared the outlook with the entire company.
With a core group of internal employees to execute – mostly marketing and design people – and our Brand Manager in the captain’s seat, we set out to make it all happen. Clearly divided ownership and responsibilities, regular milestone check-ins, and feedback from others ensured steady, on-track progress.
We involved some external professionals in the reboot as well, including an audio branding company, illustrator, and animator to extend our touchpoints. The sound element really helped to round out the brand experience by incorporating a unique, sonic signature.
Coming soon, the first of what will be a series of animated videos. Our illustrations will be brought to life in a dynamic way that enables us to further engage (and delight) our audience.
All materials and items went through various phases of conception, iterations, and review before being finalized, documented, and shared in Frontify.
A brand is never complete. Strong brands are continually evolving and reaching that “final” state is like trying to touch a rainbow. Our brand reboot marks a new chapter in our brand story; one that will continue to be written.
We got to know our product even more and can truly vouch for the value of centralizing a brand, the need for guidelines, and the power of streamlined workflows. We considered things like how to organize assets, the way materials would be used, who would need access, and other variables to present all items in the best, simplest, most user-friendly format.
Our intensive use of Frontify enriched our understanding of customer perspective, as well. Frontify is incredibly powerful for the branding process, but there’s room for us to make the software even stronger yet.
In terms of process, the reboot was not entirely without the occasional hiccup – because stuff happens. We realized that by being flexible and resilient, we could assess (and react to) change without losing our footing. Alongside a comprehensive digital brand hub that everyone contributed to, we found an appreciation for the occasional face-to-face meeting (or web chat) as a great way to stay on track and in sync.
For our brand and our business, this reboot is a big achievement. In the midst of defining and documenting our brand components, we’ve discovered innovative ways to express our authenticity. It’s the small things, the personal touches, the moments of joy – on top of it all – that further set us apart from the pack.
The process has been an exercise in creativity, organization, collaboration, attention to detail, and ultimately, flexibility. We’re seasoned in a way that only learning from doing can achieve, but there’s still work to be done. As the next stage of our evolutionary brand journey unfolds – because "static" and "brand" just don’t belong together – we’ll be using our newfound knowledge to the fullest.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: this isn’t about us, it’s about you. A brand is perceived, not told. It’s not how we see Frontify, but how you – the audience – see our brand, our software, and what defines us.
With our brand reboot, we believe you’ll get a better sense of who we are and what we can offer. There’s a solid information architecture for our product and company, uniform presentation across all touchpoints, and a clear picture of who you’re dealing with.
Our materials are more customized than ever to meet your needs, tailored to focus, length, format, and language. The experience overall is simpler, more appealing, and on-brand.
With any luck, our reboot and experience have given your brand an inspirational spark. Whether it’s through a basic refresh, full reboot, total brand overhaul, or simply managing your brand the way it deserves, we encourage taking the step forward toward a shaping a stronger brand.
What do you say? Take a tour of our site to see for yourself.