Thursday, July 21, 2005
When say "brand" I mean of the perceived character of a company. Brand is the adjective word that customers and potential customers would use to describe your company. Shaping a brand is a combination of actual company culture and marketing so that people will connect with that culture. Hopefully the reality and the marketing are in sync or you are just one of those companies that manipulates customers rather than serves them.
I thought about branding very early on in planning Bee Documents. I knew that I wanted to build software for attorneys to manage complex information such as document archives. However, I'm a reluctant geek. I like software because I can take an idea from concept to finished product by myself in a short amount of time, but there is a lot of romantic qualities to the real world which just don't come across in electronics and software. For example, I love the smell of old books and the look of letterpress printing. I'm inspired by designs found in nature and have a strong dislike for clutter and cables.
I wanted a culture that valued both nature and historic forms of managing information rather than high-tech (even though we are using cutting edge technologies). I want the inspiration for our innovations to be people like Melvil Dewey, rather than Bill Gates. After all, I see myself as an artist in the creative sense (I chose to major in Music instead of Computer Science in school). It just so happens that my art is business tools instead of paintings.
The words I want people to associate with Bee Documents are words like: precise, logical, craftmanship, grounded, relatable, intuitive, and natural. The kinds of products I create should be the ones where people say, "Of course, I can't believe that didn't exist before!" We'll use the latest and most cutting edge technologies to build those products, but the customers should not have to worry about that side at all. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to build high-tech products that are simple and intuitive as opposed to high-tech products that look and feel high-tech. But, since many companies fail in this area, it provides on opportunity for differentiation.
This blog is getting long enough, so I will continue in the next blog and describe how our brand goals affect our marketing materials and graphic design.
Before I sign off today, I wanted to provide a link to a great article on branding a law firm. I think is a great article and would have useful information for anyone branding a service based firm.