Imagine being able to connect all of your products, apps and data together. Stuff of the future?
Nope, it's here already. Makerops is a platform that enables businesses to connect just about anything, and then build programmable workflows based on any process, automating repetitive, low-value tasks. With the product almost ready to ship, it was over to the ply team to help craft a brand strategy & identity system to launch the company across international markets.
Every brand has a story to tell and a way to stand out. A strategy workshop is a definitive way to extract the insights that reside inside a brand and through these conversations, the makerops team translated the product vision to the ply team, helping us understand what makes them unique and the key pillars in which to build the brand on.
Not only does strategy help form the game plan for future steps but it also frames the challenges ahead. We came away with four distinct challenges for the identity;
1. Explaining what MakerOps “is”
2. Ensuring the brand and product 'feels' accessible to non-developers
3. Finding ways to show what’s possible without feeling overwhelming
4. Imbue personality without going too far
A key part of any brand system is the way in which a brand talks internal and how it communicates with customers. In the messaging phase we helped to craft the brand voice, settling on Ambitious, Capable & Conversational as the tone. From their we focussed on crafting key messages for the brand that could be used across various channels to help either explain or define what the brand is about. Finally, we pulled together a set of messaging rules that could be handed back over to the makerops team to create further messaging with guidelines that helped maintain future consistency.
A first take on the logo ended up enduring. Built on the idea that the platform and data were represented by dots (or data points) and that software enables new connections that were not previously possible, combined with the M and the O from the word makerops, we crafted a mark that joined a unique shape containing an abstract M & O. This idea was rapidly accepted by the client team and from there we set about crafting a brand system that would draft off the mark.
Scalability was a crucial and important element for the Makerops team. They wanted to be able to build new things quickly from the brand system, like a campaign page or an illustration or product onboarding screen, so the brand system became an important part of the deliverables. The ply team built out brand elements & assets that enabled the team to draw on, allowing them to create future design in-house leveraging a guide that helped drive towards consistency across teams and countries as the company scales into new international markets.
Often times brand systems can become cumbersome to operate. Our customer was strong on creating simplicity and a scalable brand. In practical terms, this meant things like typefaces that are out of the box inside the google suite and illustration sets that would enable them to construct simple scenes from pre-made components. This approach isn't for all brands but it's a big consideration for startup brands that need economy and extreme practicality in brand systems
A strong underlying concept will always beat a design with no story. By going deep on the meaning behind the brand and building this into a formula for the brand mark, we were able to create a story that could be passed onto the makerops team, so that they can proudly re-tell the story of the brand mark to clients and future team members. This heritage becomes more important over time, as the brand grows and evolves.