Want to learn how to build a brand, create products and sell on Amazon? There's a company for that.
4 years ago we got a phone call from Joe, a co-founder at Reliable. He was trying to build an online training platform to teach students how to build a business on Amazon. In that call, he talked about integrity, doing things to a world class standard, a no bullsh*t approach and long term partnerships. These values spoke to the Ply way of doing the 'good work'.
The business has grown at such a rapid rate (more that 7,000 students today) and the sheer demand of that growth manifested into a couple of business challenges that the team asked us to solve. The first being that the brand identity was done in way that reflected the times: startup budgets & not a lot of time to consider. Secondly, the brand website had dated, not only from a pure design spec but also because the business was so much more and that story was not being told.
Challenges need to be met with deep thinking. And the challenge? Craft a brand story to drive the business towards $100 million in revenue. That's a hefty task (and goal). We started with a series of workshops to work closely with the founders. What did they know? How did they see the opportunity? What were the untold stories? Armed with a bucket-full of insights, Ply formed the strategy to modernise the brand, build trust and tell a stronger narrative.
When the founders started the company they chose a Rhino to represent the brand. This chubby unicorn became the symbol of hope for students of hustle. Our job was to take the Rhino and refine him, modernise and make a mark of distinction. To support the brand mark, we built a a brand system with colours, patterns, layout and typeface. All with the goal of winning over the most hardened skeptic—to have them know this is a brand you can trust.
That is truly amazing to see the whole finished product now. I love every bit of that brand guide. A lot of eyeballs are going to see this brand in the coming years.
- Steve Olejnik - CEO at Reliable Education
One of the less understood disciplines of building a custom website is the ground work that needs to be laid before a single pixel can be designed. In this case, Reliable Education, the story was layered: World best Amazon training, how to build a brand, community, support through the journey, giving back and personal growth. Our job was to pull out the insights for each of these pillars and turn them into story points. Those story points then became expanded content that helped the reader get under the hood and past the headlines into the substance of the brand and how it might help them. Great content architecture fuels user experience and beautiful design.
In the Ply process, the brand site is the culmination of our work across strategy, identity, messaging & content: the point where everything comes together. The founders, Adam Hudson and Joe Olejnik asked one thing of us above all else: Make this world class, a site that would stand up against the best in their category. Challenge accepted.
We came at this project from a few angles. Design was obviously going to be very important, alongside content planning and development. The other critical factor was driving signup behaviour and building in performance aspects like attending a webinar or taking the free course. The balance between premium design and tactical elements came together strongly on this site.
The team behind the Reliable brand did something really smart early in the business journey by capturing everything (like everything!) in film and photography. This allowed us to approach design phase with a strong use of video and photography, which was very important to the stories on each page.
The Reliable Education site is incredible. Thank you. Kudos to you and the whole team. It is the best in category globally I reckon.
- Adam Hudson
The clearer the goals and mission are up front, the more likely the net result will be great. Working alongside the founders and CEO Steve provided a really good opportunity to get close to the key people and understand what they were trying to achieve. By articulating exactly where they wanted to head (without dictating how), they gave Ply the creative width to create solid outcomes.
Highly tactical websites have a certain flavour to them. You know the ones that flash offers all the way down the page and overburden you with signups and call to actions? To a degree they work. On the other hand, brand websites that are big on story and design are really nice to browse but they don't ask anything of the user. We asked ourselves if both tactical & design could live together. The answer is yes.
Optics build trust (through identity) but it's the story that really connects a customer to a brand. When we dug into this project, we realised how much 'story' was untold and how this could help open up the next stage of growth for the company.