DEVELOPING A PRODUCT AND ITS BRAND TOGETHER
Hub BRAND DEVELOPMENT, WEBSITE, & CAMPAIGN
Hub BRAND DEVELOPMENT, WEBSITE, & CAMPAIGN
Hub Inc. was a rare opportunity for a product and a brand to come into existence and evolve together. As the product concept was being developed and proven, VSSL was already there, exploring marketing concepts that would grow along with the product, seeing it from each phase to the next, product and brand evolving together from concept to reality. Hub is a unified productivity platform for technical sales professionals. When the sales cycle progresses to the point that a technical demo is needed, companies turn to the technical sales team. But technical sales pros have long been the “unsung heroes” of the sales cycle. Not just unsung, but unserved, without the dedicated, sophisticated technological sales tools their value warranted. That’s what Hub set out to change.
Because VSSL was involved from the very start, we had a clear view of the client’s vision for the product and market position. This allowed for an unusually close and productive partnership as we created a look and feel for the company they could take out in public and introduce themselves with. During the earliest parts of the project, VSSL helped finalize the choice of the name Hub and began initial work on a visual identity. In those first stages, we developed a visual style for presentation decks that would help convey the substance and quality of the Hub product concept. Then, as the product matured and the client’s vision took shape, we could quickly respond to the sudden shifts that come with new ideas.
Creating a logo for Hub was a major early step. The logo is composed of two checkmarks in a contained, symmetrical form relating to the technical evaluations, metaphorically checked off in a centralized, self-contained hub. That’s what the Hub sales platform is.
In choosing primary colors, whites and greys provided the clean and uncluttered appearance we wanted. Secondary colors are green and blue; yellow and red are tertiary. The steps of an evaluation process inspired the green, yellow and red: approved, hold, and rejected. This balance provides abundant white space with small hits of color.
Typefaces were another early key decision. For headlines, Blinker offers rounded yet geometric letterforms that relate to the shape of the logo and other rounded elements within the design system. Lato is the body text font, a simple, highly legible counterbalance to use at small sizes. For imagery, Hub features a branded illustration style of simple organic forms and photography that focuses on market personas and users of the product. Those two elements combine to give Hub a friendly, approachable personality, professional yet welcoming.
A website was the next major step, one that could change and evolve as Hub moved forward. Initially, the site would inform and educate visitors, validating the product concept, the company, and the entrepreneurs bringing it to market. As the product launched, we added additional functionality capable of generating and responding to traffic, pulling leads into the funnel, setting up demos. Visitors had a place to learn more about the product and interact with the company. And it was flexible to provide information to the different personas and professional roles that are Hub’s target audience.
OPEN COMMUNICATION GENERATES DEMAND
In Hub, we are also fortunate to partner with clients who are prolific creators of blogs, white papers, and articles that appear in major publications such as Forbes. This is valuable content for readers. But rather than gate these articles behind a form to be filled, we offered them freely, no questions asked. We felt that attracting an audience and generating conversation would give us greater prominence.
SEO, an essential component of the site, is also applied to each new content piece. And the approach has paid off. Every element is now working together in a comprehensive strategy of freely offering content, driving traffic, and sparking interaction as a way to build the brand.
This achieved one of our most important goals: sparking conversations and information sharing in the “dark social” channels. It’s not as nefarious as it sounds. Dark social channels are simply not trackable, anything from Slack to email, texting, LinkedIn communities, or messenger apps like Snapchat, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger. Dark social can make tracking difficult, but it’s where the most trusted interactions take place.
The new site is also performing at a new level. Direct traffic to the site rose 140% in four months, part of an overall 66% increase. Organic traffic grew by 28%. And those numbers continue to climb with every new piece of content published.
Hub is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with a partnership that empowers us to refine and realize our client’s vision and bring it to dynamic and vibrant life.