Welcome to our new blog series, “In the Head of a Creative.” This week I have talked to Scott, our Creative Executive Director about the experiential brand. It’s an interview about Slack on Slack.
Gunilla: You mentioned a couple of brands last week; InVision, Skype, Cisco, and Slack when I asked about brand. Why did these come to mind?
Scott: They seemed to be brands that have a solid connection between the visual identity and the product experience. I think this is key to success, in at least the B2B tech sector. Slack probably stands out the most, because their visual brand is almost entirely experienced through the hands-on experiential brand.
Gunilla: Explain what you mean by experiential brand.
Scott: Today in tech, the user experiences the brand through the interface. UX and UI are part of the brand. With cloud products traversing our life from desktop, to tablet to iPhone, I think that UX is becoming a larger component of the brand building than ads, packaging, a logo etc.
Gunilla: Does the “look and feel” of the brand mean less?
Scott: No, but it means more if it is in sync with the experience. If it is out of sync with the UX then I think it is detrimental. The experience has to be consistent across all brand touchpoints. Who’s answering the phone at your company and what your storefront looks like, have always been important to keep in sync with the brand you’re developing – now the UX and UI have to be added to that.
Gunilla: Explain how Slack is a good example.
Scott: Slack was one of the first ones that came to mind. Which says volumes about B2B Tech and branding… The brand is friendly, accessible, easy to grasp and innovative without being pretentious. And using the product day-to-day across different devices has been pretty much in sync with that. It’s a new paradigm, that the technology that we touch day-to-day, all day long, must communicate the brand in the “experience.” It’s an intangibility that is essential to brands being successful. Especially in the B2B Tech sector.
Scott: So, yes, logo, colors, advertising, possibly even websites are nice complements, but it’s the user interface and user experience that support if not establish the brand. Now does that create outbound brand understanding in the marketplace if no one’s ever used it? Absolutely not, but maybe that is how advertising is shifting! User advocates and recommendations and organizational adopting might be the way that products will win in the B2B Tech sector.
Gunilla: You win by user experience?
Scott: You win through the product experience, but ONLY if the experience is a win for the user! Come on, we’ve all used software and hardware that totally fell short on the promise. And all of that should be in sync with any other branding exercises. I’ve got to believe that’s why some of the software companies are offering their products free of charge during the start up phase, so that they can create some of that momentum.
Gunilla: Scott, I think that’s a wrap. Thank you so much!
Scott: Ok, we’re good? If you have any other questions just yell.
Scott: And just to be clear, I think the user interface IS design and branding, and that was not overlooked in any capacity by Slack.
Gunilla: Famous last words!
“It’s the user interface and user experience that support if not establish the brand.”
– Scott Springer, Executive Creative Director