Model Evolution Via a Product Methodology. From JoyTunes to Merely | by Nadia Hitman | Aleph | Sep, 2022

How we utilized an analytical strategy to constructing our new model

A number of years in the past, our CEO Yuval Kaminka and Development Lead Nathaniel (Yanky) Yankelevich had been having a strolling assembly outdoors our workplace. Yuval was carrying a T-shirt branded JoyTunes; Yanky wore a Merely Piano shirt. Mid-sentence, they met a mutual good friend on the street who checked out each of them and mentioned: “Wow, I didn’t know you had been allowed to talk to one another; I believed you had been opponents!”

On the time, engaged on our model was not prioritized, as there have been many different areas of influence we selected to pursue. Usually talking, we select and plan our efforts primarily based on influence evaluation. Nonetheless, we knew the day would come when it made sense from a enterprise perspective to start out constructing a globally unified model. That day got here final 12 months when our imaginative and prescient and technique developed, together with the necessity to join every little thing collectively to replicate our mission.

JoyTunes was already identified by our learners for our Merely merchandise: Merely Piano, Merely Guitar, Merely Tune and Merely Sing. Due to the massive scale and worldwide recognition of these merchandise, they grew to become the lever for the model. As we began broadening and diversifying our acquisition channels (including TV, podcasts and extra), it was the suitable time to leverage the ability of all our merchandise collectively. It was time to create a branded home for future progress, representing our mission to remodel how folks spend their time at house by bringing them collectively by way of new inventive hobbies in music and past.

Right here I’ll share with you ways a staff of solely three folks (a super-talented product designer, a mega marketer and myself) used agile product methodology to develop our new model Merely, specializing in solely what mattered for influence. This strategy helped the staff and our learners connect with this significant transformation.

At Merely, we work in small, laser-focused groups (pods) with a transparent enterprise objective. This allows us to maneuver quick, make choices and lead by influence. The pod devoted to branding consisted of Oded Bengigi (designer) Laura Schillemans (marketer) and myself. We had been accountable end-to-end for all the branding effort.

Like in all of our work, we utilized a consumer-centric strategy to our model constructing, turning to our viewers first with a deep discovery course of. We heard over 140 totally different voices, together with learners and new audiences, in one-on-one interviews, focus teams and surveys to determine patterns and construct model personas. We additionally performed a aggressive evaluation to grasp our differentiation, together with talking to the staff and our buyers to get their perspective.

From all the patron analysis, we found that we didn’t must construct a disruptive model: our viewers already knew and cherished our merchandise and our firm’s essence. What we would have liked was a stronger, tighter and globally unified umbrella model that will increase JoyTunes’ id and rework how we inform our story.

From day one we knew the model technique and firm technique must be intertwined in order that the model would replicate the corporate imaginative and prescient. The targets that we outlined had been:

  • Set up the model foundations for a globally acknowledged and lovable model
  • Unify our present and future merchandise below one umbrella model by connecting every little thing collectively
  • Develop our model past music so it will be extendable to different varieties of merchandise

Now we had our targets. How did we create a powerful partnership as a way to obtain them?

Our work methodology at Merely is bottom-up, collaborative and iterative so we are able to obtain influence — quick. The way in which we approached the brand-building course of was no exception. In actual fact, it was much more essential for us to work this fashion on branding, as a result of the model touches every little thing and everybody, internally and externally.

All through all the branding course of, we held open inside milestone periods, workshops and focus teams with the staff so that everybody (yep, precisely that, everybody) had the logic for the selections being made. It additionally gave us the chance to get their enter. Whilst you would possibly suppose all these totally different opinions would gradual us down, in our case it really accelerated us. Not many individuals knew this on the time, however we really had a fourth objective: to attach all the staff to what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. This helped create larger inside model adoption, connection and belonging. The impact of this was fairly wonderful, and never trivial. To keep away from the pure noise that this strategy would possibly create, it was essential to outline clear choice homeowners and stakeholders, together with key milestones for enter. That saved us super-focused.

This strategy was additionally utilized to how we labored with our exterior branding companions. In our case, we collaborated with a method marketing consultant and a branding company. Normally businesses take a holistic strategy, creating absolutely labored out visible id choices from the beginning. For us, the method wanted to be extra agile: damaged down into smaller blocks for quicker cycles and optimization, whereas protecting the general path aligned with our model technique. When engaged on the model id, for instance, we broke it down into its core parts just like the wordmark, the icon, the colours and the graphical parts, guaranteeing they every expressed the model technique.

Okay, again to what we did. After technique, we began with probably the most hotly debated matter: do we have to change our title?

Once we realized that in the future JoyTunes may have an effect on folks’s lives past music by bringing the worth we had created from our present learner experiences to different areas, we understood that the present title would have to be modified. We definitely wished to maintain the ‘pleasure,’ however we would have liked to half methods with ‘tunes,’ because it wasn’t extendable to non-music merchandise.

Our learners already knew us as “Merely”, so we additionally wanted a reputation that retained the Merely fairness because of the wonderful product recognition. As we thought-about the title Merely from over 50 potential names, it met our naming standards targets: providing a powerful connection between the core model and sub-brands, creating an umbrella model future-proofed for progress and being clearly extendable past music to different inventive hobbies.

To create a strategically differentiated model, we distilled our model essence into pillars, or what some would possibly name values. These pillars would basically outline our total model and could be expressed throughout all our property.

The 4 Merely model pillars:

  1. Empowering journey — We empower folks to have significant experiences all through their journey. It’s a journey that’s difficult, rewarding and enriching by way of the ups and downs, a.okay.a “uptime.”
  2. Pleasure — That’s actually what we’re placing out into the world: these magical joyful moments. We allow folks to really feel good, sparking pleasure in every second throughout their journey.
  3. Togetherness — We carry folks collectively by way of shared experiences of pleasure, connecting to household and buddies.
  4. Supportive surroundings — In every little thing that we can we’re with you thru the highs and lows, guiding folks by way of their very own journey in a personalised means with no judgment.

These consumer-first pillars had been our guiding mild when approaching lots of the branding key choices. One instance was our brand. Did we’d like a logo past the corporate title and, if that’s the case, what ought to it’s? With “guiding learners by way of their journey” in thoughts, we created the spark representing the North Star.

Selecting a model shade was guided by an analogous course of. The colour purple, representing pleasure and creativity, was already related to our merchandise by our learners.

Now that the model was constructed, how did we roll this all out?

We launched our new model similar to we’d launch a brand new product: regularly, testing on a regular basis and optimizing, earlier than specializing in progress (in model phrases, amplification). The model MVP plan centered on solely what was wanted to implement and take a look at the assorted points of our new model.

At this level, the model pod grew from 3 folks to a 14-person multidisciplinary tribe with all the talents wanted. Builders, designers, creatives and entrepreneurs labored collectively on solely what was wanted for model influence. We outlined our model MVP launch to extremely seen channels: our top-performing advertisements, App Retailer, web site and our Merely Piano and Merely Guitar merchandise.

Even earlier than the model was launched, we examined most issues to extend confidence earlier than it was rolled out to all. The target was to grasp how our story resonates with present and future audiences and to get a gauge for the way it performs. For instance, in our App shops, we examined icons and screenshots to optimize efficiency. In Merely Piano and Merely Guitar, we did A/B checks to get a baseline for what we may count on when the model got here out. Put up-MVP launch, we already see a constructive influence: shifts in notion, stronger positioning and stronger model sentiment. So what now?

You’ve heard of Product-Market Match, the “elevation” that you just purpose for when your product matches its audience, as seen within the metrics. What we’re calling “Story-Viewers Match” applies the identical product testing and methodological strategy to the model, guaranteeing that our major audiences get the model story and are excited by it, earlier than attending to the expansion stage of the model.

In July, we unveiled our new model. We’re now within the first stage of Story-Viewers Match testing. Two questions are guiding this effort: do major audiences perceive the model? Are they excited by it? We’re testing this qualitatively and quantitatively by way of A/B checks. We’re measuring model sentiment by way of a mixed rating related to our model pillars (this might be a complete separate weblog publish). One instance of a take a look at is Language-Viewers Match. Are we a model that’s for “the household,” “the house,” or “a family”? Let’s put it to the take a look at and see what resonates.

To sum it up, an efficient technique to take care of the challenges of constructing a brand new model is to strategy it like constructing and releasing a brand new product. We did it by testing our dangerous assumptions and choices alongside the best way, quite than constructing all the model in a sterile surroundings after which releasing it. We let our product recognition drive the model, seeking to our viewers, present and future, in addition to our groups that construct the merchandise, to see what resonates. We additionally outlined a model MVP (or MVB, if you’ll), and centered on what was wanted to see model influence on our targets, serving to us work in an agile means on one thing as large as constructing an enormous international shopper model.

Be happy to take a look at our model new web site (sorry, couldn’t assist myself with the pun). I’d love to listen to what you suppose and any questions you have got, so be at liberty to e-mail me at nadia@hellosimply.com.

Particular because of Dani Zilberberg and Michal Dvir for serving to me discover my voice.

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