The Zapnito brand didn’t stand out. Here’s how we fixed it.
At Zapnito, we once assumed that our distinctiveness would naturally shine through. Our product and strategic support has helped many leading B2B brands to build successful online communities, built around knowledge sharing. This (we believed) is how and why people would remember us.
Today you only have just 0.05 seconds to make a positive first impression when someone visits your website. We could make no more assumptions. We had to show what makes Zapnito different.
This week we’re launching a new visual brand for Zapnito — managed completely in-house in just 3 months. We feel this new identity truly defines who we are, the value we provide, and where we’re going as a company.
This is how we did it.
When a B2B business types ‘best online community platform’ into Google, they are presented with inappropriate solutions, many designed for hobby groups or solopreneurs. Aware of this issue, we put all the websites of ‘community solutions’ side by side. Most of our team took a while to find ours amongst the crowd. All use the same colors, same imagery, same language. Zapnito didn’t stand out.
To start our rebrand journey, we asked ourselves: what really makes Zapnito unique? When a few years have past since a company like Zapnito has been founded, there is often, an assumption that everyone knows the answer to this question. So we posed this question to our team, our customers and our wider community.
There wasn’t complete alignment. Grounding ourselves in this insight was the first step to clarity.
However, 4 themes emerged.
Our experience helping B2B brands to bring trusted peers together to connect and help each other succeed is crucial. Our team’s expertise and our platform’s reliability is what our customers valued most.
As no two communities are the same, community builders need to be able to quickly adapt to their member’s needs – and at scale. We partner with our customers to create a one-of-a-kind brand community experience, giving them more control than any other solutions out there.
Technology is nothing without the people that use it. We’re not just another platform vendor, we’re growth partners.
For any business, a community platform is an investment that demands a return. Driving measurable impact is core to our mission.
These themes resonated with our existing company values and mission – To help businesses grow power knowledge sharing at scale. We now had a framework to rewrite our brand story.
Before thinking about how we would visually communicate what makes Zapnito unique, there were core questions we needed clear answers to. We needed to tell a story that outlines why our mission is critical.
To craft this, we looked back at the original pitch decks that our founders Charles and Jon created. There’s nothing more raw than an original startup idea that gets two executives to quit their jobs. This was the level of excitement and opportunity we wanted our customers to feel.
We also looked forward – interviewing industry experts, listening in on our sales team’s calls and researching the trends shaping the future of B2B customer engagement. Our rebrand had to authentically represent our customers ambitions and the ideas guiding the company.
Gathering these insights gave us the confidence to start making bold decisions aligning our long-term product vision with how we talked about ourselves:
We are committed to helping B2B brands maximize customer lifetime value. We do this by providing a community platform for personalized knowledge sharing experiences.
Our 4 key brand themes became our creative constraints. What does a trusted brand look like? How can we be more human? All these questions created vital discussions and many whiteboard scribbles.
One image from these sessions stood out. We were trying to visualize how personalized knowledge sharing experiences drive community-led growth. It was all about connecting the pathways from Acquisition to Adoption, Adoption to Retention, Retention to Advocacy, Advocacy to Acquisition.
This symbol of connectivity became a representation of our mission.
Based on these early discussions, we also sought out inspiration to begin to illustrate our brand themes.
- To be trusted, our brand had to look professional, high quality and modern.
- To be flexible, our brand had to use structure and color to illustrate the creative potential of our product.
- To be human, our brand had to incorporate the faces and voices of the people who use our product.
- To be impactful, we need to visualize opportunities and outcomes with data.
Time for a mood board.
Before circulating any early concepts wider than the brand project team, we first gathered feedback from our customer advisory board. Bringing our existing customers onboard with our chosen direction was critical.
Their input was invaluable. They challenged us to make our early concepts more bold. Our customers are committed to growing their business through community. Our brand needed to clearly communicate that we took their goals and success as seriously as we did. After our session, we felt confident we could achieve this. Business impact did not need to be corporate and dull. We were helping our customers create new possibilities.
Armed with the thoughts and encouragement of our customer advisory board, we refined our concept further. Every decision was quality checked against our 4 brand themes…
- To be trusted and flexible, we needed to comply with the latest accessibility standards.
- To be human, we needed our expert team and community to be visible.
- To be impactful, we needed to illustrate our community building methodology.
These guiding principles fundamentally shaped the visual identity and the story we wanted to tell:
Our chosen brand colors tie back to each stage of our community-led growth flywheel. Gradients represent the transformation between different customer lifecycle stages e.g. non-customer to customer, customer to advocate. The use of bold colors and dark theme also reflects the meaning of the word Zapnito – to ‘turn on’.
Our fonts are precise and accessible with subtle notes of playfulness. We wanted nothing about our new brand to be ambiguous or undistinctive.
The final result is a brand that has a strong purpose and direction.
What comes next?
Our launch of new branding creates a milestone for Zapnito. Aligning our mission with how we communicate creates a springboard for new innovations in our product. Many of these will be released in 2024.
All you need to do to learn more about the Zapnito product is book a personalized intro call here.