Brands Are People Too
Branding is personalizing; it's goal is to make a customer feel, rather than think, about a product's value.
When a company has a strong brand, customers develop an emotional attachment; they are married to the product(s), and to them, buying from a competitor feels like infidelity.
At Gram, I was hired to re-brand the company before its first product launch, and develop a beta program for user testing.
Step 1: Research
This process started with extensive research on the product, market, and customers.
From industry white papers to conferences to case studies to ad hoc user testing, all of these fed into my personas, which I used as the foundation for my brand strategy.
Step 2: Design
Brand Identity = Voice + Look + Experience
The target persona was a twenty-eight-year-old, college-educated woman that works in social good, has an iPhone, and says something like, "I'm not vegan, but if there's a vegan option on the menu, then I'll usually try it."
I named the product "Gram" as it has the duplicity of sounding like a person's name, and readily hints at the key value: its ability to measure cannabinoid levels; the main tag was "make your cannabis count." Clean, friendly, smart yet approachable, Gram is your personal cannabis companion :)
In-app or in-person, the brand strays far from the stoner-stereotype with its primary brand color, close to a Tiffany-teal. Two drops make a "G" and gently signify the method of consumption--cannabis oil.
Step 3: Testing
This branding fed into my go-to-market strategy for the product launch, the pitch-package design for the company's seed round, as well as its mobile app, which I product-managed.
Before I left, we had collected over a thousand beta signups in conjunction with an ongoing clinical trial at UCSF.