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Model Evolution By 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 couple of years in the past, our CEO Yuval Kaminka and Development Lead Nathaniel (Yanky) Yankelevich have been having a strolling assembly exterior our workplace. Yuval was carrying a T-shirt branded JoyTunes; Yanky wore a Merely Piano shirt. Mid-sentence, they met a mutual pal on the street who checked out each of them and mentioned: “Wow, I didn’t know you have been allowed to talk to one another; I assumed you have been rivals!”

On the time, engaged on our model was not prioritized, as there have been many different areas of affect we selected to pursue. Usually talking, we select and plan our efforts primarily based on affect evaluation. Nevertheless, 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 yr when our imaginative and prescient and technique developed, together with the necessity to join every thing collectively to replicate our mission.

JoyTunes was already recognized 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 correct time to leverage the facility of all our merchandise collectively. It was time to create a branded home for future progress, representing our mission to remodel how individuals spend their time at dwelling by bringing them collectively via new inventive hobbies in music and past.

Right here I’ll share with you the way a staff of solely three individuals (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 affect. This strategy helped the staff and our learners hook up 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 affect. The pod devoted to branding consisted of Oded Bengigi (designer) Laura Schillemans (marketer) and myself. We have 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 establish patterns and construct model personas. We additionally performed a aggressive evaluation to grasp our differentiation, together with chatting with the staff and our buyers to get their perspective.

From all the buyer analysis, we found that we didn’t have to construct a disruptive model: our viewers already knew and beloved our merchandise and our firm’s essence. What we wanted was a stronger, tighter and globally unified umbrella model that will develop JoyTunes’ id and remodel how we inform our story.

From day one we knew the model technique and firm technique needs to be intertwined in order that the model would replicate the corporate imaginative and prescient. The objectives that we outlined have been:

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

Now we had our objectives. How did we create a powerful partnership in an effort to obtain them?

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

All through all the branding course of, we held open inner milestone classes, workshops and focus teams with the staff so that everybody (yep, precisely that, everybody) had the logic for the choices being made. It additionally gave us the chance to get their enter. Whilst you would possibly suppose all these totally different opinions would sluggish us down, in our case it truly accelerated us. Not many individuals knew this on the time, however we truly had a fourth objective: to attach all the staff to what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. This helped create better inner model adoption, connection and belonging. The impact of this was fairly superb, and never trivial. To keep away from the pure noise that this strategy would possibly create, it was necessary to outline clear resolution homeowners and stakeholders, together with key milestones for enter. That stored 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 advisor and a branding company. Normally businesses take a holistic strategy, creating totally 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 maintaining the general route 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 subject: do we have to change our identify?

After we realized that at some point JoyTunes might have an effect on individuals’s lives past music by bringing the worth we had created from our present learner experiences to different areas, we understood that the present identify would should be modified. We definitely needed to maintain the ‘pleasure,’ however we wanted 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 as a result of superb product recognition. As we thought-about the identify Merely from over 50 potential names, it met our naming standards objectives: 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 whole model and can be expressed throughout all our property.

The 4 Merely model pillars:

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

These consumer-first pillars have been our guiding gentle when approaching lots of the branding key choices. One instance was our emblem. Did we want a logo past the corporate identify and, if that’s the case, what ought to it’s? With “guiding learners via 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 might launch a brand new product: step by step, 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 varied elements of our new model.

At this level, the model pod grew from 3 individuals 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 affect. 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 assessments to get a baseline for what we might count on when the model got here out. Put up-MVP launch, we already see a optimistic affect: shifts in notion, stronger positioning and stronger model sentiment. So what now?

You’ve heard of Product-Market Match, the “elevation” that you just intention for when your product suits 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 main 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 main audiences perceive the model? Are they excited by it? We’re testing this qualitatively and quantitatively via A/B assessments. We’re measuring model sentiment via a mixed rating related to our model pillars (this might be an entire separate weblog submit). 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 approach to cope with 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 way in which, reasonably 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 affect on our objectives, serving to us work in an agile approach on one thing as large as constructing an enormous world shopper model.

Be at liberty 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 may have, so be happy to e mail me at [email protected].

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



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