Have you ever wondered why you keep returning to your favorite hotel chain? Why you prefer a certain make of shoes over another? We all make a lot of different decisions each day on a subconscious level. Sometimes, choices come from a gut feeling, and sometimes choices are made because you simply trust a brand.
But what does the word “brand” really mean?
A brand is not just a logo that you see. It’s not only a color associated with a product or space. The brand is the overarching experience one has; highly visual and tangible but also a silent subconscious experience. It encompasses confidence in quality, loyalty, and consistency. A brand is the voice you hear from the front desk at the hotel to the quality you feel from your shoes’ 200th wear.
You learn and experience a hotel's brand from the moment you set foot in the lobby and are greeted by the front desk team. The tone of their voice, the warmth of the lighting, the feeling as you walk into your hotel room. Those little notes from your service team left on your pillow? That’s a brand decision. Clear signage to the hotel’s amenities and offerings? That’s a brand decision. Just like how your favorite shoe brand keeps you coming back for the next pair, it’s because you grow accustomed to what you’re going to get. It’s a trust thing.
In the same vein, here at VideoAmp, we provide a consistent, trusted and enjoyable experience for our clients through all touchpoints. If you receive a people-centric, personal email – it’s because we believe in being People First in all we do. You can read more about that in our VP of Design’s blog here. If you met us in person on the luxe rooftop opening party at Cannes Lions, it’s because we believe in Being Premium.
My personal passion is to bring our brand forward in all instances with a heavy focus on the external, client-facing side of the business. In order to understand some company context, here are a few quick Cliffs Notes for you:
As a young, energetic and incredibly fast-moving company based in the heart of Los Angeles (with remote offices in New York, Chicago, Boston and Baltimore), it was critical for Co-founder and CEO, Ross McCray, to establish a unique Design team. His genuine passion for design and quality inspire us as designers to deliver and uphold our core brand values to Challenge Paradigms and Be Premium. We are not nested under other departments like many other companies place design teams. We stand proudly on our own team and lend a helping hand with every single department within VideoAmp.
The first task for me when I joined VideoAmp was to refine Brand Design at VideoAmp. And with that, we launched a new initiative to always design with intention.
The initial natural step in the design process was to finesse the logo. Here is the version pre-May 2019:
The playful colors, the allusion to the waves through the color pills and custom logotype lettering were not completely redone but needed a little polish. It is caring about the little things, that make big differences.
Therefore, this is the newly redrawn logo with a custom grid based on the actual shape of our logo mark "pills":
While at first glance, the logos might not seem that different, below is an overlay of the two versions to show the differences in pill shape locations, spacing of logotype and balanced dispersion of elements. VideoAmp’s new logo is in the foreground, and the old logo is in the background:
And again here are the two versions of the logo with a stacked view for a different way to compare them:
Here is VideoAmp’s final, new logo:
While these may seem like small changes to a logo, the premise for intentional design was built, setting forth a new design system at VideoAmp that included:
We believe that a strong brand identity is successful only when the internal team is aligned. Our internal teams go through training sessions with the Communication and Brand Design team members, and we are committed to putting VideoAmp’s best foot forward.
Here are some pages of our internal Brand Guidelines launched during June of this year:
And in true VideoAmp fashion here are some data points to share. We are data collectors here at VideoAmp after all.
The new version of Brand Folder has increased over 4x the number of assets being used in the first 5 months since relaunching. Total asset activity is now over 5,000 uses.
We have over 75% of the entire company using our Brand Folder across all teams.
In the first five months since relaunching the new Brand Folder, it has doubled in the active users across the entire company.
With the more robust Brand Folder rolled out, the company is now better equipped to utilize on-brand materials at every touchpoint. We are proud of the progress and it is largely thanks to the incredible participation of our internal employees that take our brand materials out to the public.
Much like caring about the minutiae of the logo refresh, our team has focused on creating bespoke icons that include using our ‘pills’ from our logo mark. While these may be just the small details, we carry through our intentional design in all instances. The company previously did not have a custom icon system prior to May 2019. Since then, we have developed over 100 icons and are continuing to grow this library. Here are some examples of the bespoke icons designed by the Communication and Brand Design team:
As much of our client-facing collateral and events are being aligned with the new brand design approach, the Product Design team members have been actively bringing these details into the VideoAmp Platform. Our clients use our Platform to solve complex problems and Maximize Value.
Internally, VideoAmp employees (or Vamps as we call ourselves), are given frequent swag drops that aren't your typical cotton T-shirt with a company logo. The Internal Brand team creates premium bespoke swag collections per season, tied to a theme with advanced fabrics and printing techniques. The team also designs full collections of swag to shower our employees with, which was evident during our annual company-wide conference, Vamplify. And, since health and wellness are important cultural aspects here at VideoAmp, there is a separate collection of fitness apparel to sport around for our quarterly fitness challenge winners.
We've also been working hard on the brand new website for VideoAmp that will incorporate all the new brand values. So keep an eye out for the official launch in the upcoming new year (2020 here we come)!
VideoAmp has allowed this Design team to nurture, evolve and constantly improve all things related to our brand. We are fortunate to have the support of an organization that understands that it's not just a Design team that creates the brand; it's all of us.
Michelle Kim has a deep passion for creating design systems, memorizing color hex codes and living by the grid. Over the past 15 years, she has been sharpening her skills in the publishing, advertising and tech startup landscapes in London, Amsterdam and Los Angeles.