“Branding doesn’t matter when you have a great product.”
This is a common belief among many brilliant companies when they’re starting up. And with so many articles on marketing tricks, colors that work and don’t work, design trends, and a/b tests, branding seems like an unnecessary thing to invest in. As a result, the budget, attention, and genius goes towards creating a revolutionary product, leaving branding to be merely an afterthought—and that’s if it’s lucky enough to be thought of at all.
But the truth is: a brand is a true reflection of a company. An identity, grounded in the core values that is recognizable, cohesive, and tells a clear and authentic story everywhere it goes. It is the first impression a company makes, and an integral part of every impression after that. That’s why it’s not only important, but also necessary.
When I joined Workato at the beginning of 2020, it took countless meetings with everyone, from execs to interns, to understand what made Workato stand out from the rest. And that’s when I realized that Workato wasn’t just a seemingly good product, it was the future of integration. It had truly cracked the code of being the only modern enterprise leader that was truly as simple as the no-code platforms.
I made it our mission to bring that message to the forefront and create a brand that lived up to the quality of the product.
Here’s the journey we, me and a team of 2 remarkable designers, Natalie Broussard and Qunyh Adrong, went on to do this:
After learning the ins and outs of the product from Workato employees, we wanted to find out why our users loved us. To do this, we tapped into our customers and discovered a variety of reasons, but the one that we heard pretty much across the board was:
- Incredible power AND simplicity. It makes the complex simple enough for anyone but it also offers Enterprise-grade power. With other platforms, you have to compromise one for the other, even if they claim otherwise. But with Workato you can truly have both.
The Proper Introduction
Armed with the insight above, the team took on our 1st task: get people to know who Workato is and what we do.
We came up with the headline “Automate the w*rk out of it”.
We had turned ‘work’ into the bad word that it is. It was provocative enough to grab attention and simple enough to translate exactly what we do. We launched a huge campaign with this messaging all over San Francisco, and were humbled by the great feedback we received from both our customers and non-customers. This quick win gave us the confidence that we were on the right track.
We knew we needed something that reflected both simplicity and power. But we also needed something that would appeal to a large number of people in different roles (IT, business technology, sales, etc.), look modern, and convey connectivity and productivity. We tapped into our product designers to get all hands on deck.
Xiuying Zhang, one of our product team UX designers, was the creative genius behind the design we unanimously agreed on. It was a new, modern take on the W, depicting flow through the big, bold curves and representing the endpoints through the ball at the end.
We started by drastically simplifying our color palette to a handful of key colors that made a huge impact. The Workato teal has been the hallmark of our brand since day one. It was something that people associated with us and something that we wanted to keep as one of our core colors.
We gave our teal a vibrant twist and built a strong palette around it. We added a bold black to showcase power balanced with a hint of soft coral to make us approachable and inviting. We combined this with clean white and soft neutrals to create more space and less clutter.
We also intentionally stayed away from too many images or illustrations that you typically see on websites. With simplicity being one of our core values, it was important that we focused on delivering an extremely clear and concise message with no distractions.
Along with the colors, logo, and minimal layouts, we chose a classic font that helped us weave together a look that started speaking our values.
Last but definitely not least, we refreshed our tone. We cater to business users as well as professional developers, so it’s important that we speak to each of them accordingly. Our tone is casual and clear when we’re speaking about overarching business uses and benefits. But we’re also down to nerd out a bit when we’re speaking about how it all works. Overall, we are speaking to our customers.
Bringing all these ingredients together into a thoughtful and cohesive design has created a brand that feels authentic to who we are.
Rebranding is not just cosmetic, it is about bringing to life the core values of what you and your customers truly love about the product and the company. A brand is a living breathing thing that, with influence and inspiration from the whole team, will continue to grow and evolve. Though we are excited to unveil what we have been working on for the past 6 months, it’s just the beginning of an exciting new journey. We hope you’ll enjoy watching it unfold.