When a startup in stealth mode— Nest—approached Odopod to help with the brand positioning, messaging and website to launch their new connected thermostat, I was excited.
As we dug in, two opportunities emerged:
- How can you take the grand ideas of a visionary founder like Tony Fadell and infuse it into a company via the tools of brand?
2. How to do you introduce something new-to-the-world?
We developed a brand positioning—I can't share it here—that took Tony's ideas and gave the company a lofty, difficult mission, one that could never be finished, only progress made, onwards and upwards.
The mission was expressed through the tools of poetry: a manifesto to align and inspire. I also wrote a series of "Glimpses into tomorrow" about the company that took place 3-5 years in the future, to make the ideas more concrete.
(I've worked on enough brands to often see the core ideas fade away right after launch. But Nest's brand stayed strongly centered around the ideas we helped establish, up to and beyond their acquisition by Google.)
For the launch, the insight that drove our storytelling was simple but powerful: It is self evident that the thermostat is beautifully designed. That creates desire. But you couldn't understand what it might mean to use it and live with it until you experienced it, over time. How could we shortcut this?
Along with writers Tunde Whitten and Jessica Berta, we created a web experience called "A Year with Nest." Rather than a traditional product page focused on features, we showed how the Nest learned your life, over time, to save you energy. These ideas also drove the launch messaging.
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