Everybody that has ever launched a product or is looking to launch something in the near future has encountered this predicament before: How do I drum up support and hype around my product before even launching it? It is the good, old "chicken-before-the-egg" problem. Yet, we all understand how important it is to establish a certain presence well before even releasing your first beta.Control came to us with this exact problem. Their product was in the final stages of development and they were ready to launch within the next few months. Therefore, they knew it was time to start gathering sign-ups and beta testers as early as possible.
The goal of our creative workshops is to align with the client’s goal and vision. It is a way for us to peak behind the curtains and understand the true driving forces of the project, while also getting an idea of their creative personality.
The "Food Association"
This is our play on the very popular "car association" exercise that has been used in the creative space for years. The goal is to get inside the client's mind and understand their feelings towards their own brand, company, and mission. Whether I say my company is a Ford Raptor or a Toyota Prius, you will have a pretty good idea of how I picture the final product to look and feel. The same is true for food. We all have common emotions when it comes to a big bowl of pasta or a summer salad.
There was a pretty obvious theme here: Pizza. Not only did all three Control team members name this as their food, but Andrea (Co-Founder & Head of Community) even delivered pizzas as her first job! The reasoning on why pizza was a little different for each one but let us to a solid understanding of their vision: Highly customizable to your specific needs and wants, very inviting and friendly, and a general feeling of community and togetherness.
Over the years, we have learned one obvious thing: it is much easier for people to say what they don't like than it is to say what they do like. Luckily, the two are reversible and through subtraction, by simply knowing what not to do, it will in return also tell us what to focus on. The goal of this exercise is to get the client to express all the things that they do not want to feel and look like.
This is not just another financial tool. Most of them are stuffy, old, and just simply outdated. The financial system, in general, seems to always lag a few decades behind. Instead, this product is for the progressive thinkers, who are not just exploring freelancing but instead turning it into a flexible income stream that directly fits with their lifestyle.
Right off the bat, we knew this site had to be different. With their target audience being primarily freelancers and flex workers it was obvious that a lot of them would also come from the creative space. This means that they are most likely up-to-date with their websites trends and know what a good website looks and feels like.
We wanted to build something with Control that was not only up-to-par to their user's expectations but would blow them out of the water. Luckily, the Control team trusted us enough to let go of the reigns and give us complete creative liberty. Through our design sessions and creative exercises we were able to clearly articulate their vision and knew exactly what needed to be done in order for this project to be a total success.
In today's world, you only get a few seconds of somebody's attention. Maybe they clicked on an ad, a social post, or got a link sent to them by a buddy. Either way, the next distraction is already looming so it is our job to capture their attention within the first few seconds of the experience. In Control's case, we achieved this through targeted branding and intricate animations.
Immediately upon entering the site, the user is grabbed by the animations and visuals. All the graphics created are fully custom and are playing on more traditional financial elements such as charts and graphs. But, they are displayed in a playful and creative way. This very clearly states the overarching goal of Control: Making finances more fun and accessible to creatives, freelancers, and flex workers from all works of life.
With the branding, we also wanted to create something that pops right off the page. By combining modern fonts with exciting colors, we were able to standout from a financial world usually lead by tones of blue. The logo, while simple, was the perfect solution. What better way to depict the feeling of being in control while also having fun than a joystick?
Besides the graphic elements, it was also important to easily explain the product. Since Control is creating something that is completely novel to the market it was crucial to make the user understand what they are signing up for. Throughout the entire site, we followed a "show-don't-tell" mentality. Quick hitting taglines paired with graphics are making it very clear what the key takeaways are.
Throughout the entire experience, the user is pulled into an entirely new world. A world in which their choice of profession is finally accepted as a full career versus being viewed as simply a hobby. Control is enabling freelancers and flex workers to finally take full control (get it?) of their finances and enjoy the same luxuries, securities, and flexibility as more traditional careers.
We felt early on that you genuinely understood the business and worked hard to try to understand our product, our customer, etc. It always felt like above and beyond. Lots of creativity.
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