Annotations for Google Brand Studio
Black Friday Fund | Everlane
The Challenge—In the past, Everlane shut down its site to protest Black Friday. This time, we needed to evolve the story.
The Fix—Start a new charitable tradition.
The Thinking—I once heard that diners enjoy their food more when the restaurant has an open kitchen. I think I even heard the converse: That line cooks enjoy their job more when they can see people eating. The concept of an open kitchen isn’t just about proving that your restaurant is clean and well-run, or the swagger of showing you have nothing to hide. It’s about facilitating connections between people.
When Everlane talked about Radical Transparency, it was usually with a spirit of rabble-rousing: Traditional retailers mark up your clothes 8x—don’t let them screw you.
The Black Friday Fund struck a different tone. One that was generous, optimistic. Transparency wasn't so much about disruption as it was about paving the way for human connections—about opening up the kitchen. About closing the loop between the company, the factory, and the consumer.
The best expression of this "open kitchen" analogy is the event, where we showcased large-scale portraits of factory workers in their off-time. Then we encouraged attendees to take Polaroids of themselves for us to send to the factory, so they could see each other.
Graphic designer: Jeffrey Iacoboni
The Nestie Awards | Nest
The Challenge—Build trust and dispel anxieties around Nest Cam.
The Fix—Get UGC content. Start a contest.
The Thinking—When I started at Nest, the company had just been through a little PR snafu, and with Dropcam about to be re-released as Nest Cam, the team was bracing itself for the potential backlash of is-Google-spying-on-me angst.
My strategy: Abate fears by showing how the families who already had Dropcams/Nest Cams liked having us in their homes. Nest Cam is a security camera, and an everything else camera. It captures all sorts of funny family moments. Let's show the skeptics that content. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough of it.
So I started a contest called the Nestie Awards. The Nesties incentivized customers to send in home videos by offering a free camera, a free year of Nest Aware (our paid subscription service), and a trophy. Everywhere we could, we asked customers to submit videos for a chance to win a Nestie. Winners were picked, and fun was had.
Really, the Nesties was designed to get customers used to the idea of sending Nest content, of welcoming us back into their homes. It showed those who might not trust us, that our customers did. Plus it gave us the content we needed to launch a website—a place to hold and kindle a content-sharing community and drive conversion.
Nest Cam Outdoor | Nest
Why do you care?—I know you're not terribly interested in product experience. But I included this here because I consider it a significant Google rite of passage. I can spitball big ideas and surround a problem from every direction, but the reason I've been successful at Nest is because I've got the grit and grace to survive a eight-month approval process. In that time, I became proficient in the delicate interpersonal arts of presenting, adapting, and negotiating copy. I learned how to take the feedback of two dozen stakeholders and turn it into a sentence that a regular person will read.
I believe I said this in our meeting last week: it's easy to write a first version of something. It's really hard to write a 30th version, and still make it good.
[TLDR: Laura approaches cause marketing in a thoughtful, creative way!]