Branding – The FamilyBook Dilemma
Abra is a partnered in a number of start-ups, providing our expertise in branding, marketing, and web development. It’s really exciting to be a part of a complete project like this where we get to be involved in every facet of seeing an idea go from literally notes on a napkin to – in some cases – actually profitable online businesses.
One of these projects is an online photo and video-sharing website called FamilyBook.
One of the partners had shared the site with some potential new users and received a laundry list of new features they thought should be added to the site.
Below is my response. I think this will also give insight into anyone taking a look at their own brand.
When running a project like FamilyBook, all sorts of suggestions from users will come in.
It’s important we are very careful about determining which suggestions fit with our vision for the product and our users and which should be ignored.
Google became the #1 search engine because when they came out they did exactly the opposite of what was most popular at the time. All the search engines back in the nineties were pages filled with features. Google came out with a simple white page with only one function: a search box in the middle.
While everyone else was trying to out-zig eachother, they zagged.
I think FamilyBook’s biggest strength is that it is the opposite of Facebook. It’s for the people who don’t want their lives out for everyone in the world to see. They just want to share something important to them with the people that are important to them. They don’t want to be a part of this big ‘social media’ thing.
In fact, I think they’re the ‘Mark’s’ of the world who really don’t get the Facebook frenzy.
It’s like Robert, the coach of my son’s soccer team. Robert doesn’t want anything to do with texting. To him, a phone is for phone calls.
He is certainly not interested in Facebook or Twitter. But he is really excited about the FamilyBook page I set up so we can share videos of the kids games and use them as a tool to teach the kids things their doing right and wrong.
I think the privacy and values of FamilyBook are its biggest strength, followed by ease of use.
It’s important to keep our product simple and focused. That’s how new users will be able to quickly get their mind around what it is and connect with it.
Later in the lifecycle it may make sense to add more features, but for now we should keep it as focused as possible.
All this brings us back to our branding statements that I think should be what we are working on most.
What is FamilyBook?
Who’s it for?
Why should they try it?
What will it do for them?
Once we have clear answers to these questions, we’ll have a stronger message to promote the site and also assess how it should evolve.