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May 13, 2022

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Squareshot Rebranding: Part 1 – The backstory

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Part 1 of a 3-part series of articles detailing the backstory of Squareshot rebranding and the launch of a new website.

In early 2021, Alex, the co-founder and CEO of Squareshot, and I realized that the company was facing inconsistencies in our communication: our values were not represented, our company messaging left a lot of space for interpretation, and our visual style was becoming outdated.

This set of issues pointed towards a larger, more global issue. We didn't have a brand. But, to build a brand we needed to better understand ourselves and our clients.

Replicable success

As we navigated through client interviews, analytics, and brainstorming, we were surprised by just how much we didn't know about the company. We gained a new perspective.

Due to improvements in technologies, the quality of produced images in the industry has reached a peak. Getting great shots became more manageable, however, getting great shots consistently across multiple states, brands, and collections with unified standards and prices was an objective much harder to reach.

Alex Davidovich: I truly believe that making a high quality image is not a challenge. The real challenge is to make it repeatable at scale.

Quality is an invaluable asset. That's why we employ some of the most experienced commercial photographers in the U.S. However, through a series of interviews, we realized that often our clients valued consistency and their experience of getting images higher than the images themselves.

So, we chose to center our brand positioning around processes that would allow for replicable results and the overall experience of getting product images. An aspect that we've already been improving since the first days of Squareshot.

But, to build a brand, we also needed an anchor that would help us to synchronize the team, act as a differentiator, dictate the branding, and shape communication.

Transparency vs. clarity

There's an overarching transparency issue in the industry. Some promise 24-hour turnaround time. In reality, clients face days/weeks worth of unannounced steps. Others promote their business through low pricing per image. In reality, clients are confronted with undisclosed fees that burn through their content production budgets.

Transparency is essential to a positive experience. It's the safest way to align with the client's expectations. It also resonated with the inner values of our team. So, we arrived at transparency as our initial anchor.

However, there's a flaw within transparency. The privacy policy is a great example of being transparent and informative, yet being completely incomprehensible. You need to be clear. And clarity applies equally well to communication and process development. So, we landed on clarity.

Business application

When we started working with clarity as our main theme, it brought order to our business decisions. Through a word map, we've established a set of rules that defined key business directions:

Clarity also shaped our tone of voice, including this very article:

Now, before moving forward with a decision – we take it through a simple but effective test: Is there total clarity and no room for interpretation? If the answer yes, then we implement it.

This tactic improved the outcome of creative debates. Brought consistency across channels. And, finally, dictated the key creative decision behind our visual identity and the new website.

Upcoming: creative direction for the new logotype, key decisions behind brand identity, and functional upgrades within the new website.

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