Stark Tech is an Internet of Things (IoT) company with line of Smart Home products. The founders, comprised of multi-level marketing (MLM) veterans, had outsized ambition for their company’s first publically-available products and required “the works:” strategy, positioning, a name, branding aesthetic, an e-commerce website and ancillary brand materials. Nutmeg was approached by the newly-formed company to build and inspire a network of salespeople who would represent the primary sales channel for what would become the JAQX Smart Home Hub. Our key insight? Many believe home automation is cool, but that the technology involved is too complicated, out of reach or “not for me”. They’d love to have it, but the perceived barriers to entry were too high so that they dismissed their desires. Enter, JAQX, created to challenge this perception and show that everybody can upgrade their home with smart functions, if they discover the tools via their “trusted personal network”.
From the top
We started our research with a deep-dive into the world of home automation (customer-focused) and the people who are motivated by multi-level-marketing opportunities (sales-focused). What we found was that many potential customers were familiar, in theory, with home automation but faced any one of the following barriers, keeping them on the sidelines. Some were intimidated by home automation, others shared a perception that while “cool”, the setup would be too expensive or complicated. By developing various target customers profiles Nutmeg was able to communicate the JAQX point of difference and reasons to believe in the product. It’s not difficult when a friend will guide you, and the cost is a lot less than you might think!
To begin, Nutmeg presented several potential and defendable brand positioning statements along with overviews of the related topline marketing strategies. From there, we had the opportunity to collaborate with the Stark Tech executive team to refine our thinking, resulting in the best-suited strategy for the new brand.
It's all in the name
A brand can have a compelling product and strategy, but must have the right name to represent its value and promise.
Starting with over ten “ownable” names, each designed to highlight a specific element of the brand promise, the names hinted at the purchase process, alluded to the product’s connectivity, or focused on simply delivering something memorable and hip.
JAQX was the ultimate winner because it had the traits of being the most ownable, accessible and could support the brand story that the founders were excited to tell.
With the name locked in, it was time to design the logo. The wordmark had to look legible and appropriate on the physical device (resembling a computer router), stand out from other MLM company brands, and look hip, new, and compelling enough to entice a specific type of seller to learn more about the opportunity. Starting with a exploratory moodboard of potential design directions, Lead Designer Aviva Buivid created three variations of the logo that met the design objectives. Each focused on the ‘X’, becoming a symbol of connectivity.
The chosen logo had multiple secondary-image components: the X symbolized both the coming together of people and the connectivity of home devices, and the some saw the A as a symbol for a home. The rounded edges of the letters felt friendly and inviting, and the use of the red-orange color was balanced by appearing in the A as well as the X. Additionally, the X serves as a stand-alone symbol for the product, and is used as their profile images on social media, a small watermark, and more.
Plug it in
Once the logo was chosen and refined, we completed the brand identity system. Nutmeg’s design team created a Brand Guide that accounted for a wide variety branding needs – customized color scheme and font, use guidelines, and branded collateral materials.
Considering that JAQX was technically a “tech-based startup” we determined that the brand requires an modern online presence. Nutmeg had the opportunity to extend the brand online by designing the public-facing pages for its website that outlined the offer, to be built by a MLM-specific development team. The design acted as a catalyst to accentuate the core pillars of JAQX’s offering: “Simple, Personalized, Affordable, Reliable” smart home servicing.
Other brand collateral, like sales materials, stationery, and custom graphics were also created to round out the visual identity.
The design acted as a catalyst to accentuate the core pillars of JAQX’s offering: “Simple, Personalized, Affordable, Reliable” smart home servicing.JAQX
Initial go-to market strategy required an informational video that could be viewed on the website, but more importantly, it is used as a direct-to-consumer sales tool. This introduction to JAQX’s website clearly communicates the benefits of JAQX while helping jumpstart a conversation about the Internet of Things. Our own production team created the video from script-to-screen along with graphics supplied by Stephen Walsh, our VFX Director, based on JAQX’s logo.