Find the Flow
Turning a dull software-feature into a sexy theme that hits home
Years before creating Klear, I (Dan) was working for an architectural software company and was tasked to create the main theme for a global campaign that advertised the new version of the software.
This theme and messaging would be used in campaigns and collateral to sell the software by its distributors on 5 continents for the coming 12 months, so it had to work and be strong.
Indeed, the software deserved a strong message! It is a great product loved by users around the globe – some being super-fans. The tool is only second in popularity to a competitor which was owned by a behemoth global giant.
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It was truly a David vs. Goliath battle and David needed some good marketing to excel in the race and not crumble under the sheer over-power in resources of the other side.
This release happened when the competition was more fierce than ever. Luckily, the product team did amazing R&D and turned the tool into a more robust and faster software than anything on the market.
The product team understandably was pushing speed to be the major theme for the release-campaign.
To this I said:
"Nay, folks. Speed ain't a benefit. It's feature."
Not to mention that everything is advertised as being “fast” – from apps to detergents to cars to pizza delivery – and even the drug ‘speed’ itself. I knew enough that having “speed” as the leading theme may spark attention, but it won’t convey emotion, hook anyone.
Still, the product team got what they wanted – just in a different way.
To come up with the proper theme for the campaign that would later become quite a success, I did what any educated marketer would do: I went to a bar, ordered a glass of dry chardonnay (and then another) and started mind-mapping in my notebook.
I had the concept for the theme in about 18 minutes. (Faster than I could finish the two glasses of wine.) This concept went on to be used globally to create a highly memorable (and successful) campaign.
It was a fairly straight forward process that you can use to dig down to find emotional triggers, hooks behind simple features:
1. take the feature and ask why it’s beneficial: “why is it important that your software be fast?” Answer: (duh) because it doesn’t keep you waiting, among other things.
2. take the first answer and ask why again: “why, what’s wrong with waiting?” Answer: you get distracted (duh). Surely, there had to be more to the speed-issue than just a bad UX.
3. another seemingly dumb but useful question: “why, what happens when you’re distracted?” Luckily I had many customer-interviews with architects behind my back so I knew that they, as creators/artists, really get in FLOW when designing buildings and they’re at their best in this state.
The most annoying thing for them is waiting minutes for the software to render the design in 3D, so they can check the result. While the software renders, they go get coffee and check social media – and guess what?! They fall out of flow.
Once you’re distracted by the waiting, it’s hard to get in flow again and produce great work. So what a slow software REALLY costs the architect is falling out of flow, limiting their creative abilities and mild- to heavy frustration in general.
And there you have it: the speed feature is really a remedy to a much greater issue: falling out of creative flow. The theme for the campaign turned out to be: “keeps you in creative flow”. These five words just clicked with architects across 5 continents – without having to explain anything. It was massive.
All it took to uncover this hook was understanding the customer and asking “why” three times (while feeling a little dumb to be asking such seemingly obvious questions).
Since then, I’ve asked “why” many times to uncover memorable hooks – messaging that gets traction. This is really key in communicating IT services and products, which – like it or not – are almost a commodity.
If you want a little direction in uncovering the hook to your technology that your buyers will understand instantly, get in touch via a chatbot on this page or by using the big button just below.