A tale of brand platforms, design processes, and tech products that get better with proper philosophy.
Hey there! We’re Mindset, a design studio obsessed with experiments that lead to a better, clear, emotionally engaging, and more meaningful design. This is a case study (or rather a story) of how we fell in love with a product on Kickstarter, identified the gaps in its brand identity, briefed ourselves to fix it, and created the perfect example of how we enrich tech products with design philosophy and a branding that don’t quit. It was fun to do, so we hope it’ll be fun to read about.
Almost a decade ago, a startup called BleepBleeps released standout parenting devices to help adults monitor kids’ healthy habits. They were pretty cool: anthropomorphized gadgets with bright designs and highly advanced technology to back them up. It was even accompanied by an app that tracked data to help identify patterns and offer advice. Mind you, the year was 2013, and the world didn’t have an app for every demand yet. When we stumbled upon BleepBleeps while looking for the next pet project, the attraction to the product they created was instant, but something felt off.
Who said good tech is enough to make it these days?
From Lily Loco, a cute pink gadget that tracked a child’s whereabouts, to Suzy Snooze, which could literally nurse a kid to sleep — the outstanding technology was there in the case of BleepBleeps. The products were user-friendly and seemed to be the perfect market fit. Unfortunately, cutting-edge features of a product don’t always make the user experience wholesome.
Our approach as a design studio is to always dig deeper. We know for a fact that there are ways to turn a high-tech product into a literal transformative experience that enhances the interaction. For this, we examine a product through the prism of user engagement rather than its direct functions. It quickly became clear that the social value of BleepBleeps was much higher than the brand probably envisioned.
Time to build a brand platform
We always encourage designers to look at the bigger picture to become more than just an added value with our concepts. First step — defining a brand platform, which might sound like a frightening bore to some, but:
- you literally can’t skip this step (sorry);
- it’s not as complicated as it seems; we have a tip.
The thing is, when you need to work with a product that’s already found its market fit and even some demand, all you have to do is just gain some perspective. Broaden your horizons and ask yourself: what emotions are associated with the product you’re working on? How does it influence consumer behavior? There are probably even feelings regarding the product — what are they? After assessing it, you can single out a clear message; the message is a brand platform.
Check out how it worked with BleepBleeps and us. Their initial slogan sounded like this: “Making parenting easier, one bleep at a time.”
It’s alright, catchy even; just a little superficial, like stating a simple fact instead of using the opportunity to share your philosophy. What we did was look into what BleepBleeps gadgets meant for both parents and children. After all, they created products for kids and were partially responsible for forming their taste. Isn’t great clever design exists to help children to adopt and develop visual culture from a very young age? If that’s not a mission, we don’t know what is.
So, the brand platform was there, and the value was determined. What came next was a good old hardcore design drill.
Now let’s get to formation
Hindsight alert! Nowadays, selecting a physical product lies online, so without a dope digital presence, a brand pretty much deprives itself of a chunk of consumers. The bright and colorful BleepBleeps products didn’t translate well online, so we started with the tools for superb visual communication.