How does Amazon develop branding for a new category? Just like any of their offerings; with a systematic product-proven process (say that 10 times fast!). Amazon's next big thing was entering the online education space and I was tasked with shepherding the books marketing team through the processes of creating a brand.
Brand Director: John Preskitt
Once established, I handed things off to Amazon's design team to produce all branding tactics.
Phase One: Brand Framework
We confirmed Amazon Education, or codename Soju, as the the "most helpful" online course offering. I established a branding framework for what helpful learning will look like on the world's largest online store.
This model established core brand definitions, most importantly our guiding "north star", the positioning statement.
Phase Two: Brand Design Sprint
That's right, they do BRAND DESIGN sprints at Amazon. Yup, just like Google's GV sprint for digital products, Amazon wanted to "experiment" and apply this model to traditional branding brainstorms. Here we go!
• Intro / Icebreaker 9:30–10:00
• Mission Statement 10:45–11:45
• Naming :30 mins 12:45–1:45
• Colors :60 mins 1:30–3:00
• Warmup 9:30–10:00
• Illustrations 9:45–11:00
• Naming Part II 1:00–1:30
• Voice and Tone 2:00–3:00
• Naming Part III 9:45–10:00
• Logos 10:45–11:15
• Tagline 12:30–1:15
• Icons 1:30–2:15
Phase Three: User Testing
With a successful brand design sprint done, we took our generated ideas, which leadership approved 👍, and evaluated what real people thought!
The "Grain shading" is the recommendation for illustration. The "Electric" palette is the recommendation for color.
This illustration style gives a hand-crafted feel amongst a vast digital experience and the darker tones of the "Electric" palette quiet the experience making it more helpful to learning.
Contour grain shading
Brand key visual
Establishing brand structure, expression and design was done.
My role as a consulting brand director, testing a design sprint process, managing user testing, and directing the team in collaborating on a new brand design was a success!