Chapters & Episode Notes
0:00 – Intro
1:42 – When to Start Branding: Tips for Solopreneurs and Bootstrappers
7:50 – Branding Strategies: How Can Entrepreneurs and Product Makers Avoid Common Mistakes?
13:44 – Crafting a Unique Brand Identity: Importance of Market Research for Better Results
19:53 – Unlocking Product-Market Fit with Powerful User Stories: Insights from Elementor’s Branding Approach
23:24 – Scaling Your Brand: Adapting to New Markets and Meeting Customer Segments
27:34 – Rebranding After Acquisition: Finding the Balance Between Strength and Distinction
34:23 – Creating Cohesive Brand Messaging: Aligning the Appearance and Soul of Your Brand
39:22 – Future of Branding in WordPress: Embracing AI and Personalization for Consistency and Evolution
43:43 – Outro
Hadas: There’s a guy named Chris that is right now working for Elemento. He has a tattoo of Elementor’s logo. If we change the logo, he will kill us.
Patrick: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of plugin.fm, a podcast that dives into the stories of entrepreneurs and makers to learn from their experiences and uncover valuable lessons that you can put into practice in your own business journey. My name is Patrick Rolland, and today I’m talking with Hadas Gulzaker, senior brand manager at Elementor.
Hadas brings more than a decade of experience in the world of branding with expertise in UI/UX and web design. It also has worked for Elementor for five years. She started as a web creator in the Elementor community, she did tutorials and webinars for the YouTube channel, she created the employer branding for their headquarters in Israel, and for the past two and a half years, she’s worked on the global branch for Elementor, creating brand campaigns, organizing global brand events, and working on the branding process inside the company in her day-to-day. And I think it’s fair to say that Elementor’s unique visual assets, from the pink logo with complementary pastels to playful images and illustrations, have made it instantly recognizable in the digital space.
Today, we’re going to look at why products need branding and why technical founders, entrepreneurs, and bootstrappers shouldn’t overlook or underestimate its power in shaping a company’s future. I’d also be sharing her experiences and observations with us from the early stages of a product idea through launch and growth. Hadas, thanks for taking the time to join us today.
Hadas: Thank you for having me here, so happy.
Patrick: Awesome, and yes, we just arranged your background, and I love the visual background. It looks great.
Hadas: Yeah, thank you so much. It’s the Elementor pink, you know. It’s our brand.
Patrick: It’s iconic. So the first thing I want to do, I think there’s an assumption in the maker space that like branding is for big companies, and now Elementor is a bigger company, right? I think, you know, for people who are just getting started, they think, “We’ll get to branding later. We have a logo. We’ll get to branding later.” When should solopreneurs and bootstrappers think about branding in the journey?
Hadas: So that’s a good question because Elementor didn’t start as a big company, right? We started as five people. It wasn’t big. We didn’t have a lot of websites. So I believe that the developing part of the product is actually the part when you start considering the brand, even if you don’t know that. I mean, when you start developing a product, you think of somebody. You need to, you know, solve a problem or some kind of a situation, and this is why you’re developing a product. Basically, you have a target audience already that you’re developing a product for them, right? So the branding part starts there. This is the first seed that you plant. And then the idea here is how to develop it later on with the users that you start developing the product for still in mind. So the first thing to do is to define the target audience who use this product, what are their needs, start to research about them, and see how you can make your brand appealing to them. So it’s not just, you know, answering a problem because you’re one of a kind, that’s for sure, but how do you create differentiation? How does your brand stand out? Why should people choose you, other companies, and stuff like that? So after you’re doing your research and know your target audience, this is the time that you start building your brand mission and your vision and other values that differentiate your brand from others in the market. So this is basically the first few steps of the bread that you need to consider in the beginning, but the next step will be to create your brand story. So this is where the promise is. You have a promise for your target audience, and the brand story is how you tell the story and tell them about your promise. And this is kind of, if you think of it like a kind of a girl that you want to invite, right? So you need to do the first move. So you have an idea in your head. There are a lot of people next to you that maybe are hotter, cooler, whatever, but you’re the one. You’re the one for her, right? So you need to do the first move. This is your brand story. This is how you do it. You start with your pick-up line and know where she’s hanging out, know what you like, right? And this is how you get the girl. This is how you get your target audience with a pick-up line. This is actually that brand story. So these are the first few steps that everybody is doing, but they don’t really know they’re doing it. This is part of the developing of the product, but the brand is already inside. The main thing here is to remember who are your users, who are your audience, the target audience, and don’t forget them because these are the people that will actually buy your product later.
Patrick: Yeah, I well, first of all, I love that visual. Being in, like, a bar or something, and there’s like a lot of people, and how do you stand out? How do you make the best impression? Because that other person can only go on a date with one person, let’s say, right? Like, you can only go on, they can only try one software at a time.
Patrick: So you need to be the best. You can’t be the second best or third best. You need to be the best so you get picked. Yeah, I love that visual. I love that. And I think I agree with you that, basically, branding starts as soon as you pick a target audience. So, if your target audience is really advanced users, then even silly things like your logo can look more advanced or the website can be more advanced and can speak to those advanced user problems. And of course, if your target market is beginners, then you don’t want to go in a different direction. Love that.
Patrick: So let me just ask this because we do have a lot of makers who listen to this. Is this like, do you start branding with almost like just a little bit of branding, and you just keep filling it in over time? It’s like you start with, like, a skeleton of like, here’s the bones of what we do, and then we’re gonna fill in all the, you know, the muscles and the skin and the other details later?
Hadas: Yeah, so you have kind of a structure at the beginning. So, the vision, the promise, the values, this is something that you start with, okay? So you know what your product’s supposed to solve, right? This is your vision and your promise. I’m promising my target audience that this is how I will help them. So this is something that is at the very beginning of the brand strategy. This is how you build it; you’re setting guidelines that are the structure of the brand strategy. And then, after you have the idea, you have the values and everything, then you start creating the design on top of it. Because you can say a few stuff, but if I’m saying, for example, let’s just throw words in the air, for example, I’m saying “high tech.” Okay, so we have something in your head with a specific color, specific logo. Or if I’m saying, let’s say, “Carpenter” here, you have a specific logo, so specific design. It’s something completely different than “high tech,” right? So this is something that you keep in mind. This is the psychology of design that you combine inside your brands when you’re building the brand strategy. So you have the brand strategy, you have your values, everything inside, and then you cover it with a right design or something that will pop up your values, your mission, your purpose, your brand story. The design should help the brand story and not be just, you know, pretty. It’s not that, right?
Patrick: They should be complimentary.
Patrick: So, let me maybe, I think maybe the way to think about this is: what are, I think it’s hard to think about how to do brand strategy, right? So maybe it’s easier to think about, like, what are mistakes people make with brand strategy, especially for solopreneurs and bootstrappers, and how do you avoid those mistakes? Maybe that’s the angle to look at this through.
Hadas: Yeah, so I think the most common mistake is the desire to be somebody that you’re not. There’s kind of a trend in the tech world where people really want to be Apple or, you know, similar companies with a strong and memorable branding. But you need to think of it, does it really serve your values of your own product? Does it truly differentiate you from the others? If you want to be somebody that you’re not, probably you’re not differentiating yourself from other companies, and this is a really, really, really big mistake here because, as we said before, you need to be appealing and you need to do the pickup line and why are you number one, right? So this is why you don’t need to be like somebody else; you need to think of your own company, your own values, how you take it out and how you be different from everybody else. You can see it in many cases in the WordPress sphere if we’re talking about WordPress, right? So, just like, let’s take it from the design perspective, there’s a lot of companies in the WordPress sphere that use blue, purple, black colors, right? How many of those did you see? So, for Elementor, for example, we’re using pink, we’re using multiple bold colors, we are, you know, multicolored. We have six main colors. So this is something different. I can see it whenever we’re attending WordCamp, for example, our booth always stands out because we’re so pink. There’s like a pink dot in the center, who cannot notice that, you know? And so this is something, you know, just a minor thing in design perspective that you can use and not be like everybody else. The other thing is to try to narrow your brand message so it will be simple, clear, and very accurate. Not very complex. A lot of products use a lot of big words or, you know, long sentences for their brand message. Their brand message should be short, simple, accurate. So it’s not difficult for the user to understand what they want, you know? So keep your brand message clear, simple, and most importantly, memorable. For example, Elementor messaging: “Build your future.” That’s it. Three words. Simple sentence shows our company vision in a very clear way, talk about the product. It’s building its future. It’s very easy.
Patrick: So let me start with the part I definitely get is I definitely get you don’t want to be someone else and I agree with that. And that applies to trying to find a date, and that also applies to trying to find your target marketers. You don’t want to be someone else; you should define who you are, yeah? So in real life, you know, maybe I think I’m funny, or I think I’m this, or I think I’m that, that’s fine. But in business, like, do you try to put those attributes into your branding, and also where do you draw the line and say, our brand is, you know, the brand is different than the owner?
Hadas: Yeah, and we’re touching a point, a point here for the brand Persona. This is something that develops throughout the time so brand Persona is something a bit different when you start and collecting, you know, research about your target audience, and you have your values and everything else that we already talked about, this is when you start talking about buyer personas, who are your targets, who are the people that will actually buy the product. So you can do it, and you know, demographic way and information about interests, goals, etc., and then you start collecting information on where these people are hanging out, what are the slang are they’re in, social media challenge, specific one maybe, and then after you do this research, you start building your brand tone and identity. Here you start speaking in your target audience’s language, for example, there’s a tone of voice. You start, you know, in the design way, your stuff looking to do the look and feel of the product in a way that will appeal to your target audience. You start acting and talking like them, so you’ll be part of the family, part of the community they have already. For example, at Elementor, our audience at the beginning were Freelancers, so we talked in this in a way for Freelancers. Our tagline was the number one page builder, so this is something that is very approachable for Freelancers. They don’t need something else; it’s a page builder, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a plugin, that’s about it. But when the target audience evolved and started being more professional and asked for more stuff and they actually understand that they can build, you know, business on top of Elementor, we realize that we need to change too. We need to evolve, we need to change our brand strategy a little bit but still keep in mind, you know, these are the same people that we started with, they just evolved. So this is why we need to evolve as well. So our tagline, for example, changed to “Create a website, design your future.” So this is a bit different, you think of a whole thing, it’s a platform already, it’s not just a baby Builder, it’s not just a feature, it’s something that you can build off, it’s something that will create your future, your work, stuff like that, and it’s a bit different thinking here.
Patrick: I love that, yeah. So you or you’ve already eased into my next question, so we’re all done reading my mind there. Well done! Yeah, that was great, that was great, perfect. I don’t even need to segue. So I will ask a follow-up, okay, so a lot of people that I’ve talked to on the show have built a product based on their own needs. They had a client, they needed X, then they realized that they could build that plug-in, software as a solution, whatever, and then sell it to everyone else, which is great, that’s incredible. But it means you might not necessarily do user interviews. You know that you need the solution, but you don’t really know who these other people are. Do you, for branding purposes, think it’s important to do research and like to get on interviews and call these people, do surveys, all the, how do you, again, I think a lot of people use their intuition, which is great, to make a product. But then, for you to do good branding, should you also be doing more market research than you might need for a beta, like for an alpha version of your product?
Hadas: Yeah, I guess at the beginning, you have a hunch. You can’t really know. You can do research, you can ask people, who can call somebody, you can do whatever. But you need, you know, just to put the hook inside, see if something catches at the beginning. And after you have the brand message, the design, and everything inside, you’re sending it to the world and see the reaction. If direction is great, people are loving it, well, you did a good job. And if not, you need to change gradually and see what worked better, what didn’t work. And this is all about the evolving thing. The evolving here for branding is very, very, very important because you see that sometimes you do stuff in branding that are just not working, and it’s fine. This is how you learn the best because when you fall, this is how you know what you did wrong, you know how to not do that again, and you learn a lot from your audience. So I’m really hoping that everybody will follow the beginning because this is like the shortest fall here because after you have like, you know, tons of audience and you do something that is not very cool for them, then the fall is really big. I can give you a good example for the rebranding that we did here, okay? A few years ago, we did a rebranding for Elementor, and we changed from the colors from pink and burgundy, and we had a kind of a purple thing which added six colors, and one of them was orange, okay? And then the reaction that we got from the community was terrible. They actually compare us to McDonald’s. We had a video on our community channel. Ben, our formal spokesman for Elementor, talked about it and showed reactions from our community. “What happened to Elementor, why are they looking like McDonald’s, what’s going on with them?” And we could like, you know, take it back and change it back to pink and purple and burgundy like we used to be, but we decided to keep it because we thought it serves our values the best. And this is something that you need to keep in mind, even though the reaction is not very good in the beginning, and you know, I’m saying not very good in minor words, but if the reaction is not very good, you need to understand that this is not something bad. Maybe it’s something that people just need to get used to, maybe it was happening too fast. So this is something that you can learn from, to do it gradually, to change should gradually. For example, this time when we change the editor, we start doing it gradually. We didn’t do it, you know, in one take and that’s it. So the reaction was calmer this time. It wasn’t very difficult like last time. So this is something that you need to keep in mind. So if you’re doing something, try to think of the worst-case scenario. Is it that bad or you can learn from it and, you know, develop later?
Patrick: So I think I take away a different point than I think the point you’re trying to convey to me. The point I just took away is you should get all of your branding mistakes, mistakes out of the way early because I think naturally people get used to a thing, you know if I like my, I love the color purple so like my personal blog is in purple and if I ever switch to orange, people might complain, you know, or people who’ve been reading for a long time might complain. All right, so really it’s you should do as much branding up front as possible and experiment different colors and logos and whatever, experiment with all that, see what the reaction is and get it to a good place because then you hopefully want to change it five years down the line and then people complain that you look like McDonald’s or whatever. Crazy, love it, okay. So when it comes to branding, I think the WordPress world is very blue, you’re right, WordPress is just very blue, like almost every brand. And then of course, wordpress.com is blue, and there’s a couple of other very blue ones. If I had to brand something from scratch, what I would probably do personally is include a little bit of, you know, just like a little bit of blue in it, just to tie into the WordPress world. But I do want to focus on what makes me unique and what, right, I love purple or I love this color, I love that color, I love these shapes, right? And I love appealing to this target user. That is definitely what I’d focus on. And I think anything that’s left, I would maybe see about fitting in the WordPress world.
Hadas: Yeah, I need to think of your anchors, what you know is something that the users used to see in, you know, and that the experience is something that I used to do and leave that because this is the most difficult thing. But think, think how you can pop out, you know. So if I’m talking about the pink again, so this is something that pops it out. But, for example, our product, you know, acts as WordPress, they know the dashboard, it’s something that’s familiar, so the learning curve is really, really easy. So they don’t need to adjust everything, you know, from the very beginning.
Patrick: Yeah, very cool. So I did want to talk, so I think the key points that a lot of our listeners are, I don’t want to say stuck on, but are focusing on is product-market fit, right? So it’s, are you making a solution that people want to buy and there’s value in there and they want to buy from you and you want to sell to them, that’s product-market fit, yeah? So is there something that branding can help with to help people find that product-market fit?
Hadas: Yeah, sure. So brands can help a lot in this situation. For example, one of Elementor’s values is investigating, meaning we always try to improve ourselves. So it only makes sense that the product and the brand strategy will evolve as well and will stay relevant at all times. So another way to communicate with this is to start to talk with our community members, with our, you know, the web creators that are using Elementor. We call it in the branding area, we call it UGC, user-generated content. So this is something that everybody knows as testimonials. So with Elementor, I took this project and I took it from a different perspective. It’s a more documentary point of view, so this is what I try to do there. So I call it user stories. Because when we started to do those user stories, I’m not calling interviews because of that. I start investigating people from our community and ask them about their life, what are they doing day to day, you know, what are they actually doing, what is their work, they get up in the morning, what are you doing? So the stories were amazing. I found out stories that blew my mind, you know, stuff that they told me that ever since Elementor got in their life, they changed their life completely. For example, there’s a woman that I interviewed that she talked about how Elementor is not just building websites; it’s changing a woman’s future, for example. This is what she believed. Or, for example, a couple that starts creating tutorials and builds a YouTube channel, and they’re now influencers because of Elementor. They start building tutorials full Elementary; it’s a whole job description right now. So they’re not just brand advocates, it’s something more than that. It’s their story, their emotion inside. So this is something that can actually help to achieve product-market fit and start to evolve when you gain attraction. And I think, of course, you need a good product, first thing, but after you have the good product, people will actually want to talk about it. And this is more, you know, than every fancy production with, you know, high production value that costs a shitload of money, sorry, my language, but it’s much more because at the end of the day, when you want to buy something, you’re not calling a salesman, you’re calling your friend to tell you if this product works or not, if it’s valuable, and this is it. This is the friends, that’s it.
Patrick: I love all this, and I’m a huge advocate for user research. I find that we don’t, if I had to criticize one thing about our industry, it’s that we don’t do enough talking with our users just to really understand how our products are affecting their lives, and I love that you did that. Okay, so I think branding can be nebulous, and it’s like, what am I really paying for? Are you just changing the color from purple to pink? But if you can look at branding through the lens of you’re doing all the customer research, you’re getting user stories from people, you’re understanding how the product is, they’re not like, you know, you’re not doing user testing where you’re seeing which buttons they’re clicking, you’re not doing very technical things, you’re just really understanding how the product fits into someone’s life, that to me seems valuable, and I’m probably willing to, like, spend, you know, hire someone to do all that user research. Do you feed all that information back into the product process? Is there a loop or a cycle there?
Hadas: Of course, we’re hearing our community all the time. We’re very, you know, connected to our community. It’s one of our values. This is how we grew up here, so yeah, of course, one of them is like, you know, we have localization groups that we’re connecting with them, part of their community groups that are part of our focus group, they’re, you know, helping out developing the product, we’re getting all kinds of information every time we’re releasing a beta. So this is something the community also talks about. We have lots of touchpoints here and there with the people that actually use the product. And yeah, of course, it all, it’s kind of a wheel here. We’re talking to them, they’re talking to us, and we’re improving, they’re approving, it’s like, you know, working together for us.
Patrick: Love that, it’s fantastic. I like hearing there’s a lot of iteration. It’s good. So there’s product-market fit, and then once you clear that hurdle, I think the next level is scaling, right? And with scaling, you’re usually expanding into new markets and maybe meeting new customer segments that you didn’t really target before. So when you’ve gotten past product-market fit and you’re scaling, how can branding be adapted to address the needs of a new market? Right, you’re not just talking to a freelancer anymore, you’re talking to an agency owner, right, or something like that. How does branding change?
Hadas: So I can give a good example for that. For Elementor, as you said at the beginning, we used to talk to freelancers mostly, maybe small businesses, but mostly freelancers. That was the very beginning. But right now, we have small businesses, medium enterprises, all kinds. We have more than 13 million websites right now, so that’s a lot of people counting on us every small change. So people actually build business on that on Elementor. So we need to keep it in mind. We can’t change everything without letting them know, for example, yeah, at the beginning, we had feature lists whenever it was ready, and we didn’t have a date for that. We just released it. We did a video for that, just with the headlines, maybe a blog post, something like that, but not something, you know, just a minor thing to keep them updated, that’s about it. But now, because they have business on top of it and they need to build their roadmap for the next year, they need to understand what’s going on with Elementor. Are they building something new? Are they evolving or not? What’s going on? So right now, we start doing a roadmap every quarter so our web creators will understand what is expected for the next quarter, the next year, or something like that, and they can adjust their business on top of the feature list they are planning. For example, right now, we have the AI, so the AI is something that they can actually put inside a business proposal or something like that, and they actually get a plan from then a few months before we actually release it. They know what to expect, so the learning curve later will be much easier because they know what’s going on, they know the platform, and they just need to see maybe a tutorial or something like that for a few minutes to understand how to technically work with it, but that’s about it. It’s very easy. So yeah, it’s something that you keep in mind because right now, there’s a lot of people counting on us on everything, so we can’t ignore it.
Patrick: Yeah, I guess let me re-ask a question. So if you are going from, and maybe it’s like you’re selling something for software for authors, and now you’re selling not just to authors, but you’re also selling to musicians, those feel like two very different groups, yeah? And you’ve changed the software in some way that makes sense for musicians now. Would you ever reconsider doing your branding, or would you just kind of keep the same? Would you keep the same branding?
Hadas: So I’ll keep the same branding, but I will probably change a little bit of it according to, you know, what’s going on outside, in terms of logo, something like, like let me give you just a small example. There’s a guy named Chris, this is right now working for Elementor. He used to be a community manager. He has a tattoo of Elementor’s logo. If we would change the logo, it will kill us. No, but seriously, but the logo is something that you don’t change unless it’s something that you know you didn’t consider that you’re gonna be globally, or, you know, if you’re coming to a new country, that’s a cursing word, or I don’t know, something like that, then you change your look, that’s fine. But there are anchors that you don’t change. For Elementor, it’s like the logo, the pink color, the connection for the community. These are stuff that are anchors for Elementor brand, so these are not gonna change at all. But we can change all the stuff that covers it, for example, the extra colors that we add, maybe the fonts that we change, or, you know, how we talk to people right now, it’s a bit different. So yeah, the messaging is a bit different because people are more professionals, not just freelancers. It’s a bit different also. So you’re changing the cover, you’re not changing the core, and that’s the main issue here.
Patrick: Cool, I like that. Change the cover, not the core. Yeah, okay, so we were just touching on my next question. Is there an opportunity to shake things up every once in a while? And part of me is thinking, you know, it’s Black History Month, or it’s Women’s Month, and like, do you change your color scheme or is there an opportunity for that in branding to show who you are, or is it just almost always better to be consistent? And I’m not just talking about special days or special months, but are there opportunities for the opportunity to shake up your brand?
Hadas: Yeah, you just need to see what’s going on in the market for now, what’s going on with your target audience, how they talk, if they change or not. But there’s always room for difference, for evolving and changing, you know, colors and design and whatever. But you need to think again, what is the core? Because if you’re changing something that is the strength of your brand, this is where you’re doing something wrong. Because if you’re gonna change something that is the strength of your brand and then people will start, you know, leaving, that’s it, because they liked it and you change it, nobody likes to, somebody is, you know, moving their cheese right now. So you don’t want to do that. You need to understand what is the strength and where you don’t need to do anything because it’s working. You’re not changing something that is working, this is like a ground rule. But if you see that some things didn’t work well or maybe the font is not very readable, okay, something like that, this is something that you can change. Or maybe you can do, kind of, I don’t know, the messaging is not very, you know, precise, maybe the wording here can be changed a little bit, so this is something that you can change. But anyway, think of the core here, what you need to pay attention to, the strengths, the strength, sorry, of the brand before you change anything.
Patrick: Fantastic, and focus on your strengths. So I’m thinking of a bad branding decision in streaming, so specifically HBO’s parent company merged with Discovery. I’m probably getting the names wrong, and there is a streaming platform called HBO Max, and it was renamed to just Max, I think. It’s a weird decision because I think HBO is a stronger brand, you know, but companies merge and companies get acquired all the time. So my question for you is if a product is acquired, is there an opportunity for a rebrand? Is that a good thing to do, or should you almost like if you get acquired, keep the existing brand and try to stay distinct from your parent company?
Hadas: That’s a good question. I think, like when you’re acquired, it’s a bit different because you need to understand who is the stronger brand here, because you want to be connected to a strong brand for sure. But people actually chose you and bought your brand because it stands out. So this is something that you need to keep in mind as well, you don’t need to lose it, you don’t need to throw it away because a bigger brand bought it, so that’s fine. But if your brand is not part of the big brand and you know, starts being just one company and there’s still two companies, you need to think of what differentiates you from the bigger brand, how you’re gonna be popping out, this is something that is really important. Don’t lose yourself here, so think of those stuff, yeah.
Patrick: I’m just thinking about this HBO Max thing, and HBO is clearly stronger than HBO Max, which is a brand new brand. Yeah, so then to get rid of HBO and just be Max, they’re ignoring your advice here, which is focus on the stronger brand. Because I don’t have examples off the top of my head, but I know there are companies that have acquired smaller companies but have way better branding, and then they take on the name of the company they acquired because it has that name recognition, even though that company is acquired by another bigger company, but it just, yeah, focus on the stronger brand, obviously.
Hadas: For sure, but don’t forget yourself as well, yeah, that’s it, just a thing of if the brand, if the company starts being one company, so you need, that’s a different issue, but if it’s just like two different companies, don’t forget yourself, you’re yes a reason for people to buy your brand, your company, so you need to keep it in mind, you’re still strong, your brand is strong, so don’t lose it.
Patrick: So speaking of a brand being strong, I think it’s harder with language, with messaging, right? How do you align, you know, like how do you make sure that your color pink is aligned with your messaging, that it’s changing the world or building your future, I think was your tagline? How do you connect those and make them cohesive? Because I think that’s really hard, and is that a job for like one person or is that a team of people who make it cohesive?
Hadas: Yeah, so that’s a really great question. So I’m gonna compare it to a person, okay? So we have the colors, the logo, this is the appearance, right? But we have the soul inside, and the soul is like the tone of voice. This is something a bit different, this is the identity. So there’s a team of people that work in different departments, for example, we have the sales, we have the CX, we have the hosting, the Elementor hosting, we have the plugin, the editor, all different departments talk in a certain way. Right? If I’m doing a marketing campaign, for example, I will talk in a certain way, and not the same as CX for support, right? The sales part will be more salesy, campaigning by here, by there, whatever, but the support here, the CX will talk about how to help you out and be, you know, something that will come with me, I will show you something like that, the tone is a bit different but the language and the phrases inside are supposed to be the same. For example, if we’re talking about Elemental hosting, we’re not going to say like cloud or you know just posting or WordPress something, I don’t know, the phrase is supposed to be the same, the appearance to the target audience, to a web creator, is supposed to be seamless, because if they’re seeing an ad or talking to a support person or using the editor or in our Elemental hosting or something like that, the approach to the specific web creator is supposed to be the same, it should be eye-leveling, you know, a bit cheeky, this is how our tone of voice is. We’re not gonna be, you know, stuck up and something like this because this is the support and they are more technical, I don’t know, so it’s supposed to be kind of, you know, default kind of way. There’s like a brand guideline for the tone of voice, how we’re approaching a web creator, what are we saying, what are the specific phrases that we’re using, internal and external. The tone of voice here inside the company is the same when we talk about products, we’re talking about the same phrases, we can’t call it in a different way because this is something that is learned from the inside, if the team is not talking in these phrases and this tone of voice, you can’t do it outside. So it starts from the company, from the team talking the same language, and then when we take it outside, it can be, you know, in a different tone because it’s me or somebody else, but the language will be the same. So that’s the main issue here.
Patrick: Yeah, getting language and I think I would use the word messaging. I don’t know if I’m using it incorrectly in this context.
Hadas: That’s the thing, it’s also good.
Patrick: Yeah, because messaging is, these are the features we’re talking about, where we’re saving people time. We’re not saving them money or like, you agree on terms that are important for your product, and even if people use them in slightly different ways, different copywriters, different support agents, etc., at least if you agree the top three features of our product are saving time, double booking meetings.
Hadas: It’s great consistency despite the slight differences, you know, in the tone or the person that actually says it.
Patrick: Yeah, fantastic, and does a team of people work on like this messaging? So, in previous companies, I was a product marketer and that was my job was to come up with those specific messaging frameworks, and then you would hand it off to a copywriter who would do more of the work.
Hadas: Yeah, so we had a brand yield here that built actually a doc of how we’re talking as Elementor. So, we took copywriters, product marketing people that are talking in the community, all kinds of touchpoints that connect with our audience, and every one of them gave issues or stuff they’re dealing with so we can know how to align with the tone of voice for everybody, and everybody will talk in the same language, the Elemental language, despite the differences in the departments.
Patrick: Did you call that Elemental language?
Patrick: I like it. What nerds.
Hadas: New language, I have to say.
Patrick: That’s good. I like it. So, the last big question here is looking ahead, how do you foresee branding evolving within the WordPress ecosystem for both plugins and themes? Are there any new strategies or trends that are coming out that product makers should be aware of?
Hadas: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of them. I think the most common thing right now, I’m gonna say buzzword AI, I don’t know if you heard about that, that’s, uh, something, I don’t know, just popped in my mind anyway. Everybody is talking about AI, right? AI here, right there. I have an eye, okay? So yeah, Elementor has AI too, but I think the thing here that is new is that the AI here is how we make it approachable and easy to use in our product for web creators. So I think this is gonna be the next step for WordPress. It’s gonna be the AI and how to implement it, you know, in a brand way in the product. For example, our AI is in the product and it works in a seamless way. It’s inside and they know how to use the editor. It’s something that we thought of when we did it, when we put it inside, how the learning curve will be easier, and the design of the editor will stay the same and will not be changed, and what web creators need from AI. Not everybody needs, you know, mid-journey or stuff like that. They need something simpler, or they just need it for content or whatever. So the AI specifically comes in touchpoints in the products. So this is something that is a bit like Elementor’s way to see AI.
The other thing, less technical but still technical, is the personalization. I think when we’re going far away from AI that is so technical and high-end and machines and you know, stuff like that, I think the person and their preferences are really critical here. We need to give web creators, our target audience, however you want to call it, the opportunity to choose the functionality, the appearance, their preferences, the way they like it, that they want to use it. For example, in Elementor hosting websites, our hosting environment, you can pick whatever you want. You can pick either to start with a kit that will help you out with the first step, or you can start from scratch. It’s your call, but it’s okay. You can change it later if you picked something and you didn’t like it. This is the personalization thing here. You can change it the way you want it, the way you need it, there is no pressure at all, and everything is according to your preferences at all times. So I think, in two words, it’s consistency and evolving. So it’s always like to keep an eye on what’s going outside, how do I evolve, and how my brand is evolving, you know, accordingly. Don’t lose yourself as I said before; identity is really important, so be consistent and take, you know, small steps every time. Don’t do it in one time. Consistency, evolving, AI, and the personalization, these are the main things here.
Patrick: I love it! I appreciate that you said two opposite words, which are consistency and evolving. So yeah, nice and but I think it’s the world we live in, but it’s also confusing, but you know because you have to, you have to really choose how do I want to stay consistent and how do I want to evolve.
Hadas: Yeah, it’s very complex but yet simple. Yeah, it’s always like that.
Patrick: Love it. Hadas, thank you so much for being on our show and sharing your insights.
Hadas: Yeah, thank you for having me. It was so fun, let’s do it again.
Patrick: Perfect, and thanks to our listeners for tuning in. If you enjoyed this episode, hit the like button and subscribe to trick the internet into directing its algorithms to our YouTube channel. If you’re on the plugin.fm website, be sure to hit the subscribe button for early bird access to our future content, or just share the episode on all of your social media accounts so we can help entrepreneurs like you in their journeys too. plugin.fm is brought to you by Freemius, your all-in-one eCommerce partner for selling software plugins, themes, and software as a service. If you’re struggling to grow your plugin revenue, send a note to [email protected] to get free advice from Freemius’s monetization experts. My name is Patrick Rauland and thanks for listening to plugin.fm.