November 2008. San Fernando. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Gonzalo is the owner of Darbo; a metal injection molding company inherited from his dad who started it in 1998. Ten years later, they grew massively. As a result, they employed more people. Also, they bought new machinery and built a whole new building. In 2005 the company got the ISO 9001:2000 certification. And because of that, they could now work with big firms.
However, this growth wasn’t easy: In 2002, an economic crisis in Argentina impacted Darbo, making it go near bankruptcy. Probably that made them even stronger.
At that time many of their clients didn’t know their story. And I’m not talking about the touching part of it. Both old and new customers were unaware of all the infinite crafting chances that Darbo could provide. Furthermore, their certification they got allowed big companies to sign contracts with them. However, this detail was still not very publicized.
All this time they had networked by word-of-mouth. But it was time to reach new potential clients. As a result, we got together to define a work plan that included both branding and a website.
If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.Zig Ziglar
First, we interviewed with Gonzalo to take notes about the history of the company. We wanted to make him verbalize his thoughts to know his goals.
Writing down his thoughts allowed us to understand the product and come up with a value proposition. Also, we ran our photo session not only to get high-quality images. But to become aware of the space.
It is fundamental to understand how a day in the life of your client works.
Regarding the website, we took care of managing hosting, domain, and all the perks. We all agreed this was priority number one at that moment. Because the company already had a logo, we built the branding guidelines around it. Furthermore, he already had a general idea of what he wanted. Most noteworthy, Darbo had recently moved to their new building. We made sure it was easy to find, so we created a 3d map of its new location.
The result was a static page with the focus on showing mostly the history of the company and its credentials.
Finally, once the website went online, it served as a reference and as part of building an online presence. The tone we used was very professional. Probably the downside of this approach was showing some coldness in the message conveyed. Soon we realized the website was not enough.
The brand needed to go to beyond formats to generate trust.
Gonzalo sat down with the team. And after talking about the future, we took a step down to the past. Before the website went online, Darbo spent ten years growing as a company without the need of any digital platform. How did that happen?
It was thanks to Gonzalo’s negotiating skills. All this time, finding random affinities helped him humanize the bonds with clients.
Consequently, the website soon resignified itself as a helping platform for his job. But not the main one. Now our emphasis leaned towards improving his reach out activities. We focused on providing our client tools to enhance his story.
Stationery was created to present at the meetings. Brochures captured the attention of customers during events. Business cards helped expand the network.
We put or focus on creating an emotional link with the clients. Not only from clarity but also from a shared interest. In conclusion, they needed more than a sales pitch. Soon we learned the clients were willing to see the machines at work. They wanted to hold the products in their hands.
By creating the website, we set a quick reference for contact. Future clients can now get additional learning about the benefits of the product.
Thinking fast and building shared understanding is key to narrow the distance between the client and the team.
Actions outside of our scope were needed if we wanted to achieve our business goal. At the same time, Darbo established itself as a serious brand, providing their users more than just a piece of metal.
It is especially pertinent to work on how to convey a good and trustworthy brand. As Zig Ziglar said: “if people trust you, they’ll do business with you.”
Fogelson, M. (2014, October 15). 4 Ways to Build Trust and Humanize Your Brand. Moz. Retrieved from https://moz.com/blog/4-ways-to-build-trust-and-humanize-your-brand
Spool, J. M. (2011, January 18). Understanding the Kano Model – A Tool for Sophisticated Designers. User Interface Engineering (UIE). Retrieved from https://articles.uie.com/kano_model/
Nielsen, J. (2012, January 16). Thinking Aloud: The #1 Usability Tool. Nielsen Norman Group. Retrieved from https://www.nngroup.com/articles/thinking-aloud-the-1-usability-tool/