They looked at me and laughed. They said it couldn’t be done, then whispered something about an ‘idiot.’
“A Hubspot website that doesn’t look like a Hubspot website? No chance mate, not in this lifetime,” they said. I can still hear them laughing.
Who are they, you might ask?
They are lots of people. Whole communities. Nations even. Family, friends, acquaintances, work colleagues, peers, people I share time with, people I try to avoid, and people I see everyday on my daily commute but have yet to say hello to. Possibly even you.
Such is the pervasive perception that all Hubspot websites are template driven; like numbered flats in an apartment block, different only through their wallpaper and furniture.
But the truth is that Hubspot is every bit as versatile as any other platform, and there are very probably many people out there who design, develop and revel in original, interesting and imaginative Hubspot websites. Thankfully we found a couple at our doorstep. These guys are the bomb. They shared the dream and brought our new digital home to life.
So what went into the blueprints? The foundations?
We started at the welcome mat. We asked ourselves, who do we want over? Who gets the invite to the moving-in party? Who gets the nod on the weekends? Who is welcome to drop by whenever suits? And when they get here, what would they like to do? What would they like to see? What would they enjoy? What kind of experience are they looking for? Are they beer or wine people? (Ok, admittedly that last one was just my excuse to stock our fridge with Celtic Warrior craft beer.)
We asked ourselves how could we be the perfect host? What could we do that’s the digital equivalent of a warm mug of coffee or a foot massage? Ok, that just got weird, let me put it another way - what marketing and sales challenges, goals and objectives can we help with?
This stuff is important to us. And not just because we’re nice guys. It’s important because if we can’t help you, then why would you make it your business to get in touch?
In other words we got under the skin of our target personas. We interviewed a few and their insights helped craft our plans…
#1 Don’t be boring
We typically engage with B2B marketing managers. Often seasoned pros. The kind of people who have seen it all before. Their bar is high and their tolerance for boring is low. And there is lots of boring stuff already out there on the internet. A lot of which B2B content marketing has to answer for. If you’re a marketing or brand manager, ‘boring’ is your kryptonite. ‘Boring’ is where brands go to die.
We want to invite over the kind of people who insist that their brand and their brand content stands out and is memorable. Talk is cheap. We had to prove it.
#2 Be different
So we threw around some ideas on how not to be boring. How to surprise people. We bounced around ideas, looking for compelling ways to express ourselves. We’re Squaredot. That’s a pretty visual name don’t you think? A lot of people smarter than me, say that really helps jog recall. So let’s play on that visual identity we thought…and what better contrast to highlight a square and a dot than a bed of triangles? And bring it all to life we said. Give it a third dimension. Make it living and breathing. Throw in some colour. Lots of colour. But be subtle. Very.
#3 Be generous
Throw in a few ‘easter eggs’ along the way; little rewards for exploring the site - rollovers, clicks, reveals…the works. Our developer played around with Hubspot’s COS and delivered an optimised responsive site that uses SVG & CSS animations, integrating original form styling and customised blog filtering. It’s the little things that make the difference. In life as well as in website design.
#4 Be considerate
Cut to the chase. Time is fast becoming non-negotiable. Everything else is up for grabs and open to compromise, but just don’t waste anybody’s time. Get to the point. Quickly. Say it as it is, in plain English throughout. We can’t expect to hold your interest if we talk industry jargon or empty words. (Because that’s boring.)
Ultimately, be something fresh, behave differently, be memorable and stand out. All the values we hold dear and all the reasons why we invite you to get in touch. If we end up collaborating on a content marketing project, brilliant…if not, no worries.
We delighted with our new website and branding, so much so, that we approached Hubspot to see if they would help us promote our spanking new identity. Hubspot were only too happy to oblige and our site still stands proud near the top of their designer inspiration blog. Indeed our site's best in class mobile optimsation was also featured on another Hubspot blog. Other agencies have taken notice and referenced our site as "one epic website" (thanks Shelly Media Arts!) and it's been featured in influencial blogs like Business to Community.
So have a nosey around our site, all the doors are open and you’re more than welcome. Say hello. We might not be able to offer you an actual cup of tea or coffee (or a foot massage) but nobody leaves empty handed. It wouldn’t feel right if you left without a goodie bag. Something to remember us by. So feel free to take home a copy of our B2B Content Creation Masterclass with you.