The Surprising Connection Between Carrots, Branding & Product Design

By Boaz Rozenberg

The humble carrot. Not only is it rich in Vitamin A and K, but it is a great way of opening this discussion of branding. Because carrots may be the first (perhaps only!) vegetable to ever participate in the branding of a nation.

 

The humble carrot as an example of branding.

The branding of Holland through orange carrots may or may not be an urban legend, but here’s the story. Once upon a time, carrots came in a wide range of colors. There were purple carrots, white carrots, and yellow ones. Then, in the 1500s, farmers in Holland began cultivating orange carrots as a way of honoring William of Orange, the Dutch royal family. Orange carrots became dominant, and the rest of the colors went by the wayside. Today, though orange carrots are no longer connected with Dutch royalty, they are certainly the most common carrot color around.

What Carrots Teach Us About Branding

While the example of orange carrots is a great place to start, the branding (of a country or product) goes beyond color. Branding is how a company goes about nurturing perceptions of itself, its products and its services. Branding strives to reflect a product’s values, give it superpowers, and apply these superpowers to the people who use the product.

Finding your brand

Finding your brand starts with company soul-searching in order to determine your company’s place in the market. If you’re a coffee shop, for example, you want to think about what kind of coffee shop you are. Are you a high-end coffee shop, with fancy blends and expensive concoctions? Are you a back-to-basics coffee shop, with low prices and speedy service? Are you a coffee shop that caters to university students and offers free wifi and unlimited refills? Or do you cater to families with kids, and have a secure play area for toddlers?

Regardless of the industry, your company is filling a niche. Defining that niche and identifying your key values is the first step in finding your brand.

Communicating your brand internally

Once you’ve determined what’s distinct about your brand, you need to get company employees onboard. Everyone needs to understand the brand value and work to support them.

Every employee needs to become a brand ambassador, and reflect the brand values in everything that they do. This includes both written and verbal communications as well as in the tone of the communications, the fonts that are used, the colors and more.   

Branding at Duda

Here at Duda, we’ve been thinking a lot about who we are over the past few months. What are our company values? Who are the people we want to serve?

We’ve come up with a variety of values we want our website builder to fill. By working hard to fulfil these values, we strive to give our customers real reasons to work with us.

Brand values here at Duda include the following:

  • Speed: Enable professional website builders to build websites quickly.
  • Flexible: Make it easy to customize every part of every site (for example, access to CSS and HTML).
  • Beautiful: Enable professional website builders to build gorgeous sites.
  • Innovative: Release new features and capabilities often, so our customers are always ahead of the curve.
  • Professional: Provide management features such as a white label editor, roles and permissions, folders and more, and be a one-stop shop that provides everything you need to build great sites (eCommerce, blog, domain purchasing, etc).

Our entire team works together to fill these values, improving and updating everything from the tools we provide for managing multiple websites to the frequency with which we update the platform. We know that if we want to fulfill expectations of our brand, we need to stay focused on fulfilling our brand values.  

A few cases in point

There have been dozens of product changes here at Duda over the past several months, and we’ve got many more planned for the future. Here is a sample of them, to give you an idea of how our product changes are geared towards filling our brand values.

The new Duda responsive editor

Released in December 2016, the new editor was the product of several months of product design and development, all of which were geared at building a website builder that would enable professional website builders to build beautiful, customized websites for their customers quickly and easily.

The editor serves these goals on a variety of levels. The consistent UI means you don’t have to think twice about how to do things. This reduces the learning curve and speeds up the website building process. The tag-based widget search makes it faster to find widgets; the new color picker enables speedier color selection:  Global Style settings makes it faster to build beautiful sites. The new builder also ensures that the websites you build load more quickly, which is of utmost importance these days.

The new editor makes it easy to build amazing websites at scale.

The new Image Picker – Not just eye candy

Released in May 2017, the new Image Picker makes it easier and faster to find and upload images and GIFs into websites. Management tools like the ability to create folders and rename images are also designed for speed, efficiency and flexibility. Read more about the technical challenges that were overcome to build a faster Image Picker here, or see a full description of it here.

The Image Picker is powerful, flexible, and supports our brand values.

Sections: A new way of building websites

Sections are a way of building websites, and they aim to make it much easier and faster to build customized websites at scale. With sections, you design websites quickly simply by using and reusing sections pre-designed sections (designed by Duda) or your own sections that you’ve saved for reuse. You’ll save valuable design time because every section that you add takes on the Global design settings of the site to which it’s been added. Furthermore, you can share sections that you’ve designed with your team, improving the efficiency of your entire team. You can read more about the best way of using sections in this blog

All of these product-based changes aren’t just nice to have. They are a tangible expression of the brand values we support here at Duda.

Brands Are Like Kids – They Grow Slowly But Surely

As most parents can attest, children grow imperceptibly. One minute, they are toddlers; the next minute (or so it seems) they are borrowing the car. Of course they were growing in the interim, but there is no specific moment when all that change took place.

The same is true for brand growth. Brands grow over time, and changes don’t need to be radical in order to be effective. To the contrary, brand changes can be introduced slowly, over time, and while each individual change may be subtle, the sum of all the changes contributes to a powerful brand that delivers on its promise.

At Duda, brand values aren’t just something we talk about, they are something we live by; every improvement we make to our product aims at supporting these values. As for our brand logo, the fact that it’s bright orange like the common carrot is just a coincidence.

 

 

About Boaz Rozenberg

Boaz is a senior UX/UI designer in Duda’s product team. He moved to UX/UI after several years in branding and teaches at the Netcraft UX Academy. Prior to working in the world of online design, Boaz studied film in New York City and was a competitive skater. When Boaz isn’t at the office, he is surfing or traveling (and sometimes, both).
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