Birthing SAP Design, then giving it purpose and personality.

project description

The task: forge a cohesive, compelling external-facing brand where there was none. That meant creating digital assets and messaging that brought together over 10 distinct products/services and inspiring our persona with a compelling story about why design matters to them--all while challenging their perception of SAP by pushing the brand in new directions. 

my role
  • Led content strategy

  • Developed tone/voice for new SAP Design brand

  • Refreshed core messaging

  • Crafted new org-level and product-level messaging (like "Let's (re)design work.")

  • Head copywriter

the status

Beta version with new visual design, new IA, and more content currently under development.

 

Let's dive deeper.

Creating a brand, crafting the tone, and putting it to work.

In establishing the new SAP Design brand, we had the opportunity to re-invent how people saw all of SAP. We wanted it to be different. To be younger, fresher, more innovative. After hours of conversation and exploration and observation, a persona began to emerge.   

Assuming a younger, fresher identity is as much about how you say something as it is what you say. Well-crafted copy should stir particular emotions and impart a specific energy. When first shaping the new SAP Design tone, I outlined brand principles--informed by insights into our persona--to be used as our North Stars. They've been guiding content ever since.

Below, a taste of the new tone from the "about" page, and four of the guiding brand principles--the North Stars--for SAP Design.

Principle #1
Embody the studio, not the gallery. 

 

Let’s embody maker culture. Let’s weave creativity into everything we do. Let’s be invitingly iterative.

Principle #2
Exude authenticity; honesty; humanity. 

 

Let’s make sure our content contains a grounding dose of candor. Let’s ooze trustworthiness. Let’s invite people along with us. Let's use words like “let’s."

Principle #3
Embrace edge. Provoke. 

 

Innovation is exciting. It’s edgy. Our work is, too, and how we talk about it should reflect that. 

Principle #4
Tap into emotion. Sell purpose. 

 

Yes, it's true--even in the world of enterprise software.

 

Position our work as meaningful, what we do as having a positive impact, and us as prioritizing impact.

 

Diving into design thinking. Defining a movement.

Design thinking is not an easy idea to explain to your grandma, let alone effectively message to the world. Yet, when SAP recently told the world--to much fanfare--that it would be placing "DT" at the heart of everything it does, the company had no central message to give or place to give it.

 

SAP needed an easily digestible yet impactful way to introduce design thinking at SAP. It needed a "what", "why", "how". So, I jumped into the kitchen and got to work.

The tone purposefully pushes the limits of playful. What makes the framework relatable, also makes it memorable.
 
 
 
The takeaway is a holistic introduction to design thinking, why its important and relevant, and SAP's unique approach to it.
 
 
 
 
It also exudes the kind of candid, colloquial, approachable qualities that appeal to our target personas.
Future plans for the page include deeper content layers, like the SAP Design Thinking "Cookbook": sage design advice and resources.
 
 

Communicating our who, what, and why.

Perhaps the biggest challenge of the project required first answering the most fundamental questions: Who is SAP Design? What do we do? Who is our target persona? Why should they care? 

 

So, with colleagues from across the newly solidified org, we set out to tackle this problem. We needed to look at it from the outside-in and avoid simply listing everything we offer. It needed to be action-oriented, and relevant to the targeted personas. It needed to  make people feel something--emotion is an important factor, even in the world of enterprise software.

From these explorations, the create, scale, innovate messaging framework was born. Here's an early demo of the concept.

As a single entity with a well-defined identity, SAP Design didn't exist before the project began. It was a network of loosely connected teams, products, and services that did a variety of things. 

Services that 

inspire action.