A galvanizing brand for Fission
Fission is setting the stage for the future of decentralized web apps by building cutting edge development tools for the next generation of web creators.
What came out of really speaks to something incredible, where we learned something from the process that we can apply in how we think about our business.
With Fission’s product market-ready, the team decided it was time to invest in brand development. Elements of Fission’s brand hadn’t evolved much over the time they’d spent developing their product. Years earlier, they’d created a logo and website to get their message out. Now, it was time for them to level up and to build an evolved brand that reflected a more mature version of the product and vision.
The Fission team is committed to quality, innovation, integrity and putting users first. So, they needed a brand that reflected those values. Messaging was also a critical part of the puzzle they needed to crack. Having built a highly technical product, Fission struggled to clearly articulate a solution that didn't yet exist, and match any established paradigm. It was a challenge of communicating a brand new way of working that developers definitely wanted and needed, but didn't know how to look for. This challenge was compounded by the fact that this powerful new development tool would be seen by many developers as too good to be true, if the product language was saturated with buzzwords, jargon and techspeak. Beyond that, there are investors and stakeholders who needed to connect with what Fission does and why it matters in simple terms.
Fission needed a trusted, external perspective to simplify their message and to develop an authentic representation of their brand, and help them navigate this new territory.
An old problem, a new solution
In application development, frontend and backend developer roles have always been highly interrelated but quite separate, and many frontend developers don’t have the skills to do backend development or server management. Bridging the divide between the frontend and backend has been a problem that others had attempted to solve countless times before without real success, so it was no surprise that the market was skeptical.
Co-founders Boris Mann (CEO) and Brooklyn Zelenka (CTO), led a highly specialized team to build a tool that removes obstacles to development by leveraging critical new technologies. Fission's solution would handle the protocols, systems, and setup required for app development, deployment, and hosting, so frontend developers could now maintain full ownership of the applications they developed and publish them quickly. This will give rise to a new generation of web apps built using the frictionless methodology enabled by Fission, with a vision to also launch an app marketplace that made it easy for developers to monetize their apps.
While the technology they continue to develop is cutting-edge and meets a functional need in the software development world, Fission’s value to the market isn’t limited to their products, platform or toolkits. The greater value is in their big mission: to shift the paradigm of how the world looks at application development as a whole and the relationship between developers and end-users.
Diving into our strategy for Fission
The following questions and concepts guided our work with Fission:
- Evolutionary design, future relevance. How do you create a visual brand that stays relevant over time for a platform that evolves continuously? We didn’t want to introduce a brand new visual identity — we’d evolve the existing brand.
- With so many parts changing for Fission, what would stay the same? The core people. To inform the logo design, we dove into the founders’ influences and who they look up to and admire to define their aesthetic. Once the identity was set, we’d design a system of elements to build the brand.
- Fission needed to be approachable and creative, built for real developers, defying the stereotype. Through research, we identified that developers' experiences were pretty similar across the board. This learning helped us simplify the value proposition. To ensure we considered broader demographics among developers, we represented the user in our framework through the persona of “Josephine”.
- What is coding really? We had to see the big picture and how the user fits into place. In our minds, full-stack developers weren’t people who were just skilled at code — they became creators. Coding is fun. It is a creative pursuit. That understanding helped us speak to frontend developers.
- What could we learn from users? We performed a web audit of the Fission homepage to see where we could improve usability and engagement.
Delivering the MVB
The hard work of deep thinking, validating hypotheses through research and testing, and applying our time-tested frameworks culminated in the delivery of a Minimum Viable Brand.
The specific deliverables and services were as follows:
- Value proposition design – workshop exploring customer motivations and product experience
- Brand identity – visual design and key messages to form the identity
- Brand toolbox – digital assets, lean usage guidelines, company pitch deck
- Landing page – design for an impactful introduction to the new Fission
A simpler way to talk about Fission — brand story and product narrative
Since Fission solved an old problem in a way that was vastly different from established practices, the team found it difficult to explain what it is they do. We worked to establish key messaging that was clear for all audiences — users and investors alike — using simpler language that speaks directly to the value that Fission brings to the market.
Messaging that speaks to developers and end-users
Storytelling to Fission’s core audiences would help the brand pique interest, forge powerful relationships and build rapport with the developer community. Before working with Skyrocket, Fission had found it difficult to weave both the developer and end-user stories into their homepage content, so they’d decided to speak solely to developers. This left a major audience untouched. Approaching Fission’s messaging problem from an external perspective, we were able to develop a narrative that resonated with both developers and users — while being accessible to non-natives.
Beyond the core message, Fission now had a blueprint for independently developing messaging to connect to new audiences, to communicate how Fission fits into a customer’s life, and to introduce new product features.
Refreshed visual identity
Authenticity is important to Fission. Taking care to capture the essence of Fission from its leadership, Skyrocket designed a new look for the brand that was an evolution of what they had before, much like their product was ever-evolving, their brand would also mature with time. The improved Fission logo had symmetry, roundness, and flow and could now be more easily used as an icon. The expanded colour palette enabled Fission to add pops of vibrance that would attract attention and accent designs. For typography, we included two fonts to cover usage in web and offline applications.
A landing page and web components
We designed a landing page featuring Fission’s new brand and messaging. Our designers also built out components for Fission to use in developing their full website and platform, including icons for the product features list. These components made it easy for Fission’s team to apply the brand across their digital presence seamlessly.
Company pitch deck
For companies like Fission, a pitch deck is an essential tool. Skyrocket set Fission up for success with a well-branded pitch that clearly articulated the company’s vision, product, and opportunity through language and graphics. Fission could speak to investors without struggling to find the right words.
What changed for Fission?
Our work is complete when the client feels empowered.
Fission had a new brand that better represented who they were today, and that will stay relevant as the company matures. Fission could differentiate itself through visuals and messaging that was not only a sincere and authentic representation, but also highly marketable. The team had an action plan for what came next. With brand guidelines, they would begin implementing design and content changes across their website and platform.
The Fission team no longer needed to question who they were or how they want to show up in the world because they’d done the work of figuring that out with our team. That clarity gave them the freedom to focus their energy on relationships with users, investors and stakeholders and while continuing to engineer a better product.
Creating understanding can open doors. Free of the blasé tech jargon that is too common in software development, now everyone interested in creating applications could easily understand the message and get involved. With easily accessible language, Fission could tap into the full potential of their creator audience and generate the impact they desired.
When our mission together was complete, it was clear to everyone that Fission was bigger than a solution to a problem, it is a team invested in shifting the paradigm for technology creation and building a community of next generation creators as they go.