You’ve hired an agency to put together a brand strategy — an important step in the marketing process — for your company, and it’s beautifully concocted. And while at first the execution by your team across your website and social media is flawless, over time, with employee turnover and mounting projects, that execution might not be followed as closely across new platforms and changing sales assets. The company’s voice and tone may begin to suffer.
Marketing veteran John Wolf saw this brand execution and maintenance problem while serving as Chief Marketing Officer at a software company.
“Because of natural areas in the brand strategy that are vague, like brand voice, or just because of differences in interpretation, our brand execution was inconsistent,” says Wolf. “So we have varying messages, varying voice, varying visual identity, and it was really hard to manage.”
After a little prototyping last summer, he started building brand-focused artificial intelligence platform Inspector 6.
After submitting your brand standards, including strategy, markets, messaging, and visual identity, into the web application’s online brand book, Inspector 6 will review your current assets. It then provides marketing teams with brand-specific insights, changes and recommendations to re-focus your voice and tone.
“You get a full analysis of every one of your assets, whether it is your website, or email or other collateral,” says Wolf. “The platform determines the content of every single image, including the people in those images, and delivers an analysis of two things: brand strategy consistency and how is it affecting the performance of your marketing asset — in the end, creating that link between your brand strategy and the actual performance.”
With ongoing automated review of brand consistency across visual and text assets, internal marketing teams can focus on directing their manpower to other revenue-generating initiatives.
“You define what your tone is. You define what your story is. And once that’s online, then the system can use that as a reference through which to compare your marketing materials,” says Wolf. The system uses machine learning to analyze 13 different “tonal dimensions” of brand.
“Many of the software companies we work with write with a very analytical voice, and that’s okay sometimes, but sometimes it’s kind of unapproachable. Now you can finally define your brand voice and measure it, so you can identify areas in your writing that are off-brand,” he says.
The ATDC Accelerate startup launched a beta last December and brought over a dozen companies on board to gather feedback, including two agencies and 11 in-house creative and marketing groups. They launched their full publicly-available product in April.
Now a part of the Coca-Cola’s BridgeCommunity 2018 cohort, a program that helps startups connect with local corporations to land pilots and contracts, Wolf is enthusiastic about bringing Inspector 6’s technology to large enterprises that may have trouble managing their branding across all divisions. “The theme that I hear most commonly for a very large company is managing their brand and their message at scale across vast decentralized marketing organizations,” says Wolf.
The startup has bootstrapped thus far with revenue from several paying customers. Wolf shares that he hopes to reach between 50 to 100 customers who love the product before thinking about raising money.
The team, which currently includes a CTO, a dozen engineers and a marketing lead, will focus on product development for the next six months. The goal is to identify the most important features of Inspector 6, like the ability to analyze sales conversations with respect to brand messaging.
“We’ve been really fortunate to have an early group of customers that are excited enough about the product to spend a lot of time with us providing feedback and helping us make it what it is today,” says Wolf.