Brands We Like: Makerbot
When you think about tech brands, a great brand voice, identity, and persona is probably not what comes to mind. Gadget and technology companies are usually known for their products or services, and not for having a stellar brand presence. But, that doesn’t always have to be the case.
Makerbot has created one of the first lines of mass-produced 3D printers — something that might be seen as “enough” to win in some markets. But, aside from just being a super-cool piece of tech, Makerbot has created a full brand experience that’s built on their promise to enable people — anyone — to become creators and inventors.
On their homepage, the first thing you notice is a strong positioning statement. They aren’t just a 3D printing company — they are “the standard”. Secondly, notice their wide array of product offerings. This reinforces Makerbot’s accessibility aspect. There are products for (pretty much) all levels, making 3D printing attainable for more people.
You can see this reflected in the way that they’ve extended their brand. On their homepage is a public feed of curated projects and tweets from the community. This says a lot about the way that they have built a tribe and continue to champion their most-engaged customers.
The photography on their site is sharp and edgy. Not only does it feel like a cool technology product, but the placement, setting, and lighting all draw you to the brand on a deeper level. Using the product feels like as much of the experience as the output, which is quite literally an infinite array of different shapes and gizmos.
There are even more bold statements as you step through the site. Notice the strong brand messaging that’s used here. Never does Makerbot take a literal position. Instead, they reach for the emotional needs of their consumers. It’s not about creating something with a 3D printer, it’s about “blazing a trail” and “exploring frontiers”.
Even more bold photography continues to tell the brand’s authentic story of infinite invention and creation.
As always: Details matter. A lot. Look at the typeface that they’ve used in their product names, shown here. It’s got unique characteristics that make it easy to pick from a crowd, plus the combination of rounded corners and sharp edges give even the text a look and feel that resonates with the rest of the brand.
Makerbot may have been one of the first to the consumer market with this technology. But, they were smart not to assume that this was enough to maintain market control.
Instead, they pushed beyond their product to create a story-driven brand. Everything from their wording, content choices, typeface, identity, and photography pushes that story forward and establishes them as the only brand offers this powerful sense of community-driven technological innovation.
All screenshots from Makerbot.com.