Redefining our purpose. Elevating our brand.

Chantelle Little June 28, 2023 4 min read Tiller
Photo of Tiller

Let me reintroduce you to Tiller. We’re on an ambitious mission and we’ve evolved our brand and launched a new website to do it justice.

Earlier this year, we did some deep reflection on our purpose and mission as an agency. We’ve always been passionate about helping our clients succeed. But until recently, we had never clearly defined our purpose in a way that would resonate with our team and our clients. So we put our heads together and boiled it down to a single statement. Our purpose — our “why” — is to elevate software brands to reach their true potential. We’ve set some ambitious goals to ensure we deliver on that purpose statement. They’re big, they’re bold, and we like them that way.

Tiller's vision for the future: To elevate software brands to reach their true potential

We preach day in and day out that brands are living, breathing things that should evolve and grow with the company. Without frequent, intentional evolution, a brand can quickly become irrelevant and hold the company back from achieving its goals. Many agencies put their brands on the back burner, so busy working on client brands that they miss out on opportunities with their own. I never want this to be said of Tiller.

So, with our purpose, mission, and goals defined, we stepped back and examined how we were telling our story to the world. Our brand had a lot of things going for it. But to reach our audience and achieve our goals, we knew we would need to express our brand differently. The best brands are intentional about every single decision, even the seemingly insignificant details. And we definitely care about the details.

Before making any decisions about our brand, we asked a lot of questions. And we looked to data for answers.

  • What prompts software companies to reach out to us?
  • Why do our clients engage with us over other options? Why choose an agency that specializes in B2B software?
  • Once our clients engage, what other guidance do they look to us for?
  • What pain do we solve? What friction do we remove?
  • How can we make our clients’ lives better?

We conducted client interviews, surveyed our internal team, investigated our pipeline, and evaluated channel performance and web analytics. It all confirmed what I’ve suspected for a while now: We are best known for our web services. It’s our bread and butter offering and often how we first build relationships with clients. This makes a lot of sense, given that the website is at the core of the B2B software buyer journey and plays a key role in lead generation.

We’ve also learned that our prospects and clients need us to help them with a lot more than web redesigns and optimizations. A website project is often the catalyst for a brand evolution. After launching a performant website, our clients want support with the step after the demo: sales enablement. We’ve been providing this service for years, but we’ve often marketed it as creative, and many of our clients have been surprised that we can help them build out an effective, strategic sales toolkit.

Photo of Tiller's core offering which prioritizes Web

These learnings (and many others) took us down the path of reworking our value proposition and messaging hierarchy to clarify the value we bring to each client partnership. Which in turn, helped us refine our brand story.

In the nautical world, a tiller is part of the steering system of a vessel. Our job as an agency is to lead and guide, so we leaned into the narrative of navigation. Whether we’re crafting a brand or building a website, we guide our clients around obstacles to the next destination. This narrative is closely tied to our brand archetype, the Strategist. With our strength in illumination, perception, communication, and seeing patterns, we’re fully equipped to lead the way.

Every aspect of our brand is now tied to this theme of navigation. We took inspiration from maps and charts and created a grid element that represents the changing landscape of software (check out the background element of our website). Abstract shapes can move along the grid, which represents how we help our customers navigate from point A to point B with a plan and a process.

Light elements (gradients) are also part of the story. Some feel bright and hopeful; others are dark and mysterious. Whatever the landscape, we illuminate the path and guide our clients through whatever challenges they face (e.g. funding cycles, market ups and downs, etc.).

Our photography style (black and white with motion blur) illustrates how we bring focus and clarity in the midst of the fast-paced world of tech and software. We evolved our illustration and icon styles to speak to how we balance creativity with process and structure.

Tiller's new photography style is black and white with motion blur

After redefining the brand, we adjusted our web strategy. We reimagined our homepage and made our full-service web offering the main attraction, next to complementary brand and sales enablement services. We maintained our product page but deprioritized it on the homepage as it’s not often part of a first engagement. The website is a big expression of our brand, but it’s not the only one. Every customer touchpoint, from pitch decks to social media and everything in between, needs to tell one consistent story.

Tiller values shown in the new branding with blue and green gradients

I should also add that investing in our brand isn’t just about acquiring and retaining clients. It’s critical for attracting world-class talent that continues to elevate our agency, enhance our culture, and drive more value for our clients.

If you can’t tell, I’m pretty passionate about branding. I firmly believe that a strategic, creative, and intentional brand can change the trajectory of organizations — our clients’ and our own.

Keep investing in your brand. We’ll be there right with you.

— Chantelle

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