After working at advertising and brand agencies for 8 years, I took my first in-house job at Zenefits, initially as their senior art director, and subsequently creative director. I built out our department, collaborated with stakeholders across the organization, spearheaded a company rebrand with an agency partner and learned a lot about maintaining, evolving, and evangelizing brand stories.
Rebranding the new world of work
As the business model evolved, Zenefits outgrew the “all-in-one HR” story. We embarked on a year long process of research and creation that resulted in a more aspirational, forward-looking brand, that reshaped our visual, verbal and emotional language. After launching at our annual user conference, my team recreated the thousands of existing customer touchpoints to reflect our new attitude.
I love doing events because it’s a single holistic view of the brand in multiple mediums. In addition to several conferences nationwide, Zenefits holds a user conference every year. It’s a marathon to create all the communications materials, environmental designs, digital signage, booths, registration screens, and event collateral, not to mention the endless amounts of swag; but the result is an exciting and singular brand experience.
We regularly collaborate with a wide variety of teams across the organization to produce collateral. Product marketing, sales, and communications partner with us as needed — for brochures, case studies, white papers, presentation, etc.
When I joined Zenefits we were unable to internally produce videos and motion graphics, which meant we couldn’t effectively leverage the medium due to our quick pace work and continually evolving needs. After months of research and lobbying I was able to build out those capabilities in-house, so that we could rapidly and economically produce case study videos, product walk-throughs/demos, new feature introductions, general culture pieces, digital ads, and engaging social media pieces.
In addition to design for the general .com, my team also partnered with stakeholders across marketing and product to build internal and external landing pages, often using third party technologies, like Marketo.
We partnered with demand gen to build brand campaigns consisting of digital banners, paid and earned social, and the occasional OOH and print ad pieces. Content also had a monthly ask for a digital and social campaign built around their latest piece of gated content.
Gaining alignment between product and marketing design was a priority for me when I began at Zenefits. The two teams were completely disconnected until I began reaching out to build relationships with our UX counterparts. We now work together regularly to manifest the brand within the product by creating north star prototypes and concepts.