Digital, Strategy & Design + + + + +

Working from four places at once

The use of creation sprints to rebrand Miro

This week, Miro — formerly known as RealtimeBoard — was launched on SXSW. The online tool,used by 2 million people and the world’s most innovative teams like Netflix, IKEA and Twitter, was looking for a way to leave a mark in the SaaS-world. The past few months, Vruchtvlees has been working on the strategic rebrand of Miro, in close collaboration with the remote and multidisciplinary Miro-team in Silicon Valley, Perm, and Amsterdam.

 

The use of our creation sprint method and working within the visual collaboration tool Miro itself, has helped us to act fast and pivot when necessary.

 

TL;DR This is how we build the brand identity of Miro:

  • Keeping a bird’s eye perspective through the use of the Miro platform
  • Working agile by using creation sprints & short feedback loops
  • Getting to know the Miro-team, its trailblazing users and stakeholders really well.
  • Video calls within the Miro-platform at the most convenient times for all three time zones
  • Guiding and art directing the Miro team in the implementation of the brand.

Talking the same professional language: using Miro
Miro is a SaaS-tool that helps teams across the world to collaborate in better and more efficient ways. On unlimited blank canvases, teams can envision and map out their future plans. Showcasing their thought and creative processes help to reinvent and explore the different possibilities and get teams up to speed as soon as possible. We used Miro to build Miro.

“We needed our brand to reflect our culture and company vision.”

Yegor Korobeynikov, Sr. Manager, Brand Experience Miro

“Being the first product in its market, the name RealtimeBoard served a clear purpose.” tells Yegor Korobeynikov, Sr. Manager, Brand Experience at Miro, “Now that we’re scaling-up, the name and brand identity didn’t reflect our company vision anymore. We needed a name that reflected our DNA and gave us room for storytelling.” After extensive research, Yegor and his team at RealtimeBoard found the right match: “We decided on Miro. A name that both reflects the creative heritage of the Spanish painter, Joan Miró, but also helps us to build on the creative product we already established.”

Worldwide interviews and extensive research
Rebranding an already loved and daily used platform like Miro can’t function without the input of its users. We did extensive user research on online user behavior on the platform itself and questioned stakeholders and power users across the world to track down the building blocks and essential elements of the brand.

“The input of the trailblazing users are at the core of the final brand story and designs”

Yira Rodriguez Garcia, project manager at Vruchtvlees

“It was important to get to know the product and users really well and the feeling the brand evoked”, shares Yira Rodriguez Garcia, project manager at Vruchtvlees, “We talked to different stakeholders and a cross-section of users across the world, and found out that people liked Miro because it was such an approachable and supportive brand. We put those insights at the core of the creative process, so we could build an even stronger brand.”

Creation sprint at Vruchtvlees
We have built our own method of effectively creating and exploring different design directions. “In a creation sprint, we start by setting a clear goal so we know what we’re heading for.” Walewijn den Boer, sr. Designer at Vruchtvlees, explains. “During the sprint, the project team works in timeframes of about 1,5 hours, followed by a 15-minute review in which the process and results thus far are discussed.”

“In a creation sprint, we start by setting a clear goal.”

Walewijn den Boer, sr. designer Vruchtvlees

From color schemes to fonts, different components of the project are explored in every timeframe. “For the 15-minute reviews, we follow the Goldilocks principle”, says Walewijn, “That means we always work towards a minimum viable product (MVP) that matches the phase the sprint is in. For example: when we’re still in the research phase, the amount of directions explored is more important than the visual quality. Once the foundation is established, the balance shifts more towards results with a higher degree of visual quality.”

Collaborative creation across borders
The never-ending workspace of Miro enhanced our working processes. The birds’-eye perspective helped us to oversee the entire process and bring ideas to life for the worldwide Miro-team. Even though Miro extends physical working spaces, working together with Yegor — product owner in the project — at Vruchtvlees enabled us to act even faster and iterate whenever necessary.

“Miro provides a seamless collaboration-experience as if you are in the same room. For this project with such tight deadlines, it was really important to have someone who you could approach in person and to get to know each other really well, fast,” tells Yegor. “Working together in the same room helps you to better understand who we are, on a personal level. It was very important to build trust as soon as possible. Working together this closely helped us to develop one collective brain, in which we could act rapidly in making decisions and guiding feedback within the boards.”

Working together on three different time zones, wouldn’t have been possible without working on Miro itself.

“Working together on three different time zones, wouldn’t have been possible without working on Miro itself,” emphasizes Yira. “It gives a clear overview of processes, choices made, feedback and thoughts from different users, and also calling within the board for the weekly reviews was very convenient.”

 
Because we were working together with people in three different time-zones, face to face video calls and presentations were very important to keep everyone on the same page: “For our weekly reviews, we picked a time that was as convenient as possible for everyone. That meant that at the time of our meeting, the Miro team in the US was just waking up and the Miro team in Perm was getting ready for bed, while we were wrapping up our working day.”

 

The time difference worked in favor of the project: “Presenting at the end of our workday, and the beginning of the workday in San Francisco meant that the Miro Team had a full day to provide us with feedback”, tells Yira. “The next morning we could immediately process the feedback and deliver new designs at the end of our day, thus beginning of their morning. Same goes for the design team in Perm.”

“We needed to make sure the design team of Miro embodied the new brand.”

Rindor Golverdingen, creative director Vruchtvlees

Strategic guidelines and art direction
Vruchtvlees gave the in-house design team of Miro the tools to start developing actual products and deliverables. Vruchtvlees art directed and guided the designers across the world to ensure a coherent brand experience. Rindor Golverdingen, Creative Director at Vruchtvlees, tells: “Rebranding and rethinking all deliverables within an identity implementation is a complex issue. First of all, we had to made sure the designers at Miro really embodied the new brand guidelines. When they started creating the hundreds of deliverables, we kept the overview and helped the team to get the brand story across just the right way ”

“We are thrilled with the outcome and the strong partnership.”

Barbra Gago, Chief Marketing Officer Miro

“We are thrilled with the outcome”, tells Barbra Gago, Chief Marketing Officer of Miro. “The collaborative approach and work by Vruchtvlees gave us confidence about a strong partnership. I was impressed with the team’s speed, agility, and vision, considering the conditions: working from 3 countries and time zones and a short amount of time.”

 

Being supportive and challenging at once
And there it is: Miro. A vibrant and exciting SaaS-tool, that is both supportive and challenging. Ready to become a love mark for modern-day pioneers all across the planet, collaborating on their next big idea. 

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