Names with stories: The story behind Photofy.com
Photofy was founded in 2013 in Raleigh, NC, with the goal of building the world’s most powerful social content creation tool for consumers and businesses. In this interview, we talk with Ted Rubin, CMO and Advisory Board Member at Photofy, about the importance of brand consistency and their approach to marketing, naming, and domain names.
What is the story behind Photofy?
Photofy was founded in 2013 as a consumer-focused photography editing app. While it still retains powerful photo editing tools, the platform now serves as an Enterprise Community Content Creation Toolkit for organizations, retailers, direct sellers, and franchises. As with most startups that survive beyond an initial idea, Photofy has morphed its original idea to meets the needs of the marketplace.
For those who don’t know Photofy yet, what does your company exactly do?
Simply put… Photofy makes it easy for company employees and partners to make original branded content and share via their own networks. Our platform is designed for non-creatives and helps remove friction from making content so that it actually gets done simply, quickly, and easily.
Photofy offers an easy to use employee and/or community content creation tool designed for non-creatives that enables them to quickly create beautiful, branded content in their own voice. Simply standing in line getting coffee is enough time to create a couple of great posts for social media and digital use. The community management portal enables marketers to provide brand templates, overlays, photos, and other creative assets along with training, guidelines with real-time visibility to who shares content where.
At Photofy, we believe that Employee Created Content (ECC) has tremendous potential to fill in some of the gaps in current digital marketing stacks. First, ECC leverages the personal influence of the content creators, thereby delivering substantially higher engagement rates than corporate branded content. For larger organizations, such as franchises and retailers, ECC helps to localize and personalize content in a way that isn’t possible with geo-targeted advertising alone. Finally, since ECC using common brand assets is all customized and shared by the different users, its impact on search-based algorithms is profound. Deployed at scale, crowd marketing can significantly augment corporate digital media efforts…. and it allows the organization to empower its employee base in this effort as well.
At Photofy our goal is simple, we aim to be the most friction-free tool for Employee Created Content (ECC) and Community Created Content (CCC). Our easy to use, mobile-only platform, enables anyone to create great-looking branded content from corporate approved assets. Our platform is uncomplicated and designed for non-creatives… it’s like a box of digital branding Legos your collaborative teams can use to create authentic, on-brand content for digital channels. Marketing teams use our portal to manage available assets and track all users’ creations and shares in real-time, giving a comprehensive view of what channels employees are sharing and which assets are the most popular. This data adds to an overall brand analytics stack and gives marketers better insights on where to allocate media investments.
When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on Photofy?
It was the name chosen by the founding team. With over 12MM global downloads, and 500,000 active users, and my usage of the product and related hashtags, the name has brand equity and represents the intent of the product today.
How did you get the domain name Photofy.com for your brand? Why did you select that one exactly?
We bought it right from the start, as far as I know.
How has owning Photofy.com affected your business? Do you think that you could have achieved the same level of success without owning Photofy.com?
Photofy.com is our online hub and connects to all of the other digital touch-points… it is simple, easy, and contextual. While websites matter, our product is mobile and the end results are channel-agnostic. Photofy is designed to create content wherever the user decides they get traction and be available the same way… at your fingertips.
Who is your target customer and how is your brand name helping in reaching them?
Our core user is someone that sells something or interacts locally on behalf of a larger brand. Think Real Estate Agents, Franchise Owners, Retail Stores, and Direct Sellers like Scentsy and Norwex. Our buyers are typically their corporate marketing, communications, and human resources groups. Our brand is in the conversation with similar competitors such as Canva and Adobe Spark, but those products are more suited to creative professionals. Photofy makes creating content easy for everyday employees, sales associates, or community members.
How do you keep your brand consistent across different channels online and offline? Does your domain name play a role in that process?
We use visual and brand voice elements across all channels, and true to the brand, we syndicate every day through our employees, customers, and community.
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
We create, observe, refine, and repeat. The key to our marketing is the 5th P, participation. We actively participate in conversations in the communities we serve and encourage them to do the same. Employee and Community Created Content (#ECC and #CCC) play a major role. Easy to create beautiful Branded Content in under 30 seconds… Photofy enables and empowers the creation and sharing of properly branded photographic content at scale and therefore allows all employees to be marketing all the time.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general, and when it comes to branding and naming?
Think about “own-ability” of your name. It’s hard to stand out with generic or descriptive names. You’ll never overcome SEO for someone else’s brand no matter how much you spend. Then be sure to live your brand, especially in the marketing space. How many agencies do you see ignoring their own marketing advice when it comes to their own brand? If you’re selling it, be sure you’re buying it.
A Brand is what a business does, a Reputation is what people Remember and Share.
Where do you see your business in the future and how does your brand name fit into that vision?
We want to own simple, easy, branded content creation. It’s important that we remember that as we evolve our product and not try to have the most bells and whistles, or be at the cutting edge of content… but rather be the easiest to use. Anything that makes creating content more difficult will result in less content being created.
Easy to create beautiful branded content in under 30 seconds, Photofy enables and empowers the creation and sharing of properly branded photographic and video content at scale.
Find out more about Photofy.