BASE + ZENDESK
It’s not everyday the company you work for acquires another company. We’ve had a few really exciting ones at Zendesk (Zopim, Outbound, and Bime to name them all). The newest to join the Zendesk product arsenal is Base.
Software to sell
Base brings a pretty unique product to the Zendesk family. Base is a sales force automation tool, so unlike our other products which are focused on customer experience, Base introduces Zendesk to the wild world of sales.
Make it fit
Although Zendesk hasn’t historically been involved in sales software, sales does have a pretty important role in the customer experience and journey. So it does make sense that Zendesk would take on a new product to help complete the product offering. At their cores, Zendesk and Base are kindred spirits. They are both built with a beautifully simple ethos and both were designed to simplify and disrupt their respective industries. You can read a lot more about how it is a match made in heaven here.
When we rebranded Zendesk in 2016, one of the objectives was to create a system that could scale. We wanted to set up guardrails and make it easy to introduce new products into the family. We talk a bit about it in these videos:
We went through a list of words that fit into our preexisting naming conventions and Sell came out on top. It is clear, direct, an action and descriptive of what the product helps with. Ethan Kanat, Creative Director and master with words said this thing about naming a product at Zendesk. “The naming process for our marquee products is a little bit like threading a needle. The name has to fit within the confines of our naming conventions, it has to clearly convey the product function, and it has to have a little snap. But also…sometimes things just fall into place. When we saw the gold arrows pointing up and to the right, we knew we had to call it ‘Sell.”
“The naming process for our marquee products is a little bit like threading a needle. The name has to fit within the confines of our naming conventions, it has to clearly convey the product function, and it has to have a little snap.”
-Ethan Kanat, Creative Director
Our predetermined restrictions helped when it came to designing the mark as well. We needed to work within the “relationshapes” family. We landed on arrows pointing up and to the right. This had a positive connotation signifying growth — like a successful bar chart. Gold is an international sign for value or wealth, so it felt like the right color for Sell. It also doesn’t hurt that using gold adds a bit of Zendesk charm.
We understood how to create an identity for a product within our family, but we still needed to create a visual language that matched the rest of the Zendesk brand. Each of our other products has photographic imagery to represent the product. We needed Sell to fit into this world, while at the same time opening the door to future opportunities to be creative. A briefcase that opens to reveal a golden keyboard and an “up and to the right” chart seemed to fit the bill. Big shout out to Nick for the concept and art direction on this.