Over the years at Previously Unavailable, we’ve had a steady stream of start-ups ask us for our help with their brand strategy. The problem is, for all its value, the agency / consultancy model is usually much too expensive for cash-strapped start-ups. But we hated turning them away.
So after a couple of years of wrestling with the problem, we found an answer. Take our brand strategy process, simplify it into a day workshop, then put that workshop on a video-led digital platform that allowed start-ups to do it themselves without our having to be there.
In February 2019 we launched Storytech – the all new way for start-ups and small businesses to get their story sorted for a fraction of the cost of agencies or consultants. This world-first productization of brand strategy enabled young companies to develop a world-class brand story, and a strategy to communicate it, in one day, for $999.
In Storytech’s first ten weeks we established partnerships with the NZ Government, our two leading accelerator programmes, three universities, and our biggest banks, telcos, media organisations and accounting firms.
“We were really impressed. The tech was easy and reliable to use, instructions and materials were clear, and delivery struck the right balance of being professional, yet relaxed. We’d certainly recommend this day to other early stage companies.”
The affordability of brand strategy services drove the thinking and innovation around Storytech. We could solve the customer’s problem of nailing their brand strategy – but there was no way to do it that was affordable for them, and sustainable for us.
That problem called for a total re-think of how our services could be delivered. We needed a commercial and operating model that would allow us to deliver the service for one twentieth of the usual cost. To be affordable, scalable and useful, it would need to be digital, video-led, and couldn’t require any human input from our side.
In August 2017, we created the first prototype of Storytech. James sat in a meeting room, with a camera on him, saying all the things he’d say to moderate a day-workshop and guide a client toward a brand story. We cut the video into sections and put it on a Squarespace site, with workshop exercises in between the videos. And we created workshop materials that teams could use to progress them through the day.
Partnering with a local business magazine, we recruited 35 start-ups over six months to use the prototype, collecting feedback as we went. After understanding the user experience in detail, we took the learnings into a design and development process to create the full-release digital platform. 18 months after we’d first had the idea, we were in market with a world-first platform. In that time we’d developed and fully tested both a minimum viable product and the full-release, launched on 1 February 2019.