This post was written by our marketing team over at ODG and provides some insights into how FirstLook360 from Agility Technologies is now known it’s own brand known as FirstLook, and the journey we’ve been on to get there.
When we first met Agility Technologies over a zoom call in early 2021, we were quickly intrigued and impressed with the innovation of this small yet dynamic team based in Richmond B.C. We learned about their flagship product, the FL360, and how it provided users with a 360o view of confined spaces and it was quickly apparent how having an instant 360o view of any space is a significant differentiator and improvement over the initial search and rescue cameras launched in the 1990s. Combining this with its wireless capabilities, the tablet application, and the physical system (pole, case, etc), it was instantly clear that this company was making a product that is saving lives around the world.
It wasn’t long after when news broke of the Florida building collapse and we heard first-hand from the team of how their products were in use on-site looking for survivors. This had an immediate impact on us as we could hear in real-time how important this product is in the world today.
There was a challenge on our hands, though. The product can speak for itself in regards to it’s effectiveness, but it takes quite a bit of understanding and it’s hard to realize the impact it has. While their current marketing materials certainly speak to the main aspects of its search and rescue equipment, the current challenge for them was to do a better job of reflecting their professionalism, values and reliability of the company and its products, and at the same time communicating the extent and depth of the services.
Building a Communication Strategy
Together, we evaluated the current market, competition, marketing challenges they’ll be facing, then presented solutions to solve them including defining their target sectors and audiences, brand personality, tone of voice, visual style, along with key messaging statements.
In our efforts to clearly define our brand core and effectively position FirstLook, we’ve outlined our primary customer benefits and unique offerings in a Benefits Ladder. The Benefits Ladder goes beyond a single statement. It is a permanent compass that guides all messaging and supports communications consistently and successfully across all touchpoints and with all stakeholders.
In addition, the Benefits Ladder helps to translate product functional features into relevant emotional benefits for the consumer. By doing this, we ensure alignment and credibility between the functional and emotional benefits. Developing credible emotional benefits is key because emotional benefits enable us to connect on a deeper level with our potential customers and at the same time build a stronger brand equity and loyalty.
Finally, the Benefits Ladder forces us to see the functional attributes and benefits through the eyes of the customer and understand what our customers value, and what do they care about.
This was a fundamental shift in their marketing. Rather than focusing on simply being a company that produces innovative products (ie: look how great we are), we’re shifting the message to how we unlock the potential for rescue, military and emergency response teams to access technology and intel that provides a multitude of potentially life-saving solutions.
Whether that means seeing more possibilities for growth and training, seeing possibilities for partnerships, or seeing their achievements, we are an integral part of the process, so we describe our critical role within the context of positive change and outcomes that our products and services bring to life.
A new core message.
We needed a simple, succinct tagline to quickly and effectively communicate FirstLook’s core purpose. In everything they do, they’re focused on providing innovative technological solutions to enable effective outcomes – so their customers are empowered to overcome obstacles, achieve their goals, and perform tasks at the highest level. With that purpose in mind, one distinct line emerged that accomplished this important communication objective:
See More. Achieve More.
When all the rational and emotional benefits come together, customers ‘see’ that the complete FirstLook experience becomes ‘more’ than the sum of its’ individual products, parts or services.
This tagline focuses on two outcomes for the user, being able to have a better view and be able to accomplish more.
Analyzing the tagline further, we realize that “Seeing” is more than the visual act of watching or observing. Seeing is also discovering, perceiving, recognizing, detecting, and identifying.
Furthermore, the tagline “See More. Achieve More.” has flexibility and it can evolve to include different benefits as the FirstLook product line expands, such as:
“Hear More. Achieve More.”
“Detect More. Achieve More.”
A new name.
The company was presented as Agility Corporation, but they are known for their device called the FirstLook360, with each having their own brand identity, running on the primary domain of agilitycorp.com. They pondered internally whether this was the right approach and together we discussed how the “360” in the product name is limiting, as it’s a system of many components and features, not just a camera with a 360 view.
The term FirstLook, however, was powerful. It represented how their device was there for first responders. First on site. Industry firsts. Providing vision and eyes to the teams using it. It stuck, and they decided to now be known simply as FirstLook.
A new brand identity.
This new identity is composed of an outer frame interlocking with a number ‘1’, creating a negative space “F” between them. With the obvious “1” in the logo, this identity puts an emphasis on being number one, or 1st—being the first choice, the first in its class, and in first place for quality and dependability. The outer frame speaks to the idea of monitoring and framing things on screen. The rigidity and boldness of the logo suggests strength and durability. Note the subtle “1” in the wordmark that echoes the icon.
How should the products be branded using the FirstLook logo? Using a company’s logo and/or name for every product could be tiring for the customer, and potentially limiting for the company. It could also lead to confusion as the product lines expands. Rather than using a variable and structured naming strategy (FirstLook360, FirstLook Connect, etc.), it may be beneficial in the long run to keep the product name and brand name separate: eg. “FL360 by FirstLook” or “Echo3 by FirstLook.”
Bold uses of red seen in these brand mockups:
Firstlook’s new identity and marketing material is consistent, to the point, and relevant. It clearly communications not just a sense of professionalism, but a sense of personality that will help differentiate them from the competition, and make the brand memorable. Perhaps more importantly, the brand can make a stronger impact by emotionally connecting and resonating with clients in a more concise, persuasive and articulate fashion. We couldn’t be more proud of the work.
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