@FEDORIVHUB FILES: Fedoriv Agency shares insights

21.04.2020

On 8 and 9 November 2019, a Fedoriv Agency event was held, during which the members of its creative team shared their insights.

Andriy Fedoriv is said to personally conduct all the surveys and burn the midnight oil drawing concept designs, all the while filming vlogs with his left hand and commercials for customers with the right one. We’d sure like to see him try!

In fact, there’s an entire team behind Fedoriv Agency’s every project. The event showcased the company’s approaches and practices, its inner workings, the principal aspects of its operation and new case studies. And it was the first event not to feature Andriy Fedoriv (!) — only the members of his team took the stage.

Fedoriv Method was two days chock-full of insider information from Fedoriv’s strategists, creative specialists, and brand leaders. The speakers talked about the company’s projects as well as shared business approaches, strange creative twists, powerful strategies, the latest case studies, as well as Fedoriv’s shticks and inner workings.

This event was for those who fretted about how much money Fedoriv was asking for their work.
For those astonished by something taking the agency whopping six months to complete.
For those considering Fedoriv’s creative ideas ‘meh’ and doubting their viability.
For those finding it weird that customers keep returning to Fedoriv.
For all sceptics, vocal haters, and secret fans of Fedoriv.

The speakers touched on the agency’s products, how it communicates with customers, fights indecision, and defends its strategies, as well as on what it does when the things get hairy. It was an entire day of getting up-close and personal with Fedoriv’s methodology together with those who apply it daily in every project they are involved in.

Below, you will find the most intriguing bits.

YEVHEN HAVRYLYCHENKO, ANASTASIYA STRATOVYCH, AND MAKS ILYUKHIN: WHY THE AGENCY HAS 11 STRATEGISTS

 

To do strategy gang-bangs, of course.
On a more serious note, they have a lot of work to crunch through.

Fedoriv Agency‘s brand strategists have often been asking each other for feedback about presentations, their work in progress, and other stuff.

And at some point, it became clear that working as a team yields better results. Our company has not creative directors but a creative team, each of its members bearing the full responsibility for the outcomes of their decisions. When it comes to strategizing, it’s the same thing: the power of collective intelligence is vast, so why not use it?

With the gang-bangs out of the way, let’s talk strategy. As a part of the Diia e-government project case study, the main stages of project development and team efforts were discussed.
The project at a glance:
Taking the state services online, the government wanted to develop a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution and a mobile app to make the Ukrainians’ lives easier and transform the government from a bureaucratic monster into a user-friendly service. But why would an e-government service need a brand? It will be virtually a monopoly without any competition. The agency needed to understand what exactly was the product that needed to be developed. Often, a brand is believed to encompass a product, design, and communication.

But it is not precisely the case.
For us, the brand starts with a strategy. Why? This way, it’s easier for everyone. Come up with a brand strategy, and you know what to do: what the product should be, what design it needs, and what kind of communication it calls for.

 

It all started with audience analysis.
The client conducted qualitative (17 in-depth interviews) and quantitative (87,849 respondents) interviews. Based on the data obtained, we determined the most significant pain point of the audience: state services were often associated with stress and wasted time or money.

This is where we asked ourselves: how an e-government service be useful to people? Its primary value lies in the convenience and the time saved. But there is an indirect value, too. It’s battling corruption and ensuring equal opportunities for everyone. We compared the results to what we had before the project brought us and came to the conclusion that the state services were convenient for the government rather than the citizens. Therefore, we took a people-centric approach as a foundation for our strategy.

 

The next thing was to name it.

Naming is not as simple as it may appear—the attitude toward the product depends on it.
We had multiple variants: ZGODA, tvoi, OSTAP, SPRAVNO.
And when the team was just a step away from finalizing the name, Andriy suggested another one—Turbo. The suggestion was well-justified. Turbo is a name relatable to every Ukrainian. After all, Ukrainians appreciate how quick the services are rendered more than their convenience. The team agreed that the speed was critical. However, it was plain over-promising and not something readily verifiable from the product standpoint. By lucky coincidence and through hard work, we came up with the final name that was genius in its simplicity—Diia (Дія as in Держава і я (Government and I)). It also tied in well with the principal idea of our project strategy.

 

Design.

The task was simple: to create a systemic umbrella brand that would cover all the different governmental bodies. A distinctly Ukrainian brand that nevertheless wouldn’t tip over into banalities.
Among the things we had to do was to design a font. Why would we need a font? Well, the services will be confined to separate websites for awhile. As a part of the design system, the font helps unify the websites’ style and ministries’ identities. We also mulled over adding a font logo.

Again, it took a survey to finalize the font design. This is how the e-Ukraine inclusive font came to be.

 

Overhauling services.

Ever tried to register as a sole proprietor online in Ukraine? Our team took a gander to evaluate the customer experience. It turned out the functionality was nowhere near to complying with the principal values of the project. So, we decided to overhaul the services.

Phase 1: Research. We studied the statutory and legislative framework and interviewed the officers to find out if the service could be simplified.
Phase 2: Service overhaul. Having figured out the details, we overhauled the services to make them more user-friendly.
Phase 3: Testing. We created a prototype and tested it, involving the members of the target audience. Then we refined the logic where appropriate.
Phase 4: Design and launch. Once confident in the content and logic of the service, we created a design and launched it.

 

Reworking services.
Then we faced another problem. People sometimes had no idea what state service they needed, and there was no time to make sense of what was hiding behind their name. The service websites were devoid of any explanations, too.
This is what we did:

  1. We added descriptions for services and the outline of how they were rendered.
  2. We divided the services into personal and business ones. After all, regular people don’t need to see specialized services for entrepreneurs.
  3. We also grouped the services by topics, life events, and situations, i.e., the groups contain not just services themselves but the comprehensive information on how to behave in certain circumstances. We wanted people to learn everything they needed to know on Diia, not some third-party websites.

HANNA LISOVSKA: WHAT’S IN A NAME

Is it that hard to come up with a name? It can be straightforward enough, but there’s no guarantee the name will work the way you hope.
Here’s what you need to do and what you need to have before you proceed to naming:

— Understanding of the market
— Familiarity with the target audience
— Strategy
— Audit
— Generation of alternatives
— Longlist (can be compiled by anyone, even your copywriter’s mom)
— Shortlist (composed by copywriters and strategists)
— Infringement check

The criteria for a sound name are as follows:

  1. It is memorable.
  2. It is aligned with the target audience’s perception.
  3. It accounts for cultural specifics.
  4. It is protected.

Naming is something everyone needs. It’s indispensable for products and brands alike.

 

Product naming:
Specific benefit—it helps quickly introduce the product, and show what it is about. Naming is about describing and informing.

 

Brand naming:
There are lots of products out there, but proper naming helps attract attention and induce interaction. Naming is the first of step in interacting with a brand, a first touch.
Here are a few practices and observations to make naming easier for you:

1. Start with an idea.
Functionality alone is not enough. Something should make it memorable.
Take Diia (Дія = Держава і я (Government and I)), for instance. There’s no functional description here, just an idea.

2. Sometimes, however, a functional description would be a better choice, e.g. when you fall into an undeserved category.
One good example is the KIT—Nova Poshta’s Kyiv Innovative Terminal.

3. Descriptor (the clarifications in a small script under the name itself).
When the name doesn’t indicate what you do clearly enough, adding a descriptor helps. It assumes the descriptive role to make the name work on a deeper level.
Example: GOTOVO! (document service)

4. People don’t care what your idea was. They will call you as they please.
Example: previously, Fedoriv Agency was named Fedoriv.com. And you know what? Only its team used that ‘dot-com’ ending, the clients and other people shortened it to Fedoriv. So, don’t be afraid to listen to people and change accordingly.

5. Think about everything at once.
Thinking about the name, don’t forget descriptors and domain names (yup, digitalization and all that stuff). If you find out that the domain name was purchased by someone else during your development phase, you still have time to adjust.

6. Everything new is scary at first.
Allow time for yourself and consumers to get used to your name.
Example: Hop Hey beer shop = in Ukraine, everyone is used to seeing More Pyva (as in ‘the sea of beer’) or any other name that would directly reference beer.

7. A good name will live on, and it’s OK if it evolves into various things within the product.

8. Sometimes it’s good to go beyond the constraints of the brief, chances are that you will discover something you’ll love.
Examples: Epikur, Holly Chick

9. Don’t try to please everyone and win everyone’s fancy. Remember that your audience is not everyone. Work only for your target audience. Otherwise, the checklist provided at the beginning of this article is useless.

10. Be proud of what you have come up with.

DENYS CHERNYAVSKYY: WHY STRATEGIES FAIL

*Denys Chernyavskyy changed his mind and talked about how to make strategies work.

 

There are two types of brand strategies: focus and disruption.

Focus is useful when we work in a market we understand with a reasonable product and don’t want to change it or change ourselves.
We just try to find out WHO WE ARE.
Example: the new Marlboro ad (+3% sales)

Disruption is as if you said ‘Rules were made by old farts, let’s come up with our own rules or band them to work in our favour’.
Example: vapes (which temporarily monopolized the market).

What is essential nowadays?
Differentiation. Positioning. Visibility.
Being unlike any other: ‘I have principles’, ‘I’m not like the others’, ‘This is what I believe is important’.

There are four pillars to every brand: agency, internal marketing, implementation team, and Brand Father.
If any of these is lacking, this is what happens:

— Without an agency: Everyone takes much pride in their independence. However, the consumer either doesn’t understand or is disappointed.
— Without internal marketing: The agency will come up with an idea, and the implementation team will do their work as they see fit.
— Without an implementation team: There will be a great idea that everyone likes, but no way to implement it. Just filming of a video.
— Without a Brand Father: Lots of talking and meetings, but no decisions, and everyone eventually grows tired from each other.

When all four elements meet, magic happens, and you get it all: the idea, presentation, negotiation, implementation, filming, launch, hype, and fulfilled KPI.

And one more important thing:
Want to make art? Go ahead and make art!
Or stop pestering your client with your creative ambitions, which you lack the courage to implement.

IVAN IHNATOV: HOW TO KEEP A BRAND NOT SEEMINGLY BUT ACTUALLY YOUNG

Brands age just like people.
One day, people ask about your brand while buying white wine, and then they stop.

Why would you need to rejuvenate your brand?
Because it will grow old otherwise. And then it will die. In horrible pain. And all alone.

There are two vectors for brand rejuvenation:

  1. Technology. Adopting new technologies to extend the product’s functionality or consumer communication.
  2. Positioning. A shift in brand values/communication or adaptation thereof to a new audience.

Pepsi is an excellent example of a brand that is forever young.

For every generation, they managed to find a voice, e.g.,

Michael Jackson in the 1980s, Britney Spears in the 2000s, and now Card B, and they put it to maximum use. This is the reason why the notion of Pepsi Generation is still alive and kicking.
A good brand is forever young and attractive, like Jared Leto.

But the youth has its enemies, be careful with them. It’s ‘Uncool’, ‘Complacent’, ‘Fake’, ‘Unauthentic’, and ‘Bullshit’.

Here’s how to avoid them:
– Don’t try to determine the needs of a new generation by brainstorming.
– Conduct a qualitative survey.
– Supplement it with a couple of penetrative investigations.
– Have a tight budget? Talk to your younger sister or brother over a coffee.

 

Most importantly, however, make sure your advert doesn’t look like a middle-aged man entering school with his son and suddenly starting to flex.
Or take like a middle-aged man during a midlife crisis.

AGENCIES CASES: