Celebrating Small Business
Xero is a beloved brand because we celebrate small business. Other accounting products have more features, but those products overwhelm, frustrate and confuse people. Xero makes people smile. It's not just our product, it’s also our people, our culture and our community.
That's an excerpt from the Xero Brand Playbook which I wrote so that our global marketing teams, as well as our external suppliers and agencies, were able to quickly get an intimate understanding of how to best execute and position any Xero collaterals they produce.
More from the Xero Brand Playbook:
Xero challenges the perception that accounting is boring, tedious and painful.
We do the unexpected. We’re a bit quirky, but always charming and positive. We make people stop and think. We make people smile.
We focus on what we can do for customers, not what customers can do for us.
Celebrate what’s special about running a small business. Emotion always sells better than rationale.
Amplify the voice of our customers. People would never believe it if we said “Xero is like riding a unicorn across the universe” but hearing a customer say it is extraordinary.
Aim to create work that is enduring and timeless.
The work below was produced by an extremely talented team of designers. I oversaw all of these projects, but I'd like to acknowledge key members of the team who played an instrumental role in the work shown: Dan Newman, Charli Prangley, Camille Brunette, Mike Hall, Arlen McCluskey, Aaron Dustin, among many others who contributed.
A beautiful brand
Beautiful means more than good looks. A beautiful experience changes your life. It lets you:
- Do things you've never done
- Understand things you never understood
- Enjoy things you never enjoyed
We aim to make everything we do simple, smart and beautiful.
With Xero.com we were constantly testing and improving the SEO, messaging, copy, design and navigation to optimize conversions—across four very different major markets: NZ, AU, UK and US.
I was deeply involved in all aspects of our digital marketing: strategy, design, copywriting, testing and funnel optimization.
Simple, smart and occassionally magical
Copywriting is the most important tool we have.
Words are how people understand what we do and why they should care.
The impact of our words is amplified with beautiful design and graphics.
For a long time, I wrote and edited the majority of our marketing copy. I also wrote the copywriting guidelines, which defined the Xero voice.
Redefining the business of accounting
Small businesses are the primary audience, but accountants and bookkeepers are absolutely key in our go-to-market strategy.
Accountants tend to be conservative, late adopters. We have to show them how Xero will transform their practice by educating them on the advantages of cloud accounting, then nurture them along the journey.
A small business is most successful when a professional accountant is involved. Xero directly connects small businesses with accountants to make it a happy and profitable relationship for both.
Pleasure doing business
Video has always been a major channel for Xero to show the magic of the product and demonstrate the impact it has on people and their businesses.
I led our video strategy, video production, design, scriptwriting, and for a long time I was the voice of Xero—narrating dozens of videos.
Champions of small business
Education has always been a key aspect of the Xero strategy. Smarter customers are good for business.
Xero Small Business Guides are a treasure trove of simple and smart advice to help entrepreneurs launch, grow and enjoy their businesses.
Of course, it's also a powerful content marketing channel, helping Xero reach customers, becoming their go-to source for business advice.
Amplify the voice of the customer
Xero was launched at the same time as Twitter. We quickly embraced Twitter as a way of connecting with customers—listening to their feedback, offering tips and support, celebrating their victories and commiserating with their setbacks.
Every day there was a stream of feedback from customers around the world proclaiming their love of Xero. We featured their unsolicited testimonials in all our promotions and advertising—because they say it better they we ever could.
Creating a movement
Xero isn't just groundbreaking software. It's an entire movement. Every year, thousands of accountants and bookkeepers attend Xerocon and Xero Roadshows in hundreds of cities all over the world.
These events are the most highly anticipated, must-go events in the industry.
It's a time to see what the future of small business accounting is going to be. It's a place to be part of a unique community that's dramatically increasing the success rate of small businesses around the world.
As an online software business, Xero still has plenty of need for a wide range of good old-fashioned print collaterals.
Enjoy the ride
Accounting had a long standing reputation for being dull, tedious and painful. We worked extremely hard to flip that—to always celebrate the joy and fun of running a business.
Investing in design
As a public company, investor relations are essential to the success of Xero. Annual reports and investor presentations play a major role in communicating the value of Xero's business model.
Investing in Xero is an investment in design led business. And the return on investment has been astronomical.