Zeus Jones is a place that naturally attracts makers and doers.
We channeled this love of making into our work with Scotch™ Brand, the makers of Magic™ tape, packing and decorative tape, shipping boxes, scissors, laminators and much more. Scotch™ Brand believes in the power of doing things with your hands, so their brand values center on helping people be more resourceful and finding new ways to make things all on their own.
Our challenge was to bring this commitment to resourcefulness to life through content that inspires brand loyalty, new purchases, and new usage occasions. We set out to understand who uses Scotch™ Brand products and how. What we found was no surprise — those people are the ones who love to wrap their own gifts, organize their workspaces, and decorate their homes. We also found that there are a zillion established places for these people to go for inspiration, creating a noisy landscape for the brand to participate in.
Instead of seeing that noisy landscape as a barrier, we saw it as an almost limitless opportunity — as a zillion places for Scotch™ Brand to connect with consumers. In order to genuinely participate in the inspirational culture of making, we decided to support and co-create with makers who shared the Scotch™ Brand value of resourcefulness. Ultimately, we needed to figure out how to make everyday items like tape and scissors more exciting to consumers.
So, we developed what we called the Resourcefulness Network — a two-part strategy for content creation and distribution. From a content creation standpoint, the Resourcefulness Network is a cohort of makers, including the brand itself, that create beautiful content and projects that naturally incorporate Scotch™ Brand products. From a distribution standpoint, we use a combination of the makers’ ecosystems and the Scotch™ Brand ecosystem — social media channels, paid media channels, retailers, website, and advertisements. That means whenever we find a new maker to work with, the ecosystem grows — and it’s a great way to increase organic reach and search rankings while sharing new ways to use the brand’s products.
Here are the three things we’re doing to bring the Resourcefulness Network to life and add excitement to everyday products:
1. Fostering valuable partnerships
Participating in and connecting with maker culture authentically meant that we needed to hand the reins over to our Resourcefulness Network partners. So, our relationships became complementary instead of transactional. Our makers know what type of projects our audience is looking for, while Scotch™ Brand knows which products are best for which applications, and all the different ways each one can be used. When choosing partners, we prioritize style, voice and audience profile, not just reach and influence. By choosing partners with care, we ensure a good fit between the partner and the brand’s values.
For example, design partners like Ampersand Design Studio and Tokketok align with our core value of resourcefulness. Both partners incorporate Scotch™ Brand products naturally into their work with everyday items, which results in beautiful content to share within the Scotch™ Brand ecosystem. Authentic content and partnerships like these emphasize the brand’s quality and expertise without feeling forced, and, by supporting makers who have unique points of view, the brand inspires more people to seek out its products.
2. Developing a modern, flexible brand language
When you’re working with a variety of partners across several media, it can be a challenge to maintain a consistent voice and visual aesthetic, especially when your philosophy relies on empowering others to bring forward their own style. What we needed was a set of guidelines that allowed for individual freedom of style, but created a unified sense of identity.
Many of the core elements of the iconic Scotch™ Brand have stood the test of time, so instead of redesigning, we worked to modernize. We started by simplifying brand elements — we chose a simple typeface, a bright, limited color palette that allows the Scotch™ Brand Yellow to shine, a light, trend-proof photography aesthetic and an illustration style that reminds us of a DIY instruction manual. These minimal but structured elements leave a lot of room for play.
Next, we used our modernized brand to design the website. We started with a simple structure, so visitors can seamlessly find products and tips. One of our favorite examples of the design language and partner strategy coming to life is the “Packing for a Move” page.
We created a calculator using our iconography style that helps customers estimate the amount of Scotch™ Brand supplies they’ll need for a successful move. Further down the page, we highlight tips from partners You Move Me and Unpackd that focus on packing, moving and unpacking. Our flexible design language allows their unique perspective to shine through while representing the brand with beautiful visuals.
3. Understanding production power
We approach each piece of content we create with the freedom to explore and collaborate in unique and resourceful ways. Starting with the collaboration between Zeus Jones and Scotch™ Brand, we begin by establishing goals for each partnership’s content. Then, when we start working with our partners, we give them the freedom they need to realize the unique potential of their stories.
Because each partnership and maker story is different, our team has learned to be nimble; each of us fill multiple roles, and our internal studio has given us the power to find those roles for ourselves. Braden, our producer, doubles as a videographer and DIY-expert, while Rachel and Lindsay are designers with styling and photography chops. Long term partnerships with Leslie Plesser, photographer; Liz Gardner, creative; and Kate Arends of Wit & Delight, have added additional capability while ensuring we still feel like one core team.
As we continue to follow these principles and work with more partners the Resourcefulness Network grows – capturing the attention of more consumers and gathering more authentic partnerships through content. So far, there has been an increase in traffic from organic search to the site, increase in conversions from Facebook ads, and a large increase in repeat visitors to the site. Engagement on organic social posts on Facebook and Instagram have also increased.
Many of our partners have become Scotch™ Brand product advocates, and many of their readers and fans have taken a second look at the brand, too. Our content creation strategy has even gotten us some love from third-party publications like Hubspot.
Most importantly, the Resourcefulness Network supports Scotch™ Brand’s objectives to inspire brand loyalty and uncover new usage occasions for consumers.