STORY

When we first engaged The Text Hub, a Houston-based startup, they had a developed a fantastic application for ESL students to improve their English literacy. The team had been working for 2 years but were facing challenges to gain traction.

CHALLENGE

The Text Hub had its work cut out.

A landscape of well-established and well-funded competitors.

A hyper-niche market with limited upside.

A high barrier of entry including strict, varied educational standards and long sales cycles.

Further, the product needed clearer differentiation.

We were brought on to help re-imagine the brand positioning, the story, and develop a strategy that would enable The Text Hub to overcome the challenges, in what looked like a deck stacked against it.

Strategy

Starting with our 4 Areas of Understanding philosophy, we developed a deep understanding of the company, the vision and goals of the founders, the value of the product, the needs of the market, and the opportunities available.

The heart of our new strategy was connecting strength with need.

The software was unique in that it was designed for students who were not native English speakers. In North America, there are between 5 to 8 million students learning English as a second language. 

We decided to look at where else students are learning English. We discovered that learning English is mandatory for students across 90% of the world. Rather than focusing exclusively on domestic ESL students, there was an opportunity to make a greater impact by supporting students learning English internationally.

Further, we recognized that public school boards and governments would provide a significant challenge from a sales perspective. There were more decision makers, longer sales cycles, and more arduous standards. Not small obstacles for a bootstrapped startup that was new to enterprise sales.

This guided us to institutions that had more autonomy, and easier access to decision makers. Private schools and programs.

Brand Pillars

We identified 6 brand pillars that defined The Text Hub. This provided a framework that the team could leverage to make strong, consistent decisions.

With this shift in focus, we developed a new brand identity to support the new positioning and market. The creative was anchored by 3 key principles.

Globally Minded

Creative, especially in messaging, must be geared and considerate of a global, diverse audience.

Clarity & Simplicity

All creative should focus on clear, simple, direct communication. Serving a diverse, global audience of non-native English speakers, we need to ensure our writing is clear and easy to understand.

Story Driven

Stories are one of the oldest forms of communication and can transcend language and cultural barriers. They are also inherent to reading. We will incorporate the simplicity and structure of stories into our creative and content.

Logo

We designed the new logo to serve a global audience with a focus on clarity and understanding. The simple, geometric Book logo is universally identifiable and provides a balanced sense of digital modernity with literary history.

Colors

The rich yet restrained color palette excels in its accessibility, as well as usability. It features high contrast, and the ability to appeal to audiences diverse in age, gender, and culture.

Font

We needed a font that was both modern and inclusive. We selected Manrope as the brand font for its clear letterforms and high readability across different sizes and devices.

Tagline

So much of reading education is focused on memorizing words. But literacy is about so much more than just knowing the words on a page. The new tagline “More than just words” represents all of the opportunities and advantages that literacy provides.

Website

The new brand required a new website and an elevated digital presence.

Content

We also created a new YouTube channel as a free resource for students learning English as a foreign or second language. This was a low-cost way to create high-quality content that provides immediate value while also serving as a micro product demo.

Business Development

We created a business development plan centered around a new International Pilot Program to gain traction and identify best-fit markets.

RESULTS

Since launching the new brand and business development programs, The Text Hub was able to acquire its first paying customers, at a higher price point.

The leadership team has greater focus, a well-defined path to success, and the assets and systems necessary to support their growth.

MORE WORK