HOW DOES A SOCIAL COMMUTING APP GO FROM BEING A
SMALL START-UP TO A GLOBAL GIANT, SOLD FOR MORE THAN $1B?
MAKE THEM FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR PRODUCT.
I came on to lead marketing communications at Waze before the company had even formally launched in the US, working alongside very talented designers, to build the brand from scratch. Given that we spent next to nothing on paid acquisition, we focused our attention, instead, on developing a brand that people would actually love. It was something we talked about a lot as a team: what it would take for people to love and enthusiastically share something as utilitarian as a navigation app. Our take? A delightful brand experience - one with a distinctive voice, that infused everything starting from the onboarding screens, all the way down to the error messages. So, that’s what we delivered.
Messaging, positioning, and tagline development
Brand voice across all consumer touch points - marketing communications, UX content, promo video scripts, newsletters, etc.
Leading various international public relations firms
Ideation around various product features
Conceptualizing engaging digital campaigns + events
In collaboration with Elad Tayar & Roey Regev
One of the concepts I came up with that made its way into the Waze product was the idea of the 'baby wazer'. The purpose was two-fold - having babies on the map, allowed us to gauge new usership in a specific geography, at a quick glance. It also gave users an anchored starting point from which to build upon. After a certain level of contribution to the community, they'd be able to become a grown-up wazer, and pick new moods or rise up the ranks into 'road royalty'. Funnily enough, years later, I took a course on gamification best practices, and 'baby wazer' was called out as a stellar example of bringing game mechanics into a tech product. I didn't say anything, but it made me blush.
SUCCESSFULY ENGAGING A GLOBAL USERBASE
It’s a bit of a challenge to conceive of a promotion that will engage users across a diversity of regions, but riffing off of the worldwide popularity of the World Cup, Waze hosted its very own worldwide FIFA-like competition, challenging users to ‘munch’ (drive over) soccerball ‘road goodies’ (icons on the map, worth points) on behalf of their respective countries for the win. We created a week of tournament-style global competition, then narroved it down to the top four countries who were pit against one another in a final showdown. The country with the most points had three winners receiving iPads – a hot new item, at the time. With dozens and dozens of countries participating, user engagement was off the charts, resulting in an extremely successful campaign that was replicated a number of times to come in the years that followed.