To dive deep into how Aument’s visual branding was formed, we interviewed our Head of Design, Sabrina Fillol.
Q: What led you to take the plunge and join a tiny team of data scientists?
A: The disposition of Aument’s founders was important for me, their transparency makes them really enjoyable to work with. I also knew this company was a place where I could drive a lot of value. Well beyond rebranding, I would be spearheading a brand transformation.
Before Aument, I’d freelanced for a few years, then took a job at an online bank that aspired to be among the 5 best banks in Argentina. It was competitive and hard work!
That’s where I met Mario León, our CPO. He’d always said we should work together and set up a creative agency, something of our own… One day, he did just that! He convinced me to invest some time as a freelancer into his vision and I began working with him at Aument four hours every day.
I slowly started clocking up more time developing the brand of this marketing automation toolbox, working more hours than I had to. I was already working a full day at my day job and on top of that, I genuinely felt like working another 6 hours in the evening, just to perfect everything for Aument.
One night, as I sat lovingly obsessing over the logo at 1am, it became obvious that this was more than just a side hustle.
Then came the formal job offer to lead design, when Aument received its first investment from the VC fund Newtopia. It was an easy decision to become a full time collaborator and take this baby of a brand and raise it myself, full time.
Q: What did you bring from previous experiences to this startup’s brand transformation?
A: After working in government, banking, and freelancing, I learned two things about myself that are key to the position I hold today:
- I am not intimidated by rebranding or building a brand from scratch.
- I’m flexible and adapt to different personalities with ease.
I developed the skill of brand building at Banco de Sol, where I was hired when there was not even a finalized logo. I single handedly built the brand image, the values manual, and a lot of the marketing.
When I joined Aument in its very early stages, I was able to apply the same skills: talk to the founders in depth, listen to everyone’s opinions, and develop the entire look and feel of the company.
Being flexible, on the other hand, came while I was freelancing. Each client is totally different and you learn to adapt. Today, I apply this to our 4 founders who all have dramatically different personalities, though they share the same vision.
For example, with our marketing leader, I tend to divide all my tasks up by week and focus on one at a time with him. With the founder in charge of tech, I know he likes to receive finalized projects so I aim to resolve all my doubts with him in a 10 minute call, then send him a finished proposal. In contrast, our product leader is keen to be involved in decisions so I always give him options to choose from. Our founder with most external-facing meetings is for whom I’ll most proactively suggest ideas, such as editable PPTs and QR codes to replace business cards.
I enjoy the variety, and being able to flex to others’ styles is a strength of mine — one I reinforce with every new employee!
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
A: Our decision to switch from targeting Latin America, to turn first toward the anglo-speaking market, was a turnabout. Suddenly, the company plan flipped and we refocused on North American merchants, where brands connect with their following in a completely different way. This was when the brand transformation became necessary.
The segment of marketing automation is already hard to explain. It’s so technical, and our automations are designed for store owners who might not be technical minds. You need a creative mind to explain something as complex as Aument to people with no knowledge of data science, audience segmentation, or automating retention actions.
Another massive challenge that I can’t not mention is that, when you take on a brand that’s new, curating its visual identity is complex. You have a raw idea that needs to be polished and need to balance that with the whirlwind of day-to-day work. You have to stay cool and organized to cover all the needs of a new company, quickly, creatively, and applying best practices.
To reach a consensus on some key rebranding points, I held online workshops using Miro. The founders and our most senior collaborators weighed in on our identity, our style of voice, and we formed buyer personas based on what they’ve seen during audience research.
We had a lot of fun talking about brand transformation, connected on lots of ideas and, I must say, the founders humbly accepted the preferences of our senior leaders over their own in many instances. They worked hard to hire experienced professionals, so it’s great that they value our opinions.
Q: What do you see as Aument’s differentiating factor?
A: One aspect of the brand that I’m keen to activate more, because it’s such a great opportunity for merchants, is our community.
We already have some world-class ecommerce owners in a group called the ecommerce toolbox, where they share ideas and feedback with each other. I love seeing this online store “fan club”, where leaders support each others’ projects, contribute thoughts and collaborate via their stores and expertise. The community is pivotal to being able to serve and educate store owners.
This strategic position as Head of Design gives me the opportunity to impact so many areas of the business. I certainly see myself as a major contributor to the community as well as creating and caring for the brand, and of course managing the next rebrand!