The Brand Creative Team exists to elevate, activate and communicate the value of Sourcegraph to the world. We make this possible by serving as a strategic creative partner to cross-functional stakeholders, offering full-service creative support with a rapid, flexible, iterative process that stems from a deep understanding of our products, our processes, and our people.
Elevate – Raise awareness, positive perception, and recognition of the brand by placing it where our audience is and delivering high-quality, memorable experiences.
Activate – Empower our teammates, users, and advocates to be a part of the story, and provide them with moments of surprise and delight across their entire journey.
Communicate – Explain the benefits of our products and the value of our mission through user-focused storytelling, immersive creative, and clear, fluff-free messaging.
Start with why.
In order to prioritize, we should always look for the why behind any new requests. Does it ladder up to existing OKRs? What’s the anticipated impact? How will we measure success? What tier does this fall into? Additionally, think of the end-user. Sometimes there may be a bigger picture to the puzzle piece we are being asked to produce. We should always think of the person or people who make up the audience being communicated to (developers, designers, prototypers, researchers, engineering managers, product managers, CTOs, etc.) and commit to doing our best work for them.
Always add value.
Our team is unique in that we combine creative strategy and big-picture thinking with tactical, technical skills – such as graphic/web/UX design, illustration, copywriting, video production, animation, brand strategy, and creative direction. As a multidisciplinary unit within Sourcegraph serving cross-functional partners across the entire organization (People, Community, Demand Gen, Product Marketing, Content Strategy, Product, Engineering, etc.), we should enter every project thinking about how we can add value for the audience (internal or external) and impact the overall company goals. Whether through smart messaging, great visuals, or immersive media, we have incredible storytelling devices at our disposal and should always be looking for ways to leverage them for projects large and small.
Overdeliver and delight.
No one likes to be disappointed. At the same time, everyone likes to be surprised (in a good way). Once the scope of a project is determined, we should look for ways to add a little something extra that expresses our desire to go “above and beyond”. Someone asks for two subject lines? Here are three. A team needs a video produced? We’ll do that plus a dedicated social cut. Making a social media graphic? Let’s animate it so it’s more engaging. Think about how even the smallest thing can sometimes be what’s remembered most, like when you were on a long flight and were hungry, but the flight didn’t have meal service so the attendant slipped you a granola bar from their own stash. That’s the sort of thing that drives customer loyalty and builds trust in the commercial market, and it’s not that different inside an organization either.
When an internal partner, whether from Ops, Product, or inside our own Marketing team, comes to us to collaborate on a project, it’s because they need our help. Our lens should always be solutions-based, not problem-based. We think of problems or challenges like baseballs – they can keep coming and we keep swinging for the fences. No matter what the limitations are on an assignment, it’s our job to come up with a creative solution (or solutions), then be able to execute and deliver. Sometimes that means direct support, other times it’s acting as a wayfinder and connecting them with a vendor, template, process, or other resource to accomplish their goal.
Be honest and direct (with kindness).
All of the previous values are focused on delivering great content with a great attitude. This one is no different but adds a layer of courage to have difficult conversations. As bad as disagreements and conflict can sometimes be, it’s even worse to let things sit below the surface and grow worse over time. If someone on our team isn’t delivering to expectations, or if you are struggling with a stakeholder or internal partner, it’s best to sit down (sometimes with an unbiased moderator) and work things out in person, face-to-face. Surprisingly these interactions actually make relationships stronger, so while we don’t want to overdo it when facing conflict, we shouldn’t shy away from these moments either. Remain professional at all times and remember we all have the same goals for our users.
Define (and celebrate) success.
We just launched a campaign we were working on for 3 months with over 30 stakeholders? Premiered a video that required 6 months of production time? Sent out our most-engaging email of all time? Created a new streamlined briefing process that eliminates one additional meeting? Amazing! Let’s celebrate all the small, medium, and large wins that we can identify as we make progress towards the long-term goals of the org. These wins are important milestones on the journey and opportunities for us to look around at those who are doing the work and celebrate our efforts. Without them, the size and scope of our broader mission can seem daunting and unreachable. But noting each win and piling it in with the rest helps raise our spirits higher and higher and builds momentum for the long-term work.
Trust the process (and the people).
We should always assume that Sourcegraph is bringing in the best people it can for each and every position across the board. As such, it makes sense to spend some time getting to know each other, both personally and professionally. Something as simple as scanning someone’s LinkedIn profile or having a virtual coffee with them can be a seed that grows into a tree with branches of trust, respect, and understanding. Similarly, as custodians of a growing brand and customer base, we should trust that any processes being put in place org-wide are there for a reason, to ensure the longevity of Sourcegraph as a company and as a product suite. As important as it is for us to understand the why behind a project (see Value #1), there may be times when there isn’t time or clearance to peer deeply into the well. In those situations, we should assume best intent from the leadership team and – per our other Team Values – Add value, Provide solutions, Overdeliver, and Surprise and Delight.
Think scrappy, then scale.
It’s true Sourcegraph is a startup. It’s also true we have large goals and want to grow into a game-changing fundamental tool used by millions of developers worldwide and make it so everyone can code. While it’s important for us to move fast, we also need to think about if what we’re doing will scale when we have hundreds (or thousands) of teammates, or millions of users. That means if a process does not exist, we should create one. If something can be templatized without compromising quality, let’s try it. We want to test our ideas quickly and in real-time, but also be thinking of ways to streamline areas that need to be able to grow. In other words, if there is a way to set up a process, tool, program, or system that is going to lay strong foundations for future use cases (even if it takes a little bit of extra time now), it’s worth the investment to be able to grow in a healthy way. Your future self (and team) will thank you.