Dropbox’s Ingredients for a Human Brand
At its core, Dropbox started as a simple file hosting service when it launched in 2008. Along the journey, they recognized that creatives were at the heart of their customer base.
Designers, illustrators and visual creatives’ needs are specific. They need storage. High quality images command huge file sizes. And creatives place a high value on form and experience as well as functionality. Dropbox has become a brand that resonates through meaningful design and purpose, making them a clear choice for creatives worldwide.
A Bold Visual Language
Dropbox is very intentional about their visual identity. Their whimsical illustrations and patterns are something we admire. And they feel close to home for us as a brand. Those visual elements give a soft angle to a digital service. It makes an otherwise technical service feel a lot more human. But this blueprint can work equally as well for smaller businesses, too.
Dropbox recognized that brands shouldn’t just inform but inspire. They launched with a vibrant, custom color palette, using bold, energetic hues of blue and green. It gave us all the signal that Dropbox would be a lively, innovative brand. They also used an expressive serif typeface for their logo and headlines. It was another way to show their friendliness and personality in a visual way.
Choices like these tap into our human psychology. Elements like fonts and colors combine to give us a perspective on a brand. In Dropbox's case, that perspective has served them well.
Nailing the Messaging
The way Dropbox talks about themselves is crucial. One of their focuses is on simplicity and ease of use. An early marketing campaign highlighted how easy it was to use Dropbox. Take the quote "we make productivity accessible to all." The service was about file sharing, but we were being sold on the benefit, in a warm, friendly way.
They've always been meaningfully witty with their copy choices. "your files, not your problem" and "do your best work here" capture their purpose. They also connect to the pain points and aspirations of potential users. For small businesses, it's a great demonstration of making problem-solving and mindset-shifting central to your message.
The Evolution of the Brand
After almost 10 years in the game, Dropbox now has a much bigger footprint. In 2017, that growth led to a rebrand, consistent with their brand vision. It was important they did this in a way that kept their loyal, current users on board, whilst attracting new ones.
The original box logo conveyed functionality and simplicity. Today's abstract, minimalist logo shows a mature, innovative brand that powers complex workflows. This was especially important as their suite of services expanded. Now the company offers many more services, their branding helps to unify them. For small businesses, a rebrand is worth considering if your mission, vision or products have evolved from where you started.
Dropbox Branding Lives Everywhere
We see humanity, purpose and visual delight across Dropbox's entire brand experience. Along with an optimistic tone, Dropbox elevates the human stories and impact behind their product.
Their most powerful campaigns (such as ‘For All Things Worth Saving’) spotlight real businesses, people and communities that have been impacted by Dropbox. Integrations with popular workplace brands like Hubspot, Slack and AWS also show Dropbox at the centre of human collaboration.
Showcasing Their Customers
Dropbox's site is smart at showcasing testimonials from various types of users. There's soundbites from graphic designers, architects, consultants, photographers, and more. All of them show the value of Dropbox to many types of work.
The testimonials save readers the effort of figuring out if Dropbox would benefit them. Another clever move is to share stories, directly from their customers. Investment is easier for businesses when they can see a part of themselves within a product.
A Beautifully Branded Blog
Dropbox keeps a productivity focus for its brand, but its blog uses design to create a sense of humanity and warmth. Their signature blue and green colors replace a stark style, and bold fonts highlight stories about real people. This emotive approach helps Dropbox show its key mission and values in a compelling way.
These playful touches are engaging for readers. Yet, the blog’s tone feels natural, not forced. The combination of illustrations and photographs makes us feel welcome. And readers can connect with what matters to them and grabs their interest.
Humanizing the Dropbox Brand
Dropbox's “For All Things Worth Saving” campaign transforms their platform into a canvas for self-expression. These artistic interpretations turn an everyday tool into something more inspirational. It moves Dropbox beyond its generic benefits.
When we see it help people to create meaningful work, we start imagining how we could make the platform our own. This campaign has done a remarkable job of changing our perceptions of file sharing. It has reframed a functional experience into a creative, more emotional one.
Branding That Speaks to Users
Dropbox builds a link to creatives across their entire brand. From their visual and language choices, to the angle of what they choose to showcase, their efforts align with the mindset and the goals of creatives.
Their brand balances technical might with messages of enablement and progress. They show how productivity tools benefit human work. It's a brand that forges loyalty with everyday users by speaking to them, and showcasing them. By spotlighting the difference made in real lives and work, they inspire us to imagine what we could achieve with their help.