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Case Study: Designli

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Designli is a digital product studio based in Greenville, SC. They develop custom software and mobile apps for startups and enterprise-level companies. The founders of Designli, Keith Shields and Josh Tucker, are sharp problem-solvers with a strong business sense. Their ability to distill their clients’ ideas into ready-to-market MVPs, combined with their proprietary integration of behavioral psychology to ensure the apps are eagerly adopted by target audiences, sets them apart.

Strategic Positioning Leads to 30% Increase in Average Project Value for Designli


The new positioning has set Designli apart from competitors, attracting prospects who value what the team brings to the table and leading to consistent revenue growth.

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Case-Study-Solution
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Challenge

Designli looked and sounded like every other small software development company, which left them competing on price. They needed to differentiate and communicate the value of what they could bring to the table.

Solution

A new thought leadership content strategy focused on highlighting the Designli team’s experience building and leading companies and their proprietary behavioral design process.

Results

Within a year of implementing the new thought leadership content strategy, Designli’s average project value has increased 30%.

“Good content closes for you. Laura’s helping us stand out in our industry, and the content is unique and interesting. She goes in-depth in a way that’s easy for non-technical people to understand, and really communicates the value.” – Keith Shields, Co-Founder of Designli

Commoditization Limits Profitability

Consistent growth over five years resulted in a team of developers that Keith and Josh were keeping busy, but with lower profitability than they knew they could achieve. The company looked and sounded like every other small software development company, which left them competing on price. Keith explains, “We were commoditized — people just handed us specs and said ‘what’s the cost to build this?’”

But in fact, Keith and Josh had extensive experience running their own startup before launching Designli, and they’d learned valuable lessons from the dozens of apps they’d built and marketed with that startup. Additionally, their study of behavioral design gave them insight into how to craft products that people would want to use and develop a habit of using. Since many clients were viewing Designli as simply a collection of programmers, they weren’t open to input on product design, leading to products with mediocre performance.

Thought Leadership Demonstrates Expertise

Designli did have some clients who listened to their input, so the team had a track record of several highly successful products. They knew if they could show more clients that their expertise was valuable and would lead to better products, they could improve profitability and enjoy their work more in the process.

When Designli contacted me about helping them demonstrate their expertise, they were already creating content. They had a blog and a newsletter, and they regularly published guest articles on websites and in magazines their target audience was reading. But they didn’t have a strategy. The topics were random and didn’t connect with Designli’s expertise.

We decided to continue the current content formats but dramatically shift the focus of the content. Most of the topics would revolve around behavioral design and how user-focused product studios like Designli are changing the status quo of the software development industry.

Strategic Positioning Leads to 30% Increase in Average Project Value

Within a year of implementing the new thought leadership content strategy, Designli’s average project value has increased 30%. Keith shares, “We’re now known in the industry for embedding the concepts of behavioral design and ‘product stickiness’ into our client’s projects — making compelling and worthwhile additions to each project’s features-list, and bringing behavioral design-focused functionality to the projects we work on.”

This new positioning has set Designli apart from competitors, attracting prospects who value what the team brings to the table and leading to consistent revenue growth. Keith says, “Good content closes for you. Laura’s helping us stand out in our industry, and the content is unique and interesting. She goes in-depth in a way that’s easy for non-technical people to understand, and really communicates the value.”

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