Tuesday, September 09, 2008

LifeFormulae™ Brandwork

Today’s horrid cliché: There are no small clients – only limited imaginations. Exceptions, though, disprove this rule; Lee Jones, Executive Vice President of LifeFormulae LLC, is one of them.

Thanks to Jones, I’ve been working to establish a brand around a software-as-a-service – called SaaS – for the third time in as many years. SaaS is a delivery mechanism for software, more efficient in many ways that purchasing a software package and installing it on your computer. In this case, the effort is for LARTS, the LifeFormulae ASN.1 Reader Tool Set. (In the world of bioinformatics, it’s safe to say LARTS is delivered by SaaS. Got that?) LifeFormulae is a new company…but that isn’t holding Jones and the rest of the team back.

With Jones’s encouragement, a brand has been built around the company itself, rather than its products. Seems straightforward: LifeFormulae, the toolmaker for life-science researchers worldwide, helps investigators shorten the time from research to results.

It’s really not so simple, not when it comes to the complex and challenging world of life sciences. The principals of LifeFormulae have built a better computational mousetrap that speeds up the unraveling of the secrets of life. Outside any perception of brand is a metaphysical platform captured in part by Jay Lake in his latest book:

And so Creation worked, the planet spinning like the hands of a watch, meshing with the ring of its orbits as it transited through the sky. Everything danced around everything else, advancing in a mechanical sarabande that told the story of God’s craftsmanship more eloquently than words in any book to talk…

At its most abstruse, LifeFormulae software aims to help life scientists breach the wall of God’s craftsmanship at speed: To provide them with the quickest route to the genomic and proteomic answers they need.

Beyond any brand communications the company is likely to develop, the motive for the stopwatch visual (discovered and deployed by website development manager Rachel Sandrock) is the intricate construction of life. What lies beyond this boundary, for researchers, “is another Creation.”

Whoa! All the foregoing is way too philosophical.

Look: There’s a new logo for LifeFormulae, created by Griffin Creative. The new look for this small bioinformatics company is provided by Sandrock. Her stopwatch visual could stand for “nonstop solutions;” instead, it emphasizes the time-sensitive deconstruction of life’s secrets.

And the new branding, from brand story to words, comes from me: LifeFormulae is the resource for researchers – the one that can deliver what they need for a shorter time to a result, a critical product…a cure. Everything’s on line to support Jones’s forceful sales and marketing initiative.

A small company may not have the time to explore every possible interaction with its stakeholders. It might have to start from scratch, inventing a position based on product attributes. Despite all the theory in the world, that’s not a bad place to begin branding. And it’s going to show up first at the Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s “Data-Driven Discovery Summit” in Providence, RI, September 21-25.

There’ll be more to this story. I’ll feed it to you as we go. Meantime, thanks to the LifeFormulae team – Ira Crain, Bill Eaton, Pam Culpepper, Jones and Sandrock – for the opportunity to help build another Creation.

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