In an ever-evolving digital landscape, companies are often torn between their desire for innovation and their need for stability. This dilemma overwhelms marketers, unsure how to navigate changing tides while maintaining a strong foundation for their products and services.
With its impressive history and proven success, Clear Digital has discovered a secret recipe that harmoniously blends innovation and reliability. Through this interview, Steve Ohanians, his CEO and co-founder of Clear Digital, uncovers valuable strategies and insights that enable companies to take advantage of emerging technologies while building a strong and scalable foundation.
Scroll down to read the full interview.
Steve, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? What inspired you to start working in the marketing industry?
I’ve been working in web design and development since the dotcom boom of the 90’s, but I’ve taken a roundabout way to get here. Originally, I went to college to study aerospace engineering, but soon realized I needed a way to express myself artistically. I’m a musician, so I’ve always been creative, but I wasn’t content with that, even when I dropped out of college to pursue a career in music. I learned that I needed a career that gave me the opportunity to be creative and analytical.
The balance between these two elements in the digital world was very appealing to me. By the mid-90s, the internet had become more sophisticated and design more accessible. In 1999, around that time, my co-founder and I decided to start his company, WebEnertia. And it was WebEnertia for over 20 years until we decided to rebrand it as Clear Digital this year.
A brief introduction to Clear Digital and its distinctive products and services.
Clear Digital is a Silicon Valley-based digital agency that delivers digital brand and web experiences to leading B2B companies to drive real-world results. Building on our deep B2B experience, 20+ years of unique insights and data, and strong collaborative workflows, he provides a strategic, data-driven perspective designed for the unique needs of B2B brands. We don’t just develop effective websites with best-in-class UX and UI design and technology implementation. Whether it’s repositioning the brand, launching new products, improving lead generation, entering new markets, securing funding, moving to the next quadrant, or expanding the customer base, our work will help companies reach the next level. helps you reach
How does Clear Digital approach user experience design and what role does it play in the development process?
Effective user experience (UX) design provides an interface that is easy to use, engaging, and meets the needs of both your business and its target audience. Clear Digital approaches UX design by first understanding business goals and context, then defining user personas. We then conduct user research and use wireframes and prototypes to provide narratives and experience recommendations. Our UX designer works closely with our development team to ensure that technology implementations are optimized in terms of usability, performance and accessibility, and that the final product stays true to established business goals and end-user needs. We guarantee that.
How does Clear Digital ensure the system is scalable and maintainable as the company grows?
Our team is the most important part of building a reasonably maintainable and scalable agency. We are committed to hiring the right people for the job and creating an environment where the team can grow. We spent his 20+ years building a collaborative and innovative company culture. It was imperative to understand who owned what and trust each subject matter expert to own their part of the equation.
But as a digital agency, we also recognize the importance of technology in building a scalable and maintainable workplace. We invest time and effort into building a tech stack that not only supports our teams, but allows them to be more creative, efficient and innovative. And we stick to the process. It took us some time to find the system and process that worked best for us, but once we set it up and committed to it, we grew steadily.
What strategies does Clear Digital use to stay ahead of emerging technologies and trends in the industry?
For us, staying ahead of emerging technologies and trends in the industry means trusting the experts in the very field. We want our people to work like experts and to be free to explore new ways of approaching design and development. By encouraging creativity and innovation, teams can experiment with new technologies and take advantage of relevant and applicable trends. We leave room for people to act spontaneously. If someone feels strongly about something, we want to give them room to try it.
Of course, the other part of this equation is the data. Like any thriving company, we take our technology investments seriously and do our research before investing in trending new technologies. At the end of the day, the question is always whether there will be measurable improvement in a particular area. If a technology or trend helps you reach your goals, or helps you reach your goals faster, we welcome it.
What do you think is the importance of rebranding? When do you know you need to rebrand your brand and how should you approach it?
Rebranding can have a huge impact on any business and is a powerful marketing tool. Rebranding can help you communicate your message and services more effectively. It can reflect business changes and address unwanted brand perceptions. And you can create new ways to connect with your employees and customers. We started looking at rebranding when we realized that our old brand no longer accurately reflected our business, audience, positioning and goals.
Rebranding can be complicated and can pose many risks. Our job as an agency is to help our clients navigate those complexities and risks with confidence. Our own rebranding project was a great opportunity to apply our strategy to ourselves. The rebranding strategy included in-depth research, in-depth brand audits, enhanced go-to-market positioning and messaging strategy, naming, visual identity design, brand development and application strategy.
Can you tell us about a particularly difficult technical challenge Clear Digital faced and how the company overcame it?
During the rebranding process, we knew we needed a new name, but really needed help finding the right one. Our original name, WebEnertia, had some issues. The misspelling of “Inertia” made the name completely difficult to spell and put us in a category of brands that didn’t really resonate with the work we produced. We knew we didn’t want this to happen again.
But when we struggled to find a new name ourselves, we decided to find the right partner to help and guide us through the naming process. We are not a naming agency, so we can be biased about outsourcing, but we shouldn’t be. We found a naming agency that provided name research, strategy, trademark approval, URL availability, testing, and finally some great brand name options. After that, we hired them internally and finally made a decision.
How does Clear Digital balance the need for innovation with the need for product and service stability and reliability?
The foundations of good design are always the same. It should be convenient and beautiful. This is true no matter how many new technologies and methodologies emerge. Balancing innovation with stability and reliability requires a clear understanding of the brand story. You have to know what you offer, why you offer it, and how you differ from your competitors. Changing brands doesn’t change these basic principles. Delivering products and services reliably and well every time gives you more room to experiment with innovative new processes and systems. Because in the end you can always go back to something that works.
Do you have any advice for marketers transitioning to leadership roles within their organizations?
Moving into a leadership role, marketing or otherwise, requires:
- Sharpen your leadership skills. Offer a strategic approach and look for opportunities to lead team-based exercises.
- Demonstrate the results. Know what your organization’s goals are, what success looks like, and deliver results accordingly.
- Seek guidance. There’s nothing like setting goals, growing your network, and building relationships with someone who can give you perspective.
How do you plan to expand Clear Digital’s operations and services beyond 2023?
Organizational growth is rarely accomplished with just one plan, one service, or one effort. To build the momentum you need to scale, you need to keep working on all the core activities that make up your business—from external services to backend operations. Our agency improvement roadmap is defined annually and includes initiatives to improve our culture, people, production and solution delivery processes, sales, marketing and client service.
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