How Startup Merlin Guides Built Awareness, Hired Stronger Engineers and Defined Their Brand

Merlin Guides is a browser extension that allows teams to create interactive, step-by-step walkthrough guides on top of any software program or platform. When integrated with common softwares like SalesForce, Merlin Guides dramatically decreases the time spent training employees and fixing mistakes. After all, you only need to teach Merlin once.

Motivation

As a B2B startup company, Merlin Guides faces the all-too-common issue of trying to “get their foot in the door” with potential clients. As their Chief of Staff Ayla Lewis put it:

“How do you take someone from not even realizing they have a problem that can be solved, to knowing there is a solution there to solve that problem?”

Solution

Merlin Guides approached Digital Brew with a simple idea: create an explainer video that communicates up their product’s value to a B2B decision-maker. In their research, they found that B2C companies were prone to creating animated explainer videos, but B2B companies were more often incorporating elements of live-action.

After speaking with the team and communicating their needs, Digital Brew got to work putting together the Merlin Guides explainer video. Since the project would be live-action, this meant coordinating on scripts, actors, sets and props — even with offices hundreds of miles apart.

BTS Bonus:

Recognize anyone? You might notice that our Founder / Creative Director Michael plays a starring role in this one! The team at Merlin Guides enjoyed working with Michael and realized he looked a little like one of their clients, Bill. After watching a few audition tapes of potential actors, the Merlin Guides team decided Michael was actually the best guy to play the part of Bill!

“Communication is really clear. Timelines are really clear. We felt like [Digital Brew] was willing and excited to go the extra mile across the board, so that was really exciting for us.”

Results

In creating and implementing their explainer video, Merlin Guides had three major results:

1. Building Customer Engagement

“It’s been really great for people to go to our website, be able to watch that video and put themselves in those shoes. As I’ve been doing sales, it’s been really great to get responses from people like, ‘Oh yeah, I saw a video and that’s perfect. That’s exactly what our sales team is going through.’”

2. Demystifying The Hiring Process

“Our product is pretty complex technologically, and so we were having a hard time finding engineers that wanted to be in a startup, had the skills to work with such a complex product and understood what we were doing and were engaged by that.

After we had the video live…multiple interviews with engineers came back and they were like, ‘Oh, I saw the video. It’s so great. I’m super excited about this company.’ I know we ended up hiring better engineers because we have that video available.”

3. Defining The Merlin Guides Brand

“We knew we needed to look at our branding, we knew we needed to look at our language, we knew we needed to look at our ideal customer profile […] we knew that going for a video would trigger our action in all of those areas. It was really great to use the experience not only to have the end result of the video, but also as a refinement of our brand.”


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