The Adventure of Enterprise Software: Salesforce, Mascots, and the Heroic Customer

Is your software cumbersome and complicated? Does it require months of training to use and years of experience to master?

Make the challenges into an adventure. Salesforce does.

If you’re not a sales or marketing person, you should know that Salesforce is the world’s #1 customer relationship management software. Being #1 doesn’t mean it’s the easiest to use – in fact Salesforce is known for its complexity. One of my coworkers even has the theory that it’s complicated on purpose (you can make some good revenue selling courses and certifications).

Whatever the case, the brand marketers at Salesforce have recently landed on a little tweak that has made my experience of using Salesforce (as the main user of Marketo, I’m an auxillary user in the Salesforce journey) a bit sweeter: they’ve told a story.

Salesforce has cleverly assembled the use of little mascot characters to represent the suite of softwares making up the Salesforce solution cloud. And in their marketing materials (see example above), it’s pretty easy to see that these characters are meant to be us, the users – or at least our fellow travelers. What’s more, Salesforce’s branding has gone full-on hero’s journey, using on-the-nose names like “Trailhead” and cute pictures of trails across meadows and through nature.

This seems so simple, but it’s a big deal. Salesforce shows that it understands that using its product can be a winding road and a long journey. So it decided to make the journey a little more fun. More importantly, it decided to honor the “heroics” of the users that make the Salesforce journey. All brands should be so self-aware – and so attentive to making challenges meaningful, fun parts of the user experience.

For more on the power of making your users the heroes, check out Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller. It’s a great read. 

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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