A Tech Company As Lifestyle Brand
Evernote is known for its slick apps that help you remember things, take notes and get work done.
But now the company, which wants to be a “100 year startup,” is expanding full force into a range of physical products with the goal of also michael kors purses making the company a lifestyle brand. Evernote, which is considered an IPO candidate, has raised more than $250 million from investors including Morgenthaler Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Meritech Capital Partners and T. Rowe Price.
At its developer conference today, Evernote introduced a partnership with 3M’s 3M’sPost It Notes to turn those decidedly analog sticky squares into digital formats in Evernote. With the new update to the Evernote app, people can take pictures of Post Its in Evernote and they will be automatically indexed and searchable in Evernote. They can also be automatically categorized (to d michael kors purses os, projects, etc.) based on their colors. It’s a smart move on Evernote’s part to grab what is one of the most common physical note taking tools and connecting it to digital. The idea is not to completely get rid of paper but to get more people on Evernote who already use paper. “Paperless is not the goal. Great experience is the goal,” Evernote CEO Phil Libin says.
But Post Its serve a similar complementary purpose as Evernote itself taking notes. Evernote is going beyond that with a range of other physical branded products in its new Evernote Market, including a digital scanner, a new stylus, new versions of the Moleskine notebook, wallet, messenger bag, backpack and even socks. Some of the products have direct connection to the use of Evernote the product.
The ScanSnap Evernote Edition Scanner, for instance, made by Fujitsu, aims to help people declutter by automatically scanning a range of paper documents to be uploaded to Evernote. You can dump a stack of receipts, photos, business cards and other documents into the scanner and the scanner will scan them all and upload them to Evernote. Evernote will automatically categorize them into the right Evernote notebooks for easy organization. It retails for $495.
The new versions of the Moleskine notebooks, which the company introduced last year, also bring the physical into digital, by enabling people to snap a photo of the physical notes, upload them, and automatically categorize them in Evernote.
While a scanner, notebook and stylus are directly used with Evernote, the company also has developed branded backpacks from Paris based C a wallet and messenger bag from Japan based Abrasus and even socks. “We’re a fashion brand now,” Libin joked during his keynote. The items are all carefully designed and relatively high end. Libin noted that the messenger bag is unique because it doesn’t fall over like most messenger bags.
These products don’t have a direct tie in to Evernote. That is, you can’t put your laptop into a bag and magically scan items or autoscan slips of paper from your wallet to Evernote. But Evernote’s Libin says it’s part of the extension of the mission of the company. “This is how we stretch,” he says. It’s also part of the company’s goal to have a “no tricks” business model where everything it does is so good that customers pay for it. He does michael kors purses not want to run any advertising. And the company wants more revenue streams as it moves towards an expected IPO.
But can Evernote turn itself into a lifestyle brand? It’s an ambitious goal and will require a continued fanatical devotion of fans to the product who love the company so much that they’re willing to spend $242 for a backpack. There are not many tech companies that can do this. Apple comes to mind but few other tech companies have been able to make their brand a lifestyle.
Gaming company Angry Birds has released a line of stuffed animals and related physical merchandise but that’s more about clearly branded or licensed products. This is more about products people buy because they have an association with a company. Evernote does have a devoted following and unlike device makers it has the benefit of michael kors purses being something that can be used in the long term, whereas a device can be thrown away after it is used. Libin joked about this, but this is like what a fashion brand like Nike or a car company tries to do. You don’t just run in Nike shoes, you want to wear Nike gear all the time. To make this lifestyle brand work Evernote will have to keep innovating on its core product and make people love it so much that the brand itself has the cache that they’d want to wear everyday.
I’m director of content strategy at startup Exitround. I was previously a staff reporter at Forbes covering start ups and venture capital. I’m interested in entrepreneurs who want to change the world, or have a point of view or compelling story. I was previously a reporter for Dow Jones VentureWire where my work also appeared in the Wall Street Journal. I’ve also written for Red Herring, the Long Beach Press Telegram and other outlets. In a former life I was a web developer. Follow me on Twitter tomiogeron, or Facebook , or Google+.