What is Fedora.next?
Fedora.next involves splitting Fedora into three separate products:
What each of these 'products' will be, exactly, who they are targeting, and their various features, etc. is up to working groups that have been formed for each product. Information about the working groups is available at their respective wiki pages (linked to above.) Those working groups will come up with product requirements by January 2014, at which point we'll have more information about each product and what it will be like.
Why do we need to think about Brand with Fedora.next?
Having more than one main 'product' for Fedora is going to result in our team - the main caretakers of the Fedora brand - having a lot of requests we aren't quite equipped to handle right now. Here's a few examples to show what I mean:
- Can you design us a logo for our Fedora product? (What should each of the logos for these products look like? Should each product have its own logo?)
- Can you make some artwork for our Fedora product? (What kind of artwork should be used to represent each? How can we give each product a distinctive feel but still keep all of the products coherently 'Fedora' looking in its branding so they look related / like a family?)
- Can you add our product to the Fedora website? Can you make our product its own website? (How should we represent these products on the website? Should we allow products to have their own separate websites?)
How do we answer these questions? How do we get on the same page about how to answer these questions? Over time as these Fedora product plans solidify, as a team we'll need to come up with a 'brand framework' to support them all. (This sounds very fancy but it really isn't. I think it's just going to amount to some extensions to our current brand guidelines.)
- The Fedora brand is a strong brand, and we all collectively have invested a lot in it. The Fedora brand isn't going anywhere.
- The products will all have a common core - Fedora. Their mission statements should, hopefully, derive in part from Fedora's overall mission statement of "leading the advancement of free and open source software and content as a collaborative community." The products' individual branding should reside under the umbrella of Fedora. We're talking different models of vehicle from Ford, where Ford is the overarching brand and each individual model of car has different target audiences and strengths, and *not* a model where boutique brands are spun up for each individual product (e.g., Lexus for high-end Toyotas, Scion for entry-level Gen-Y Toyota customers.)
- Since the products will be sub-brands under Fedora, we'll probably use one of the existing sublogo layouts or design a new sublogo layout for them.
- We can develop additional brand elements to extend the Fedora brand and help give each of the products their own visual identity within the main Fedora branding framework. What do I mean by brand elements? A very simple example would be to associate each product with a specific color: e.g., workstation is blue, server is green, cloud is yellow - or something like this. The wikipedia "Visual brand language" article touches on this a little bit, especially with the example of the original Starbucks Visual Brand Language.
- Specific brand framework elements we're thinking we'll need (much of which exists in our current brand framework):
- Logo, sublogos, and usage guidelines
- Visual brand langauge / brand element system
- Imagery: Illustration and Photography, guidelines for these
- Chart / Diagram / Table design and guidelines
- Voice: What is the Fedora 'sound' in written communication?
- We'll probably need to review our current brand assets to verify whether or not they make sense given the changes we'll be making as well. E.g., will the four foundations still make sense? (Probably?)
If that all makes sense - how do we develop these extensions onto the Fedora brand and build out our branding framework to be able to encompass multiple products? Here's a rough specific plan we came up with - the high level plan is basically to meet with the working groups initially to make sure they're thinking about some of the things we need to create these brand elements (e.g., mission statements, target audience, etc. so we know what and who we're designing for) and then once their product requirements (PRDs) are done, we can start mocking up some ideas with a better understanding of what these products are going to do and who they are for.
Working Group Basic Questions
The basic set of questions we'll be asking of each working group to start off our research is as follows:
- What problem does your product solve, in one sentence?
- Who is the target audience for your product, in one sentence?
- List at least 5 products that successfully target the same target audience you are after.
- List at least 5 products that try to solve the same problem.
Answers for Workstation
Answers for Server
Answers for Cloud
TBD, Cloud Ticket #3
- Week of November 11, 2013 Reach out to the various working groups and ask them a few basic questions:
- Week of November 18, 2013 Blog all of this up for the wider Fedora community to read and provide feedback and ideas on. :)
- Wednesday December 4, 2013: Deadline for the working groups to provide answers to our questions.
- Monday, December 9, 2013: Set up meetings with each working group to gather some more information and details about target audience, purpose / mission statement, and competitive marketing.
- January, 2014: PRDs are due
- Februrary 2014: Start some work on extending the Fedora brand framework, holding a design hackfest to brainstorm some ideas.
Everyone is more than welcome to help out with this as you'd like if you think it makes sense.