Automated Mad Men aim to make branding available to all

Automated Mad Men aim to make branding available to all

Brooklyn and Tel Aviv-based startup Tailor Brands gives customers tools to churn out affordable brand offerings and ad campaigns

A sample Tailor Brands' branding effort as seen across different devices (Courtesy).
A sample Tailor Brands' branding effort as seen across different devices (Courtesy).

Don Draper, the handsome creative director of the popular TV series “Mad Men,” may find that his job has become automated in the 21st century, if Israeli startup Tailor Brands proves successful.

The Brooklyn and Tel Aviv-based startup aims to make the ad agency as we know it obsolete by designing branding kits that put the promotion tools directly in the hands of their customers. The firm’s goal is to become the biggest branding agency in the world, and it says it’s already designed “branding kits” for more than two million businesses worldwide and is adding monthly users by the hundreds of thousands.

Tailor Brands was launched in 2014 at TechCrunch Magazine’s Disrupt event for “disruptive technologies,” innovation and startups in San Francisco.

“What Tailor is about to do to the multi-billion-dollar branding industry is as disruptive as it can get,” said Tailor Brands founder and CEO Yali Saar in his presentation speech.

“Over 80 million businesses out there want branding, need branding, but can’t afford it,” said Saar in his speech, laying out his company’s core mission, which is to disrupt and democratize the branding market.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper and Maggie Siff as Rachel Menken in AMC’s Mad Men. (Doug Hyun/AMC)

The firm started out selling a basic branding package at $50 — packages currently range in price from $24 to $99 — supplemented by a subscription system. Currently monthly subscriptions go from $2.99 to $10.99. While the package rate covers the initial branding kit, the monthly subscription allows customers to benefit from ongoing tweaks, corrections, trend analysis insights and calendar-oriented suggested campaigns.

At the heart of Tailor Brands is an algorithm that transforms computers into automated designers. The online customer feeds in the specifications of their business, target market and other details. The algorithm churns out multiple possible branding looks: in less than five minutes the customer is presented with series of branding options, including logos and “different mockups that visualize how different products would look like under the new brand,” the company said in a statement. The customer can do this for free and test out a variety of possible brand looks before paying.

Tailor Brands founder and CEO Yali Saar (Courtesy)

“In order to introduce human creativity into a digital algorithm we had to teach the platform basic branding guidelines,” said Saar.

“From there, the system slowly developed on its own as it is not based on pre-existing templates but rather on machine learning protocols that allow it to draw inspiration from existing users and utilize them for new designs.”

Packages include logos, stylized social media posts and ad campaigns, branded business cards, letterheads, PowerPoint presentations, branded watermarking, brand books, banners and ad creation tools. Also included in each account is a weekly schedule and an analytics dashboard that suggests strategic tasks to encourage brand growth and track progress.

Tailor Brands has created 20 million designs to date with a new design produced every two seconds, according to data provided by the firm. In 2016, the company raised a $5 million Series A from Mangrove Capital Partners and Disruptive Technologies.

The company didn’t disclose the names of the users of the platform, but Saar said that Tailor Brands’ more than 2 million customers include “everyone from small business owners to departments in big retail banks and big agencies.”

This leveling of the playing field is key to Saar’s vision for his company. And enabling customers to test out the product before using it is central to this strategy.

“We really wanted to democratize branding for those who don’t have a million-dollar budget,” said Saar. “We realized that part of that is creating transparency prior to the user opening up his wallet.”

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