Defining and communicating in a singular brand voice is essential for delivering consistent customer experiences and building an overall brand identity. But it’s not easy—especially when your business caters to two distinct audiences. 

For San Francisco–based HackerOne, the need for nuance is especially pronounced. HackerOne was started by hackers and security leaders driven by a passion for making the internet safer. Today, the platform enables companies to work together with the hacker community to mitigate cyber risk by identifying and reporting security vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. HackerOne customers range from leading consumer brands such as Starbucks and Nintendo to tech giants such as Twitter and PayPal to government entities such as the US Department of Defense. To date, HackerOne has worked with hackers from over 150 countries across the globe to find nearly 250,000 valid vulnerabilities in customer systems. 

$140M

Bounties Paid

Over 1M

Registered Hackers

The challenge

HackerOne has two wildly different audiences—the hacker community and enterprise businesses. HackerOne seeks to build relationships with senior executives to convey value at public and private organizations. Team members must speak with authority about security concerns as well as HackerOne’s strategic partnership with ethical hackers. At the same time, HackerOne must appeal to and relate with hackers around the globe, enticing them to participate in the community, grow their skills, and scan for bugs in customer assets. 

Both audiences are critical to HackerOne’s success. HackerOne’s brand voice must balance the professionalism enterprise leaders expect while continuing to engage the hackers they rely on to power their platform—who typically respond to more informal language and tend to be skeptical of corporate-speak. The HackerOne marketing team knows their challenge is twofold: balancing the brand voice and bringing it to life consistently. The team foresaw challenges when it set out to refresh the brand voice and update the website. With the need to manage a variety of team members and contractors, maintaining consistent quality of content and tone of voice in web pages, blogs, ebooks, and sales collateral was challenging. HackerOne needed to put its best foot forward across every touchpoint and in every channel—no matter the writer. 

While traditional style guides can help companies document and articulate their brand voice, they’re often difficult to follow, challenging to enforce, and used by few team members. HackerOne recognized that achieving a nuanced brand tone would require continual coaching and a more integrated approach.

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The solution

Several HackerOne team members were already using Grammarly independently, relying on in-line suggestions for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and other core writing components. When the new internal communications lead, Debbie Cotton, joined HackerOne, she spotted an opportunity to leverage Grammarly Business to drive consistency in language and tone across the organization.

The HackerOne IT team consolidated individual user accounts under a centralized Grammarly Business account, giving Debbie and the marketing team the ability to access enterprise features and insights. With a company style guide incorporated directly into Grammarly Business, all HackerOne team members started receiving highly customized writing suggestions in real-time, including punctuation recommendations, preferred language phrasings, and acronym preferences. These suggestions made it easy to ensure everyone used brand language appropriately and avoided jargon that could alienate or confuse their audiences. At the same time, Grammarly’s tone detector helped every team member identify when their writing was too formal or informal to maintain that careful balance.

Teams across the organization embraced the Grammarly Business product based on Grammarly’s value and goodwill across individual accounts. And because the tool integrates seamlessly into existing workflows, there were few barriers to adoption. Thanks to Grammarly Business, HackerOne’s style guides update dynamically, making it easy to push updates to brand language to the entire company within minutes. 

Grammarly Business reduces the time our CMO and other senior executives spend reviewing written work. This says a ton about the value Grammarly Business brings to our organization both with productivity and consistency.”

Debbie Cotton, HackerOne
Internal Communications

The results

Since implementing Grammarly Business, HackerOne has seen significant organic improvements in brand voice consistency and writing quality. The marketing team develops collateral with more consistent language and tone, delivering a balanced voice that resonates with customers and hackers alike.

And with real-time coaching from Grammarly Business, teams beyond marketing are writing higher-quality content. In fact, HackerOne’s internal Grammarly metrics show that team communication as a whole has improved by 66%—measured across writing quality pillars such as clarity, delivery, engagement, grammar, and correctness.

HackerOne’s internal Grammarly metrics show that team communication as a whole has improved by 66%. 

Marketing leaders now produce higher quality content more quickly with shorter review cycles—and have a better grasp of team communications and recommendations for improvements. “Grammarly Business reduces the time our CMO and other senior executives spend reviewing written work. This says a ton about the value Grammarly Business brings to our organization both with productivity and consistency,” says Debbie Cotton, internal communications lead at HackerOne.

As HackerOne grows, real-time coaching from Grammarly Business will help the brand achieve consistency and continually improve communication skills in a scalable way. Grammarly Business will propel HackerOne to build trust and rapport with both hackers and executives for years to come. 

Curious how Grammarly Business could help your team nail the nuance of brand voice and improve writing quality across teams? Contact us to learn more.

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