How to Bring Empathy Into the Tech Space

Make Them Go “Ooh” and “Awww”

When Nanit first introduced its baby monitor, it made waves in the tech space. A little white square that hangs over your baby’s crib, the camera collects crucial data parents usually jotted down in a notebook, groggily: their baby’s sleep patterns. Using computer vision and deep learning, it delivers insights every morning like a personal sleep coach. 

It was a product almost as miraculous as childbirth (sorry, moms—almost!), and made Nanit the “Tesla of baby monitors” and one of Time Magazine’s best inventions in 2018. Flying high, Nanit came to us to help manage some growing pains. 

The first was operational. Nanit had to deal with a lot of freelancers for their marketing needs. Onboarding so many so often meant less time devoted to strategy and product development. It also created an incoherent design language. So our first order of business involved streamlining. We became a regular collaborator on all manners of assets going out. From video to social media to physical store displays, we wanted to make sure the brand stayed consistent, clear yet concise about the products’ innovations, and, of course, beautiful. 

The other growing pain revolved around the fact that, several years later, Nanit wasn’t just a baby monitor. It had launched a swaddle, patented breathing wear specifically designed so its cameras could track breathing motion and alert parents when something was wrong. Their resident sleep expert regularly shared with audiences (Nanit owners or not) tips on sleep training. And it was preparing for the launch of an all-new product that involved automatically compiling a baby’s photos and videos, like a digital scrapbook.

This night-vision, temperature-sensing, swiss-army-knife of a camera anchored the brand in the same way the brand anchored families. Sleep insights via computer vision is undeniably cool, but so is connecting a mom to her baby in the middle of her work meeting. Or, more appropriate to today’s normal, connecting the grandparents who can’t visit from a state or country away. Highlighting these real moments help soften the image of Nanit. 

We got that chance with the State of Sleep report, where the entrypoint to Nanit wasn’t an advanced piece of hardware, but a simple collection of infographics. For new parents, the brand communicated its value through useful tips showing they weren’t alone in facing postpartum depression or daytime dysfunction. On social, we highlighted their sleep expert, who literally put an empathetic, helpful face to Nanit’s know-all. 

Then there’s one of our favorite parts of the job—art directing photography, where we get to highlight adorable moments with babies (just look at them).

cute nanit baby

Nanit, useful in ways parents just five years ago could only dream of, remains in the background, like the Macbook does in a producer’s studio, or Facebook does in a group chat. As an exceptional tech product, Nanit facilitates—rather than takes over—the good life.

Keeping the brand emotional meant bridging the two spaces: the tech startup and the family company. As we move onto the brand refresh of this partnership, we’ll keep asking how empathy plays a role in Nanit’s story. It involves a simple question: how will your technology continue improving lives?

Meet About Empathy in Storytelling: 

Do brands have a role in growing empathy?

The Science of Story and Bad Reviews

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