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7th September 2021

Is Uber running out of road?

–The power of brand on VC-funded tech start-ups–

Rob Williams

Seven years ago, I was working on behalf of a well-known car manufacturer. The brand was concerned that it would soon become nothing more than a commodity, with its vehicles produced to hand over to the new kids on the block – a revolutionary mobility app that was gathering huge momentum in the US and had just arrived in the UK. 

It was called Uber (well, it was called UberCab).

When Uber was founded in 2009 and subsequently launched in 2010, the venture capitalist (VC) investment valued it at over $5 million, growing to $51 billion just five years later in 2015, with players like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Jay-Z all wanting a slice of the action.

The reason for this car manufacturer’s concern was not unfounded. Uber’s proposition meant that it would completely own the customer relationship and regular interaction with the end-user, all happily handing over their valuable data on journeys – how, when and where they travelled. 

Uber was the app that a friend would invite you to down the pub, both receiving a free ‘ride’. A slick app with an even slicker user experience, you would simply select your destination to be shown your driver en route in real-time. On getting into the vehicle, it was clear that this wasn't a taxi... it was somebody's car. The radio was playing, they’d offer to charge your phone or even play your latest Spotify playlist while offering you a bottle of water. No meter, no rickety black cab that told you they didn’t take card payments just as you reached your destination. It was a comfortable journey, with a seamless experience that existed on both your phone and in the real world. You’d leave a rating as if you had purchased that journey from Amazon. And, to top it all off, the cost of the journey was less than a third of the price of other taxis – the modern user experience of ride-hailing was born.

Uber was the driving force behind a new take on democratising mobility. Hybrid/electric vehicles were shared and utilised at only the times they were required. Freeing up roads, reducing the number of vehicles that sat idle in driveways to be used only a fraction of the time. Utilising data, trends, and AI to understand hot spots, peak times and supply and demand.

Now back to that car manufacturer I mentioned earlier. This disruptor prompted the brand to pivot its entire business model - vehicle subscriptions, shared-ownership models, speeding up the roll-out of their electric-vehicle offerings, data as a service. A huge, fundamental shift in how it would exist in the new world. Gone were the days of the dodgy car salesmen only interacting with the customer the next time they wanted to part exchange for a new car. 

The shift was fundamental for that manufacturer's survival and longevity. But seven years on, the original catalyst for that shift feels a little... lacklustre. Uber hasn't dominated the mobility market or even turned a profit (yet). Shrouded in controversy and bad press, Uber’s ‘road to success’ has seen a few steep hill starts and stalls… which makes me wonder, is Uber starting to run out of road?

All hail the gig economy

One of Uber’s most profound effects on the new world was utilising a new way of working that was only just finding its feet – the gig economy. Drivers for Uber weren’t employed by the platform, they were a new type of freelance, being paid for a service on demand. They were free to set their own working hours, decide how many rides they wanted to offer, and to whom. The downside was that, as gig workers, they were entitled to none of the benefits or security of being an employee.

Enter the competition

With the emergence of new tech, a disrupted mobility market and a gig economy that presented huge opportunities, several competitors entered the same space, all contending for the attention and loyalty of consumers. This came as no surprise, investors and Uber would have foreseen this. Shortly after launch, there were several competitors on Apple’s app store and Google’s Play Store that offered a like-for-like service. So, what do you do when there is little differentiation between the service you offer and the service of the competition? Especially when drivers have no loyalty or affinity to your platform so will happily jump ship (or straddle both ships depending on which has the most earning potential).

Price wars

Hail a ride with Uber today, and you'll notice that the price of your journey isn't as enticing as it once was. Compare it to another hailing service, and you may find Uber is now more expensive. 

Uber has been artificially lowering the cost of rides for years, using VC investment, to build a customer base across the globe. Unfortunately, this can’t last forever (as Uber’s competitors will one day find out themselves). Without the VC-stream to artificially lower the cost of a ride, Uber is now at the point where the true cost of a ride must be reflected in the app if they ever want to become profitable. 

Uber put a lot of faith in self-driving capabilities to reduce the need for drivers at all, which is nowhere near the point of being ready in the short-mid-term future. In fact, Uber recently sold off its driverless car subsidiary to Amazon-backed start-up, Aurora Technologies, putting an end to its dream of an AI-driven workforce.

So, if you can’t compete on price for an identical service, what do you do? Will customers remain loyal?

Brand – the secret weapon

A brand strategy deeply rooted in authenticity is a C-suite’s secret weapon. 

A purpose, mission, and values to live and breathe, that are understood and reciprocated by your community, your consumers, and your stakeholders, that aid strategic decision-making across your entire business. Communicating direction, ambition and allowing you to build recognition and resonance in the minds of your audience. Building experiences around every interaction and touchpoint that are uniquely yours. And to build a tribe that demonstrate your values through an encompassing employer value proposition that empowers your own people to be the brand, that allows them to feel a part of something more than the sum of its parts.

The problem that Uber has is that it didn’t have this mindset from the get-go. Reports of a billionaire boys club start-up mentality, rife with toxicity and heavy-handed firing practices created a controversial brand from the outset. Couple that with ever-ongoing breaking news of issues with the treatment of drivers (and whether they should, in fact, be classed as employees), losing licences to operate in cities as well as internal turmoil, Uber hasn’t exactly made it easy for itself.

Drivers are leaving the platform in their droves due to mistreatment, unfair conditions and ever-reducing earning potential. A recent study by Stanford University found that 68% of drivers stop driving with the platform within six months of starting (source).

As more of Gen Z enter the workforce with earning potential and disposable income, with a focus on new-age mobility and reducing their impact on the planet, Uber would be the natural choice if it weren’t for a brand that doesn’t align with their principles. After all, new research suggests that company values are heavily prioritised by this new wave of consumers (source). This audience is looking at how a brand treats its people and aren’t afraid to voice opinions in the age of social media and cancel culture. With stiff competition ready to meet this audience’s needs, Uber needs to double down on re-building an inclusive and supportive culture. 

Building a stronger employer value proposition for everyone

In 2015, Andrew Levy, Uber’s new Global Careers Brand Lead, was tasked with leading a team dedicated to building an employer value proposition to repair and rebuild reputation, perception, and sentiment around working at Uber.

Levy aggregated data from offices all around the world to create an authentic and honest story about what it’s like to be an employee at the ride-hailing giant. The problem, however, was that not everyone was considered a part of Uber.

“I can’t speak to drivers because my vertical is just employees”, Levy was quoted as saying (source).

And herein lies the issue that Uber still needs to address. After years of back and forth, legal battles, protests, media coverage and mass exits, Uber is still only starting to accept that drivers are a key, fundamental part of its business model, recognising them as employees of their business in certain countries.

Regardless of whether Uber considers itself a tech platform that offers transport by matching passengers to drivers, a customer’s experience with Uber is still largely dependent on the driver you’re assigned. Consider then that driver holds the power to make or break an experience, whether they offer exemplary service or is an advocate of the Uber brand. Uber needs to empower these individuals to demonstrate its brand’s values, showcasing that its drivers are nurtured and feel that they are supported by their employer. A happy and high-calibre workforce is fundamental for creating a distinction in the minds of consumers and building positive experiences that are aligned with a user’s values. 

From March 2021, drivers in the UK will be recognised as ‘workers’ following a court ruling, with holiday benefits, pension and a guaranteed minimum wage. If this wasn’t law-enforced, it may have represented a monumental pivot for Uber. What follows in the coming years across the globe will be fundamental to Uber’s ability to win the race for talent, and ultimately users, as a values-led brand.

Conclusion

For start/scale-ups that may have recently acquired Series funding, it is critical to consider your brand from the outset, setting clear values that are rooted in authenticity and demonstrated by your leadership team. The ‘fail fast and break things’ mentality may still ring true to an extent but be careful that the things you break don’t remain broken for years to come.

Design and build a culture that is transparent, nurturing, and supportive so that your people become your ambassadors, who feel a part of a community and who won’t want to jump to the competition. By doing this from the very beginning, your brand and business can scale at pace while still retaining your true North Star to ensure that you remain true to who you are, that can attract and retain talent as well as prospective audiences who share your principles so that you don’t need to rebuild a damaged reputation down the line, impacting your bottom line.

Rob Williams is a Senior Brand Strategist at Design by Structure.

This article was first published in Brands Journal.

12th August 2021

Democratising Corporate Finance

Corporate finance experts, Shaw & Co has launched its new brand suite which was created by Design by Structure. The new work supports its ambition to position the company as a ‘disruptor brand’ in the corporate finance market.

Shaw & Co is on a mission to democratise the corporate finance (CF) market, often seen as an impenetrable and inhuman world for SME businesses, making it more accessible, open, and transparent – helping them to achieve greater outcomes for their businesses.

The brief

Founded by former GB cyclist Jim Shaw, Bristol-based Shaw & Co wants to make CF more accessible and has taken a more human and emotional approach to this brief.
By understanding how important people’s businesses are to them and focusing on the emotional drivers, the brand is offering a more differentiated business service.

Having already conducted a deep dive into the Shaw & Co brand, its Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Mills approached Structure with a brief to develop its proposition, positioning, TOV, visual identity, brand guidelines. In addition, the agency was asked to deliver a website, illustration style and both client and brand vision films.

Speaking about the brand work, Paul Mills, CMO Shaw & Co, said: “To support our ambitious growth plan, our brand needed a major rebuild to re-articulate our value proposition and competitive positioning. We’re winning bigger deals; we have a very loyal client base, and our net promoter score is 80+ so it was the perfect time to transform our brand strategy. The pandemic gave us the opportunity to conduct internal and external research to understand how our employees, business partners and clients valued the brand. We got some fantastic insight which allowed us to start building something that was different, authentic, and disruptive.

Mills continues: To bring our ideas, brand architecture, marketing touchpoints and client stories to life we engaged with Structure who immediately understood our strategic and creative goals. There has been a very strong synergy between us and Structure which has enabled the project to be delivered at incredible pace. We have been brave and let all of the creative decisions to Structure which has ensured agility and a strong end-result that everyone at Shaw & Co is delighted with.

A different approach to the CF sector – simple, clear and human.

For SME owners their business is a very big part of their lives. So, the creative strategy pivots on the human touch – simple, clear, and human. Structure looked to Shaw & Co’s clients to tell its brand story, using film to bring it to life, with people talking about their business challenges and how Shaw & Co has helped them.

This human approach runs throughout all comms touchpoints supported with language and messaging that is simple and clear, and using no industry jargon.

Driving Ambition

The brand’s new proposition is based on how Shaw & Co enables its clients to achieve their greatest business ambition – whether growing, funding or exiting their business – ‘We turn your ambitions into greater outcomes’.

The creative story brings to life the value the brand creates for its clients, Structure visualised and verbalised it by putting the spotlight on client success stories.

While the new brand work conveys both the functional and emotional side of the story, the creative solution continues the distinctively human approach across all elements, launching into the marketplace with a disruptive green colour palette, supported with vibrant accents, to create stand out in a sea of corporate blues.

The approach continues with a bold typeface to reflect ‘big ambition’ and a handwritten typeface to suggest human interaction. Hand-drawn devices (arrows, underscores etc.) will also be used throughout brand comms as emphasis points to hero key messaging.

Speaking about the creative, John Galpin Co-founder Design by Structure said, ‘You need a great client to do great work… and that’s what we got. There was a creative alignment and partnership between us and Shaw & Co from the beginning of this project. And because the team was very clear about the story they wanted to tell and what they wanted to achieve, this helped us accelerate our thinking and helped us do really great work for them’.

 

 

 

 

30th June 2021

Gold and silver for Structure

Delighted to share our latest news about our success at the Transform Awards 2021, which are a global celebration of brand development, reputation management and rebranding.

As a strategic branding agency that works with transformative tech companies, we are lucky to work across varied sectors. Our work creates relevant and memorable brands by telling a compelling story that impacts their market and elevates them within their sectors.

We are very proud of the work we do for all of our clients, but it is especially fantastic to have had these projects acknowledged by this year's Transform judges, with a gold and a silver.

John Galpin, co-founder, Design by Structure said, "We have worked with some amazing high-tech brands over the last two years and it's great to see our hard work being acknowledged with these award wins. We are all absolutely thrilled and already looking forward to next year's Transform Awards".

LendInvest - Gold -  Best Visual Identity

Formaplex - silver - Best Visual Identity

Andrew Thomas, founder of the Transform Awards, said.“Despite the challenges of Covid this has been a record year for the Transform Awards. The changes Covid has brought aren’t just economic. We face a major recalibration of the way we relate to the brands, the businesses, the organisations that touch our lives. We have an unprecedented challenge ahead of us, but the work entered in the Transform Awards highlights, once more, the strategic insight and phenomenal creativity of the agencies and in-house teams.”

1st June 2021

Innovating the sector

- Tivian relaunches with a new name and identity-

 

Tivian (an Intelligent Experience Management (XI) platform) has relaunched with a new name and brand identity created by Design by Structure (Structure).

Previously known as Questback for Enterprise (EFS), Tivian uses advanced analytics and cutting-edge AI technology to help companies capture and act on insights from their employees, customers, and the market. The platform approached Structure earlier this year to develop a new positioning and strategy, brand identity and brand guidelines & system.

The rebrand work is part of Tivian’s vision to innovate the industry, moving from passive experience management (EX) to proactive, intelligent experience management (IX) – it is reshaping the category.

To bring the platforms ambition to life, the new logo draws inspiration from mathematical formulas with the use of square brackets. They encapsulate Tivian’s important combination of its people, its insights, and its expertise. These three elements together help its customers to unlock opportunity in their business by enabling them to be connected to every employee and customer, listening, learning, and improving – delivering the best experiences and driving competitive advantage.

‘Intelligent experience management (XI)’
Following an in-depth market analysis of the business and building out a robust strategic framework, Structure unlocked the expression for the brand, revealing the new positioning and tagline, ‘Intelligent experience management’.

This captures Tivian’s move from passive experience management (XM) to comprehensive XI and its commitment to helping its clients capture and harness experience data to drive business listening, deeper insights – enabling better decision-making.

Speaking about the work, Frank Møllerop, CEO of Tivian said 'We were on a mission to reinvent our category, our brand identity and look & feel. The work led by Design by Structure delivered a platform for us to differentiate ourselves and push boundaries in our market that hadn’t moved for several years'.

 

Before:

After:

22nd April 2021

Future Focused with a New Brand Identity

Kaya VC, a venture capital fund, has launched its new brand identity created by Design by Structure.

The VC has changed its name to Kaya, to better reflect its modern focus, and decided to support the name change with a complete rebrand. Previously Enern, the new €72 million ($80m) fund focuses on start-ups in Prague Warsaw and the wider CEE region.

The fund has invested in 27 companies, more recently investing in B2B marketplaces, healthtech and blockchain. In total, the assets under management (AUM) is €250m, with this fund being its fourth. There had been a natural shift in the business focus, from investing in wind farms to SaaS companies, which is behind the VC’s move to rebrand.

‘Invested in you’

The company moves forward on a mission to nurture early-stage businesses, empower bold entrepreneurs and help realise founders’ ambition. Following the decision to rename and rebrand, Kaya approached Structure with an end-to-end brief, covering, strategy and positioning, brand & visual identity, website design and brand guidelines.

The collaborative process built on Kaya’s initial vision, introducing an in-depth market analysis and a robust strategic framework. Unlocking an authentic and original expression for the brand, the new positioning and tag line, ‘INVESTED IN YOU’, demonstrates Kaya’s unwavering support for founders, and their belief that the journey to enduring change is achieved by committing to meaningful, long-term partnerships.

This is further illustrated in the brand’s colour palette, with three vibrant colours reflecting the brand’s core values – Candour, Fortitude and Responsibility. While the design system utilised a dynamic triangular configuration to reinforce themes of collaboration, flexibility and resilience  –  building blocks that bring Kaya’s philosophy to life in different applications.

To complement the new palette, the agency employed a dynamic typeface, using bold weightings to emphasise key words and phrases. This is evident on the website where it is used to dial-up messaging in a clever way, placing emphasis on specific words to create sentences within sentences, and also as a device while scrolling through the website, with both techniques guiding readers to see ‘we are invested in you’ in bold text.

John Galpin, Co-Founder Design by Structure, said, “Kaya was an exciting brief to work on. The client is as proud of its past as it is passionate about its future, so we wanted to reflect this transformational moment, and capture the new energy and spirit that will not only drive Kaya forward but will support intrepid founders on their journey to create enduring change.”

 

13th April 2021

The Rise of the CGI Influencer

A Q&A with Fara Darvill, Growth Director

 

Why is the rise of the CGI influencer significant for brands? Building brands is big business and influencers have become an important part of brand marketing campaigns in the past decade. While influencers are not a new concept, in the past brands looked to the influence of global performers and movie stars, then reality TV in the 90s and social media in the 00s created the next-gen of influencers and a new kind of 'celebrity.' These were ordinary people with no perceivable talent just the willingness to talk and share.

And for a long time, brands enjoyed successful relationships with influencers – a post from a Kardashian on Insta could lead to a sell-out product in hours, and in the UK, it was the same with Zoella in beauty and Mrs Hinch has done wonders for cleaning products. Influencers power grew and they knew it.

The key to a successful relationship is that an influencer must be aligned to the collaborator brand’s values... And therein lies the rub.

Things started to turn sour in the last few years with influencers not being authentic in their posts, being caught out by not really using the products they endorse or obviously staging their posts – à la blogger, Scarlett London's disastrous Listerine promo – which is a turnoff for consumers, who aren't afraid to voice their disdain.

The big issue with collaborating with influencers is that they are real people who have real problems, which, if exposed, can leak into the brands they are promoting. Real people make mistakes that can ultimately cost their brand partner a lot of money if they do something that could tarnish the brand’s reputation.

Influencer 2.0
CGI-animated influencers cut this risk because they don’t exist! They can’t be caught in compromising situations or have their personal opinions used against them. They can be completely controlled, creators can choose every aspect of their personas, how they sound or look, even where they are.

Virtual influencers are gaining follower traction – Lil Miquela has 1.6million and has collaborated with Samsung – they are reliable (they don’t have personal problems) and offer a sanitised reassurance to brands that want to collaborate with them. But more importantly, brands can create their own versions of the perfect influencer and build it into their brand world.

Having control is the holy grail for brands that invest a lot of money in an influencer. The influencer can be 'perfect'. Brands can align their values and the influencer can 'live' those values consistently to support the brand's integrity and expectations.

While it may be a significant shift right now, watching what happens next with this type of influencer is going to be really interesting. Is perfect going to be enough?

12th April 2021

Powering a Pioneer

-The Power to Act -


Avrios, a Fleet Management Platform (operating across Europe), has launched its new brand suite created by Design by Structure.

Avrios is pioneering the future of fleet management software. Powered by AI tech, it integrates data, automates processes and provides its clients with real-time insights to improve their fleets – from fuel and mileage to leases, repairs and CO2 emissions. This allows clients to understand the true costs of their fleet, as well as the impact it has on social and environmental factors – therefore enabling changes such as environmental footprint and sustainability programmes. The SaaS is empowering its customers to make changes that ultimately make an impact on their bottom line.

The brief was a full end-to-end project, the new brand work includes strategy and positioning, visual identity, website, illustration style, TOV and brand guidelines.

The design process involved an in-depth analysis of the business. Insights from both the brand's customer service teams and customers informed the strategy, bringing two vision statements to light, ‘The true cost of ownership’ and ‘The power to act’. Both are activated through the brands comms messaging.

The art of illustration
A key project objective was to introduce fleet management services to a wider audience, not just direct customers but the people who use their vehicles. To support this goal, the agency introduced illustration (characters and icons) as an integral part of the creative story – using smiling faces on human characters to express the brands approachable and friendly values.

George the eagle, the brand's illustrated mascot, has had a complete redesign to dial up his approachable, fun and friendly characteristics. He will appear across external communications as a helpful guide.

All of the illustrative work is supported by a new icon portfolio. The icons have multiple applications across all comms touchpoints, they help to support messaging and key information points.

Speaking about the work, Richard Brooks, Avrios, CMO said, “Design by Structure has been a great partner in this project, the creative output has been really excellent, and they really took time to understand our business. We are super happy with our new vision pillars and look forward to driving forward with these over the coming months and years.”

 

9th March 2021

Technology Enables Innovation

Author: Olly Chubb, Strategy Director, Design by Structure

Technology enables innovation to happen – but it is not why innovation happens.

Thousands of businesses have the capability to ‘innovate’ – to create something new, or something better. What separates successful businesses is not whether they can do something, it’s whether they know why they are doing it. There is a huge distinction here, let’s look at that further.

The most successful businesses deliver more than linear, incremental improvements that make something better, faster or smoother. Instead, they harness a deep understanding of their customers, not just observing how they currently behave but revealing and understanding their pain points, interrogating what really matters to them and identifying new opportunities to create meaningful change for them.

These businesses can rethink the sector/customer problem, approaching it from a fresh and original perspective, reframing the context and transforming expectations of what ‘better’ means.

As the classic Henry Ford quote goes, “If I’d have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. He could have bought the fastest horses, bred them to be even faster and become rich. He didn’t. Why? Because he understood that, although his customers might not have articulated it directly, the problem wasn’t just about speed – so the solution wasn’t just about being faster. Instead, he built a new mode of transport that exceeded expectations and transformed the landscape forever – and he became extremely rich!

In short, technology enables innovation, but the smartest innovations are driven by insight – and so too are the smartest businesses.

It can be easy to forget or overlook this, not least when businesses are running full speed to improve and when there seem to be more options for improvement than ever. The most ground-breaking innovations are not remembered because of the technology, they’re remembered because they transformed businesses, cultures and industries.

We need to think of technology and innovation as having a symbiotic relationship in business. Insight is the catalyst for this change. And by putting it at the heart of every decision and using it to constantly challenge and rationalise why they should do something, businesses can streamline activity, optimise resource and align every action through a clear purpose.

The interconnectivity of tech and innovation
Technology and innovation are interconnected they need each other to thrive, let’s look at some examples.

What’s the biggest frustration people experience with customer services? Feeling that they are not being understood or listened to. Having to go through the same conversation, the same complaint, over and over again because they’re speaking to a different agent. We all know this pain.

Dixa, is a SaaS business currently transforming the customer service experience by making it more personal, intelligent, and data-driven., it puts people at the core of its business and addresses this particular pain point – frustration.

Dixa could have used technology to reduce waiting times or increase accessibility. Instead, they looked at the problem differently and unlocked a fresh way to innovate in this industry. The service combines every customer interaction into one seamless conversation by unifying all contact points – phone, email, chat and messaging. Therefore, changing the landscape by removing the frustration of having to explain yourself again and again to different customer service agents.

It has used technology to create a seamless, ongoing dialogue that has transformed expectations of customer service forever.

Mews is another business blending insight and technological innovation to revolutionise the hospitality guest experience.

Rather than think about how to improve the traditional property management system that dominated the industry landscape, Mews decided to drive its innovation from a different angle – the human experience of both hoteliers and customers and asked what are their pain points?

By adopting a customer-first perspective, Mews developed customer-first tech that identifies how and where to simplify or automate hotel operations – from booking engine to check-out, front desk ritual to revenue management.

Small scale improvements would not have been enough to compel hoteliers to switch from the established incumbent – but a new way of thinking brought to life through technology, has created wholesale change and encouraged hoteliers and guests to imagine more.

What both these business example show, is where technology was used to deep dive into a real problem, to fulfil a gap in the sector where meaningful change could innovate to the benefit of the end-user – the customer. Both of these solutions tackle specific pain points, and instead of an easy fix, have come up with an idea that can shake a sector and really challenge sedentary thinking. That’s the beauty of tech, it can realise a business idea and elevate a sector with innovation.

A final word of caution, too often businesses create or adopt technology for technology’s sake. They realise they can, so they do, but they don’t stop to ask ‘why?’. They should. When you unlock ‘the why’, you unlock the insights.

It is the insight that unlocks innovation – and technology that makes good on the promise.

 

This article was first published in Global Banking and Finance Magazine.

8th January 2021

Transform Awards 2021

As a strategic branding agency that works with transformative tech companies, we are lucky to work across varied sectors creating beautiful brands in Hospitality, Finance, Retail and Property – to name a few. Our work creates relevant and memorable brands by telling a compelling story that impacts their market and elevates them within their sectors.

We are very proud of the work we do for all of our clients, but it is especially fantastic to have had these projects acknowledged by this year's Transform judges.

We are shortlisted in the following categories:
For our work with Formaplex - Best Visual Identity
- Industrial and Basic Materials Sector.
For our work with LendInvest - Best Visual Identity
- Property, Construction and Facilities Management Sector.

During a year that has been so difficult for us all in the creative industry (running projects remotely and so many meetings via video calls), it is incredible to be nominated in the sectors we strive to make a creative difference.

"Despite the challenges we face, the Transform Awards 2021 still managed to grow... we saw a fabulous range of agencies, companies and brands enter." Andrew Thomas, Transform Awards.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to attend an actual event but, whatever happens, we are looking forward to the big night in May.

15th December 2020

Making innovation possible

- Driving brand relevance in a rapidly changing world-

Payments company, Fime appointed Design by Structure (Structure) to develop its new brand. This has come on the back of the company expanding its offering and expertise across its entire business to meet the needs of the payments market.

Fime provides consulting and disruptive testing expertise to enable its clients to develop, build and launch trusted digital payment experiences across fintech, banking and smart mobility. Relaunching the brand was a very important part of the business strategy enabling the company to harmonises its customer touchpoints.

Creative challenge
The brand identity was outdated and lost in its competitor arena. Additionally, its brand assets and communications materials were not serving their purpose, with no thematic brand consistency across the brand's channels. There was also an issue with Fime's communications, market perception did not reflect the services the company offers and there was no clear message for its target audience.

Structure created a fresh and standout visual language to help elevate the brand's positioning. The creative solution re-thought its touch-points and created a suite of materials and a toolkit to allow the in-house marketing team the flexibility to further develop the brand.

The relaunch aligns with Fime's core values and principles and informs its strategic approach, it also includes the brand's new tagline ‘Making innovation possible’ which is at the heart of what the business does.

Speaking about the creative, Lionel Grosclaude, CEO Fime said: ‘Re-launching our brand brings together a lot of the work we’ve been doing together over the past few years, to help ensure that Fime is even more relevant to customers and prospects in a world that is rapidly changing before us.’

18th November 2020

Create A Healthy Home Office

- Q. How do you make your home office healthy? -

Author: John Galpin, Co-Founder Design by Structure

John Galpin

For those of us who have worked in co-working spaces that encourage mobility and interaction, you need to think about your home office in the same way – think designated zones.

Create multiple workspaces to complete different tasks in different places. For instance, have a quiet space with a closable door for meetings, find a space by a window where there’s a lot of natural light for powering through work, and use the sofa when you don’t want to be by yourself.

You don’t have to be inside all the time – work from your garden in the summer, go for a walk, do conference calls on the move, and get out whenever you can.

And if you don’t have a lot of space at home, then get creative and add new workspaces – a friend’s home, a pub, a coffee shop (when we are allowed again), or a park.

Mix it up and thrive, just like you did when you were in the office.

This comment appeared in Management Today.

30th October 2020

The Power of Emojis

- Q. Should emojis be banned from work emails? -

Author: Nicole Clemens, CEO Design by Structure

Emojis shouldn’t be banned from work emails and if we think about them in terms of semiotics then emojis are simply visual language cues.

Workplace communications are going through a huge transition right now, so we need to adapt and be flexible in how we convey thoughts, ideas and ultimately stay connect with each other.

The written word can often be misinterpreted in terms of the intended tone, so adding an emoji can support the intent and be beneficial to the reader. When it comes to liaising with clients and the use of emojis, it just depends on the nature of the relationship and the content of the message as to whether these are appropriate. If you’re talking to a sales & marketing team then is a simple extension of an existing business vernacular, if you are about to launch a piece of comms then has its place. More and more we are connecting and communicating with clients in Slack so is a universal language that is relevant and understood in addition to saving everyone time.

This comment appeared in Management Today.