The company formerly known as TransferWise has undertaken a complete rebrand, with help from UK agency Ragged Edge.
B&T sat down with Claire Grinton, the startup’s director of brand and creative to find out more about the change from a straight-laced blue brand to a more colourful, expressive set of creatives.
“It was important for us to rebrand now because we wanted to accurately reflect who we are as a business and what we offer: we’re no longer a fintech but we’re not a bank, we’re uniquely Wise,” said Grinton.
“Our new look and feel reflects our evolution from consumer money transfers to a global network being used by people (we’re welcoming 100,000 new personal and business customers a month), businesses and even banks (we’ve got 60 partners across the globe across a range of industries using us to help scale their global operations).”
The redesign was inspired by a few key themes — the startup’s green cash card, its global base of users, and its need to be accessible to all.
“Our goal is to have the same distinctive Wise experience for our customers no matter where they are in the world, and create a system that scales more easily as we continue to expand around the world,” added Grinton.
“We set ourselves a number of solution requirements that would best demonstrate our values as a company. If we wanted to make a brand that scaled with our ambitions — for all markets, all people, and products, and all environments — that meant we needed a verbal and visual identity that was accessible on a global and individual level. We know that one in three Android users have an accessibility feature live on their device, so we weren’t solving for edge cases — we were solving for a huge proportion of our community.”
Accessibility and inclusivity are becoming increasingly important in the world of marketing and advertising. But, it’s rare to see a company so openly talking about the changes it needed to make in order to become inclusive from a brand perspective.
“Accessibility standards vary across environments, but we deeply interrogated our solutions across colour and contrast ratios to ensure we had a striking and inclusive visual palette,” explained Grinton.
“We also looked at accessibility settings for text in mobile environments to ensure our product and comms could adapt along with our users’ needs. We also looked to industry best-practice regarding left- and right-justified text versus centred text to inform our high-level choices for environments housing key information for our users.
“As we’re global by nature, ensuring we have a system that works for both left- and right-reading countries was critical. Our in-house localisation team plays an important role in ensuring line breaks happen in appropriate places and that we build logic into our font sizes to avoid awkward breaks in adaptable environments. This same team helped us evaluate our new font, Wise Sans, to ensure appropriate readability for all diacritics at every size.
“Inclusion is about even more than just accessibility. We also mitigated against pre-existing biases by interrogating our colour choices and ensured we weren’t leveraging western ideals that wouldn’t connect with eastern audiences. For example, while red means danger in many parts of the west, it means good fortune in parts of the east.”
The change from a blue-based brand colour palette to a green one was also inspired by the world around Wise. The company explained that blue had become a “fintech convention.” The bold green look would help Wise stand out from its peers.
“Our rebranding efforts reflect the differentiation of our product. We started this journey two years ago when we changed our name from Transferwise to Wise, but today we’re able to celebrate what makes us different in all the ways we show up to the world. The new brand, alongside our growing product, reflects all the ways that people use money, not just transfers,” said Grinton.
“Some of that means throwing off the tired colour palette we’ve come to associate with banks and other financial service providers. But more than just a new coat of paint, this is about building a brand that scales with our product and with our ambitions, and ensuring we’re reflecting the full scale of the people and businesses we support around the world.”
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