Published: 9th Aug 2016

How to launch a digital-first brand

Richard McCloskey - Client Services Director

Recently, we helped launch FinTech start-up Wealthify. Here’s what we learned about launching a new brand in a digital age.

We’ve got plenty of experience of helping established brands adapt themselves for the digital age. But recently, we got to develop branding – from scratch – for a digital-first business: Wealthify.

An introduction to Wealthify

Wealthify is an exciting new player in the ever-growing world of robo-investing. Conceived as a low-cost alternative to traditional investing, Wealthify is an online investment service open to anyone who wants start investing, regardless of income or experience, from 30-somethings working in London to baby boomers looking to boost their retirement funds.

And Wealthify is a smart solution. It combines passive investment strategies with proven theory, clever algorithms and a team of experts to help people to get more from their money.

Find your purpose

We love the challenge that comes with starting a brand from scratch. There’s no heritage, no reputation. Just a blank page.

That’s where strategy and customer experience come in. We spent time looking at who would be using this new investment service then created personas and user journeys.

We hung everything off the proposition ‘shortcut to smart’. This represents the role of Wealthify in the eyes of its customers – it helps them invest their money in a smart way, without them needing any understanding of finance or stock markets at all. It does the clever stuff for them. A bit like AirBnB does for travellers, or Instagram does for wannabe photographers.

We wanted users to feel good about being smart enough to use Wealthify.

Find your style

Now we had a proposition, we needed to bring it to life with a visual identity. Something that would stand out in the financial sector, would be memorable and would work seamlessly across different devices and formats.

We designed, iterated and refined a logo and visual language. Bold typography and vibrant colour were used to create a fresh, modern aesthetic. The photography art direction focused on portraits from a spectrum of people that embody the Wealthify brand values. Subverting the status quo, these people have character and clearly think for themselves. Smart, confident and disruptive. We wanted to avoid clichéd imagery that you would expect to see from a financial establishment.

Find your voice

Another fun bit. A brand that doesn’t exist has no voice (yet), so we were able to give it one. We referred back to our personas, looked at competitors, and found a voice that was unique to Wealthify.

We wanted Wealthify to be intelligent yet approachable. After all, we’re talking to people who may have no experience with investing. They need to feel reassured, not patronised, and certainly not like they’re talking to a stuffy investment banker, or being sold to by a financial adviser.

Combine that with the branding we created, and you have a confident, fresh, invigorating brand. Exactly what an exciting start-up should be.

Find your contribution

Now you have your voice, your style and your purpose, you need to figure out what you’re actually going to say. We helped Wealthify do this with a bespoke content strategy. This took everything we’d created about the brand so far and wrapped it up in the content they would create.

We developed content pillars for Wealthify to hang their content on. Because everything they push out should appeal to their target audience (back to those personas) and fit the brand’s proposition.

Basically, it needs to be useful for their audience and beneficial to them as a business. Which should be the case for any brand’s content.

And set it free

Now it’s time to put your brand out there. For Wealthify this meant turning everything – the visual style, the branding, the tone of voice, the proposition – into a website.

Wealthify have a skilled and experienced in-house development team who dealt with the back-end development of the site, whilst True created the front-end build for the templates. This meant that we had to ensure effective collaboration between agency and client teams. We always work collaboratively, ensuring Technology experts are around the table right from day 1 – this really helped on this project as it meant that we simply swapped our own back-end team for Wealthify’s. Effective collaboration ensured that the shared responsibility for the build didn’t become a headache and everybody involved was focussed on the end product from day 1.

The site needed to appeal to our personas, and make investing simple. And it does. Thanks to our UX, design, content and front-end teams, we’ve helped to create something seamless for potential investors. The website guides the user through the investment process in an intuitive, accessible way.

It demystifies investing and makes it totally do-able, which – let’s face it – is the whole point!

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If you’re launching a new brand – or have an existing brand that needs upcycling for the digital age – get in touch.