In this article, I’m going to share my personal experience and point of view on how Uniwor’s brand identity evolved over the span of 3 years. It will be valuable for entrepreneurs and designers as a case study to take a deeper look at product/company branding.
So here is the story
When I first joined LONGWApps in 2017, Upul Dissanayake showed me a web application that the team was working on at that time.
He asked me to check it out and tell him my thoughts. It was called "Web Invoice Maker". While I was observing the web app, one of my biggest concerns was its identity.
Web Invoice Maker…
Even though the name was Web Invoice Maker, technically, it's not a name. It basically explains what the application does.
We had a long discussion about it and one of my first assignments at LONGWApps was to develop an identity with a brand strategy for this web application.
Upul had several plans in his mind for the future of this web app. My initial challenge was to understand the current state of the business and the future it's heading towards.
At that time, it was just a software product. But what value does it provide to the users? Who are the users? How does this app differentiate from all the other apps in the market? How is it going to evolve in the next few years? Why does this business exist and what kind of impact is it going to make?
Figuring out all of this was easier said than done.
While we were working on this, we started to brainstorm some names.
Renaming the product
You know how painful it is to name a product or a business nowadays? We brainstormed a list of names but none of them was available to buy as a [dot]com domain.
An eternity later, we came up with a name called Uniwor. Combined the letters of UNIversal WORkflows. Because Upul had an idea to transform this application into something that can design workflows.
Changing focus and how it affects the brand name
During this journey, we had a great discussion with another Sri Lankan entrepreneur, Chandika Jayasundara, and gave us some valuable advice.
He told us not to stuff all sorts of functions and features, and we should just focus on the core value.
It was one of the turning points for Uniwor and we decided to stick with invoice creation rather than building a complex software with various workflow creating features.
But but but… What about the name?
Uniwor? Universal Workflow thingy?
Well, we decided to keep the name regardless of changing the focus.
Because you know, nobody knows what Uniwor means. Well… now YOU know but, It doesn't matter what it means. It's a name. My name is Mayantha Shaveen and it doesn’t have a meaning. It’s just a couple of words that help people identify me.
By this time, most of the identity design was done. There was no point in throwing all that into the trash can and rebrand once again.
Uniwor identity design
One of the key decisions that we took was to include people and real-life photos rather than using lifeless illustrations as typical startups do.
Because we always connect with PEOPLE. We represent the PEOPLE in our community. They will always be a part of this brand and the journey.
How the brand has been evolved by 2021?
After a long journey, 2020 was a crucial year for Uniwor.
We kept developing and fine-tuning the product.
We received some great insights from existing users.
It was time for Uniwor to launch as a commercial product and more changes were in order.
While Upul was leading the team and working on the software development side, I made a few changes to the identity.
The core foundation of the brand
It took us years to truly identify our core values and market position.
Based on the feedback received from our users, ease of use was one of the core strengths of this software.
Accounting can be tough and most of the solutions out there are extremely complex. There is nothing wrong with it as they serve their own purpose.
But there is a segment in the market. There are people who are looking for a much simpler solution to deal with easily.
So we kept focusing on improving the user experience rather than adding more features.
Since we truly identified the brand's core values and market positioning, we made some changes to the identity as well.
Uniwor 2021 identity design.
One of the updates is that we changed the color to a lighter blue. I wanted to use the design language to make users feel how lightweight, friendly, and simple Uniwor is.
How do you feel when you look up to the beautiful blue sky with clouds and birds? Isn't it relaxing?
That's the idea.
Also, did you notice the rounded edges?
The previous design was bold and sharp. I tried to reduce the harsh look and created more of a friendly feel to it.
It takes time. But totally worth it.
A brand identity and a strategy is not something that you can come out of thin air within a couple of months. It takes time to build and it's always evolving.
What you see here is the continuous effort we have put in for more than 3 years. (More than 5 years considering the development stages of Web Invoice Maker)
It takes time to identify your core values, test your ideas and find your position in the market.
It's not over yet. This is just the beginning.
One of the current shortcomings is that the Uniwor software experience is not well aligned with the new brand identity. A logo is not a brand. The whole experience matters.
There is much more to do to improve the user experience.
That's what we are going to work on next.
I need your help!
Do you mind doing a small favor?
What was the key takeaway you took from this article?
Please comment and let me know as it would help me a bunch. Thanks in advance.