The router has been a dull black box in consumers houses for years. Once set up, consumers don’t interact with the device as long as their Internet is up and running. In the summer of 2015 Avast Software wanted to smarten up these dull black boxes by creating Chime. Adding functionality like parental controls, I.o.T. (Internet of Things) and on-the-go security. Avast Software wanted to test the waters by starting a crowdfunding campaign, initially focusing on the consumer market with the vision that the company would itself create the accompanying hardware. The crowdfunding campaign got a lot of publicity but didn't meet its goal. That's when Avast shifted focus and proposed attracting router manufacturers as hardware partners while providing the Chime platform as a way to smarten up their Wi-Fi routers.
Seeing the shift from a consumer facing product to a business facing product the Chime branding needed to adapt as well. Instead of consumers we were to attract router manufacturers and ISP’s.
Below I'll describe the process I underwent creating this new branding.
First of all, what was wrong with the initial branding. It was consumer facing while Avast’s new focus was on business partners. Next to that the branding wasn’t versatile. For example the branding wasn’t recognisable at small scale.
Requirements - Positioning
To get an idea where we wanted to new branding to be positioned we set up a grid. The axes consisted out of consumer vs. business and classic (timeless) vs. trendy (period specific). On this grid we positioned all of our competitors branding. After which we pinpointed where we wanted to be with the new Chime branding. As previously indicated we wanted a more business facing branding with a timeless feel.
Requirements - Versatility
Good branding is versatile. Creating branding symbol and a word mark. This add versatility seeing the branding can be used only using the branding symbol, word mark or as a whole. It should work in colour but also in black & white. Be legible at both large and very small format. Branding should be simple. Details in branding will make the branding less legible at for example small scale.
This step in the branding progress started off with a detailed look at our competitors branding. Trying to see similarities within these different branding. Focus during this research is indexing their colour use, typography and different versions of used logos and symbols. Below you see an excerpt of the competitor research.
Next up were multiple sketching sessions. Too make sure we weren’t blindsided, seeing, we hired some external designers to let them give us their vision on new Chime branding. As a conclusive step we picked three possible branding solutions and iterated on these.
Before the great unveil explaining the symbolism of the new branding. It incorporates the connected home. The Chime instrument where the product got it’s name. The shape of this instrument represents the increase of the platform's functionality. The strong square shape of building blocks, which yet again stand for the scalability of the platform and it’s functionality.
To support our outcome we showed how versatile the new Chime branding is and finally user tested it by brand mapping which showed the new branding is more business facing and considered more timeless looking then it’s predecessor.
"Christian has been an important part of our innovation design team for 4 years. I am pleased to vouch for his high standards, attention to detail, and well-developed sense of visual style. Christian has been our lead visual designer, with notable successes in defining and rolling out brand identity."
Design Director at Avast Software
Design Director at Avast Software