Branding a product line before it exists

Written By: Sofie Bedard, Content Creator, on Mar 14, 2018

Three concepts for the fix logo appear in succession: a sketched image, a vector image with graph lines, and a final image against a blue backround.

Recently we launched our next-generation, responsive, mobile application, Cetaris Fix. We’re very proud of the product we've built and we wanted to build a strong brand to reflect that. Yet, as soon as we started our branding process we stumbled into an interesting challenge. We began to ask ourselves: How do you design the branding for a series of products when most of them don’t exist yet?

Cetaris Fix is a mobile-first, responsive work order application designed to improve the technician's experience; it reimagines the work order functionality from our legacy C# application, Cetaris Fleet and Cetaris Fixed Asset. While Cetaris Fix is just the beginning for the Cetaris mobile product team, we needed to take future apps into account when creating the app's new visual system.

How do you design the branding for a series of products when most of them don’t exist yet?

Branding a set of existing products to look cohesive and unified is hard enough on its own. But the idea of designing a cohesive product set when most of those products don't exist is just plain daunting.

Our team decided that we would use Cetaris Fix as our starting point throughout each step of our design process and then we would cross-check every decision we made to see if it was adaptable to different products.

Here’s a glance at the steps our design team took to face this challenge.

What is the main purpose of our product? #

Our process began with a group brainstorming session. Our design team met with a content writer and brand voice expert and began whiteboarding words, concepts, and phrases that reflected the main purpose of our new product.

Our new mobile product has so much to offer, which made it difficult at first to choose just one word to describe its purpose. But we kept gravitating towards the word “Fix” and how effective it was. Our user's main goal every day is to fix assets. It seemed fitting to reflect this goal in the branding.

We cross-checked to see if we could brainstorm other simple verbs that reflected the purpose for the rest of the modules in our legacy product. This was a manageable feat and we ended up with multiple options for each module that we put in our back pockets for later use.

Constraints aren’t always a bad thing #

After deciding on the name Cetaris Fix, we decided to tackle typography. We had the most constraints in this area, which actually made this process relatively easy for our design team. There was no time spent researching and testing out multiple typefaces. We knew that to make the Cetaris Fix brand feel unified under our company brand, we would use our company brand typeface to keep things consistent.

Our time was spent playing with different weights, kerning letters, and testing out colors. And doing so not only with the word “Fix” but also the other verbs we brainstormed earlier. This confirmed that our final typographic treatment worked not only for Fix, but also for our future products.

Grids are your best friend when navigating the unknown #

Our next challenge was to create the logomark to be displayed beside our logotype. This part is crucial, as the logomark is the visual that people end up associating with the brand. Think of Apple’s apple or McDonald’s golden arches; these simple symbols trigger brand recognition without even needing the company name.

The design team took to the whiteboards again to start brainstorming visuals that could be associated with our new brand “Fix”. After coming up with many new concepts we began working through them in Illustrator. While working through different compositions, we also created a grid. We knew that having a grid would make it easier to design the rest of our logomarks in the future.

We went through many iterations and had touchpoints with our product team whenever a new decision was made. We wanted to involve our team as much as we could throughout the process so they felt ownership of the brand as well. Having more eyes on the designs also shed light on some oversights on our part that would have been harder to redesign later on in the process.

The whole process took a few months, but the outcome was well worth the wait. We are so proud of our new brand and excited for the future of Cetaris products.

Cetaris Fix Logo
Tada! The new Cetaris Fix logo

You can find out more about Cetaris Fix here.