Startup customer experience - Phase I
Overview: The business started in the founder’s dining room with an idea to offer product reporting and inspection services to solar system installers. With the U.S. residential solar market growing more than 60% year over year in 2015 (GTM fact), energy companies needed a solution to ensure quality services in this fast-paced industry.
The founders, David and Saul originally reached out to me to create marketing tools; a website and logo to launch their services. As part of the first steps of my design consulting services I began assessing their marketing plan to identify a scope of services and requirements. Through the assessment process I learned that the project scope was more than designing marketing tools—we needed to define a brand identity and design whole a customer experience.
Role: My job was to partner with the founders as their consultant to create and establish a brand that could scale with their strategy at every stage of their startup business. The project entailed two phases; defining a brand identity and designing a solid customer experience.
Challenge: My challenge was to quickly understand their goals, align their brand vision and establish a web presence in three months.
Areas of Focus: Design Consulting • Marketing Strategy • Brand Development • Project Management • Persona Development • Visual Design • Content Development
Establishing a Brand Identity
Before I could jump into the details of designing a corporate logo that represented the company we needed to define the company’s vision; mission, values and core services. This information was not only important to design a logo but was a key factor to develop key messages throughout their marketing assets.
• How do you want users to perceive your brand?
• Give adjectives customers might use to describe your company.
• Give three reasons why customers will choose your company versus the competitor.
Identity Starts Within
I facilitated an exercise with the two founders to create a company fact sheet outline that would provide me with the information necessary to create the company image they wanted to portray to their prospects and customers. Through this activity goal was to thoroughly understand their vision and business strategy then create a customer experience that communicates who they are, what they do and why it matters starting with a corporate logo that communicated these aspects.
“Our company is committed to providing services which bring value and quality to your solar business. Accuracy, consistency and customer support underline our values. You can count us to provide a product you have confidence in.” David Inda, Indaspec Founder
Visual Representation of the Brand
I began the identity design process with internal and external research. Through conversations I learned that the brothers David and Saul were already well known in the residential market among solar product installers for their professionalism, accuracy and consistency. I also learned that there were not many competitors specializing in inspection services yet there were product installers that needed an inspection service.
The research findings were key to brainstorming logo and name concepts that represented the founders’ reputation, their specialized niche and most of all their values and beliefs. After several rounds of logo design reviews and iterations, we landed on a name “Indaspec” and a visual design that would define their corporate identity and design system.
Result: The Indaspec logo is a text and visual representation of the businesses’ identity. It is unique, recognizable and simple. The artwork symbols are solar photovoltaic cells, a representation of their specialty and the name “Indaspec” when pronounced sounds like the word “inspect” for the inspection services.
UPDATE: From Solar Services to Energy Services
In 2017, the logo design was updated as Indaspec extended their services beyond solar services and into the business-to-consumer market. The long-term business strategy was to scale their offerings services to include energy systems (not just solar systems) for businesses as well as homeowners and they needed an identity to reflect this change.
I intentionally created the original design to be simple and flexible to accommodate for business growth changes. I modified the design without compromising important design elements; solar cell artwork and company name that defined their brand.