Case Study – DealerVu Brand Creation Story
A lot goes into creating a brand from scratch or in this case, re-envisioning and re-launching an existing brand. Grab your Pantone swatch book and a double espresso, throw on the black turtle neck and your favourite Smiths album (The Queen is Dead of course) – we’ll take you into the world of design a little bit with us here:
DealerVu came to Freebird with an established automobile industry dealership software product, customer base and existing branding in place. The problem was that the product wasn’t well reflected in the marketing and this lead to customer confusion and lack of access to key markets in the industry. Their existing brand wasn’t working – it didn’t illustrate the brand’s message, ideals and the extremely high level of quality and service they deliver. Enter Freebird.
Freebird took the brand back to square one by analyzing its core offering and creating a new strategy for the company itself as well as the new DealerVu brand.
As we often do, we started with creating an initial moodboard that shows the target market, proposed design style(s) and general feeling the new brand is striving for. While that was happening we did a full strategy exercise on the market and DealerVu’s potential in it. We conducted an exhaustive competitive analysis in order to find the sweet spot for communicating the brand’s personality, culture, vision and mission which ultimately led us to the new brand positioning and a perfect new tagline. This strategy document really laid the groundwork for the new direction the brand was going take. This approach let us make an informed “road map” for design and other marketing choices in the later stages of building the brand.
“Working with FreeBird Agency was seamless and their fine tuned process yielded a wonderfully unique and powerful new DealerVu brand.”
Mike Wyrzykowski – DealerVu CEO
You’ll notice that the old logo does not convey the trust or leadership that DealerVu provides in the industry. It also looks a bit like it was from decades gone by, which of course is not the image a cutting edge software company wants to project.
We started with an in-depth look at key visual styles that were working in the auto industry and software world.
We wanted something that fused the world of glossy car emblems and the approachable yet technical feeling design style of the modern software world. The logo also had to really stand out from the crowd in the automobile dealership market. With this in mind we sketched, stopped for coffee and then sketched more until a few solid directions took form, then we fired up our Macs to take the mocks into pixel land.
As you’ll see, for the icon the idea of a D and V coupled with a reference to a chevron shape is what came to fruition. DealerVu is also heavily involved with Harley Davidson so it only made sense to give the chevron a bit of a harley “wing” feel to it as well, and really, that was the final touch it needed. Having access to the diverse international team Freebird does enables us to really bounce these concepts off of a broad range of talented designers and directors before moving into production.
Typography and colour
The typography is influenced by the bold, highly legible, but stylized sans serif fonts of the automotive and software worlds. Rounded corners and other vector customization give the wordmark a modern software feel but also pays tribute to some classic, timelessly iconic automobile industry brands.
The new DealerVu brand’s tagline and other marketing headlines are set in a modern, versatile, sans-serif font that was specially designed for the American Federal Highway Administration for legibility and a distinct, eye-welcoming style. It’s rooted in letterforms that are easily absorbed at a glance by drivers and stands out on the streets – this was a perfect fit for DealerVu.
Along with the type we took inspiration from the open road for DealerVu’s colour story as well. Greys and silvers from the asphalt to the metal of a vehicle coupled with the pop colours yellow and orange found internationally on road signs and on painted road lines. Psychologically, yellow is a bold colour that grabs the eye’s attention and shows alertness, again, a perfect match for DealerVu brand and product.
After all that calculated magic happened, artistic inspiration met up with fundmental visual design mathematics to make the wordmark typography and icon design pair together perfectly.
With a well planned and designed brand identity like this in place the rest of the brand’s marketing materials become easy and focused. The moodboard developed earlier illustrates photographic style, the strategy document explains the brand’s personality and tone of voice for copywriting, and the brand and/or logo guide make graphic design fruitful and the outcome reliably on-brand.