Artificial intelligence brand Futr has launched a new identity across all of its marketing communications.
Designed by London based branding agency Lantern, this new identity will help Futr reach new audiences. Most notably local authorities and police forces can use it without charge during the COVID-19 crisis Several are already using it to update people on changes, gain feedback on policing, and reduce the strain on public services at this challenging time.
This branding exercise is also an example of how to progress a technology consultancy to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm, by talking less about functional product attributes and more about emotional benefits.
A revolution in communication
Futr provides AI-powered conversations right across the messaging platforms that people use every day from Facebook to Alexa, and Skype to Slack.
Imagine Whatsapping your local authority to ask when your bins will be collected. Imagine asking Alexa how much holiday you have remaining with your employer. Imagine reporting crimes to your local police force via Facebook. If the bot can’t answer, it immediately passes it to a person who can, translating into 120 languages in real-time.
“This is a revolution in how organisations communicate with their customers and employees,” says Founder Andy Wilkins. “And we’re really happy to see several organisations taking up our offer to use Futr free during the crisis. Many of them are deluged with people wanting information, advice, or help, and Futr is a plug-in-and-go solution that can be set up in minutes as a solution to those problems. We really hope it helps.”
In 2019 the firm gained VC backing, partly to invest in its brand. “Having built brands elsewhere I’ve seen the impact that a strong and relevant identity can have,” continues Wilkins. “We’re on a steep growth curve that depends on our ability to transition from a consultancy to a SaaS brand. We needed to look like one.”
He adds: “At the same time, we need to reassure people about AI, to give it a more human face, and show people how it can make their lives better. We needed an agency partner that could create an identity – a brand attitude – that would resonate with our customers. So we turned to the team at Lantern.”
A series of stakeholder workshops led to a new brand strategy for Futr: how it makes life easier by saving time, money and facilitating communication. A new strapline ‘Liberation through conversation’ quickly and simply communicates Futr’s core purpose and reflects its intention to improve life and work for everyone through simple and meanigful chat.
“The entire brand is about simple and easy communication, but that wasn’t coming across in how they described themselves,” explains Ryan Tym, Director at Lantern. “So, we created messaging, using a short, punchy tone of voice, showing the impact Futr has on people’s lives.”
This messaging includes phrases such as ‘Automagical chatbots’, ‘Manage sick days without the headache’, ‘Imagine an HR team fluent in 120 languages’ and ‘Imagine a police force with an instant response time’ – these have all been designed to help to sell the emotional benefit of Futr to its customers in a way that is playful and accessible.
The icon is both an “F” and a human face that could be winking at you. It’s an avatar that people will interact with, and a radical departure from the abstract shapes and chat bubbles that dominate this sector. It will mark out Futr as step change in the world of AI.
In the same way, the colour palette is bright, optimistic, and liberated for the future – a world away from the corporate teal of Futr’s competitors. The Telegraf font brings further personality and life to the brand, connecting people to this communication revolution just as nearly two centuries ago the telegraph showed people a new way to connect with each other.
Liberation through conversation
The new brand identity will be rolled out across marketing communications material including website, investor decks, and explainer videos.
“Futr is a technology that will change people’s lives for the better and we’re proud to see it doing that already during this crisis,” says Tym. “Looking to the future we believe this new identity will help it scale at the rate of many other fast-growth SaaS brands, changing people’s perceptions of AI and enabling millions of conversations along the way.”