A rebrand to make sense of complex telecom
From service provider to tech consultant: repositioning a telecom giant.
MetTel is a B2B company that saves its customers millions by consolidating their telecom bills. But they’re more than just a service provider. They plan telecom infrastructure, offer cloud-based management, and help untangle complex telecom problems with cutting-edge technology.
Except, none of their customers knew that. They saw MetTel as a reliable but middle-of-the-road telecom business.
After an initial strategy session with MetTel’s C-level management, we built a 31-page deck outlining the goals, challenges, and insights we unearthed together. We narrowed the focus to a singular goal from that dialogue and our subsequent research: to create a consistent visual identity across all brand touchpoints.
This rebrand would help MetTel reach its bigger goals:
- Position MetTel as a technology consultant (not just a service provider)
- Look like the clients we want to attract
- Increase brand awareness
To help MetTel achieve these goals, we needed to reposition and relaunch their brand into the telecom space. This rebrand would show potential customers how much additional value they have to offer.
That meant rethinking their brand positioning: the messaging, copy, color palette, visual language, logo, website, signage, and customer experience.
The first step in the design process is always a conversation. After reviewing our notes and proposed tasks from the strategy session, we created a series of stylescapes. Think of them as highly curated mood boards that help express brand attributes with images.
This method helps remove a lot of surprise notes and last-minute changes in the design process. It’s a low commitment, high-value starting point.
Mild, medium, and spicy
I like to present three different stylescapes to help figure out where the client is comfortable in the rebrand spectrum. One mild (safe and subtle change), one medium (new direction, but nothing crazy), and one spicy (total wildcard direction).
We kept their primary color close to cornflower blue to stay aligned with the stylscape and retain DNA from the legacy MetTel brand. To help give the brand more depth, we added analogous colors around that blue and several tints and shades.
Pro tip: always reference actual Pantone swatches when suggesting print color values! The teal proved to be a tricky color to reproduce in print.
To add visual interest, we designed a collection of modular, geometric shapes that, when combined, created exciting patterns. We also used this shape language to bolster MetTel’s value prop of grouping complex telecom services into one simple bill for their customers.
Pairing these shape arrangements with slides and other brand collateral help raise brand awareness by adding a personal design touch to MetTel’s communications.
MetTel’s customer base is vast but can be categorized into a handful of industries. To help simplify navigation and rely less on repetitive copy, we designed this set of icons that represent each of the eight customer industries: government, retail, healthcare, financial, energy, manufacturing, transportation, and travel.
They also serve as a design reference for future illustrations or icon additions to the brand.
A company’s logo is a critical component of its brand. It’s how customers come to know and recognize a brand, so making changes to that logo introduces risk. One of our objectives for this rebrand was not to alienate MetTel’s existing customers, so we were careful and deliberate when it came time to redesign their logo.
After several rounds of internal ideation and design exploration, we settled on three candidates. Like our stylescape presentation, they vary—although slight—in spice level. The left leans toward a modern approach paired with shapes. The rightmost direction retains the sharp notch from the original logo but uses a new typeface, FF Mark Pro.
I find it helpful to share a proposed logo design in context. By presenting it in real-life usage scenarios, you better understand how the brand will be perceived. And because MetTel’s logo would appear on all sorts of materials and surfaces, it was essential to provide mockups of how it would look.
The same goes for any collateral designed. In MetTel’s case, we wanted to imagine how our proposed design language would appear on tradeshow banners and event signage.
The most critical touchpoint in MetTel’s brand is its website. It serves joint purposes:
- A content and marketing hub
- Customer account management
This project’s scope covered redesigning and developing the content and marketing side of that coin. That meant bringing it up to modern web standards (e.g., responsive, SEO optimization), aligning it with the brand refresh, and improving the overall user experience.
Outside of using web heuristics and applying new design language, one of the more challenging objectives was simplifying and reducing the number of choices on any given page.
Less jargon, more real talk
MetTel’s existing content was filled with complex industry jargon that would fly over the heads of most customers. We spent a good amount of time reworking the copy using plain (but witty) language.
Connecting to the API
We also worked with MetTel’s in-house development team to bridge the gap between where a customer logs in (on the marketing side) and where they land in their account. This required custom server-side programming to make calls to their API and then design the look and language of each reply to the customer.
After many months and countless conversations, the new MetTel unleashed itself into the telecom world. As a result of our efforts, we instilled confidence in the MetTel team and brought their brand into the modern world.
They now look and present their business as a technology-first company with a strong sense of design and visual consistency wherever they are.