Branding for Aurora
Aurora, now IDEX, is a suite of dapps and protocols that together comprise a fully decentralized and autonomous banking and finance platform.
Making sense of the Branded House, House of Brands, and Ingredient Brand Strategies.
Imagine a world where anyone can secure financial freedom, no matter their status or location. That’s what Aurora set out to do in 2016 - but of course, a vision is a future state. How do we break that down into smaller steps that an audience can relate to? That’s where brand strategy comes in.
Thankfully Aurora had already planned for the long-term by launching the first of many products that would be the foundation for the user-based economy. Idex by Aurora, their digital asset exchange was a blockchain-powered trading platform would be a stepping stone to introduce 2-3 other technologies they were working on. With an increasingly complex array of brands, platforms and technologies on the playing field; Skyrocket was brought in to make sense of it all. Here’s how we did it.
The Brady Bunch of Brands
Brands are similar to people. Brands encapsulate what they believe, how they carry themselves, what they say, and even what they wear and how they look. All of this means something to the consumer, who identifies with the brand on some level in an exchange of value.
A company with multiple brands is like a family. The personalities within a given family say a lot about how that family functions as a whole, and the dynamic within it. Using this analogy, we got to work figuring out how the different family members of Aurora worked together by doing a correlation map. We take names out of the equation at this point to get a clear, unbiased look at the family. For example, company X builds brands A, B and C. A relates to C which in turn introduces brand B. Once we figured out how they all connect to each other and identified any common components we were able to identify a strategy that made logical sense.
Selecting a Brand Strategy
There are 3 general approaches to organizing a family of brands:
A House of Brands is a collection of brands owned by one company that have different names and identities (e.g. Procter & Gamble). This allows each brand to stand on its own legs and fight its own battles without tarnishing the parent brand or other brands.
A Branded House is one brand that provides many products and services that inherit from the parent brand (e.g. Hewlett Packard). This allows each brand to borrow from the same pool of brand equity, budget, and market position as the parent. It also allows an easy stepping stone for customers to move between the brands without having to reevaluate their preferred product/service providers.
An Ingredient Brand is when a component of a brand is used across all the products and services to reinforce a specific benefit or feature, for example, Intel Inside. This allows separate brand identities with a lower level of a link between them that somewhat combines options 1 and 2
Enter the House of Brands
After conducting extensive research into the entry market (cryptocurrency exchange) and the roadmap for future brand releases, we recommended a House of Brands approach. In this particular case, the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency was still in its infancy, and as such was subject to the growing pains leading up to a shakeout period. On the road to a vision so grand, we didn’t want to carry through a brand that represented the fallout of this inevitable period of growth. Even in the case that Idex, the exchange, pulled through the shakeout period; the shift in market conditions and the audiences who interact with them could give rise to a repositioning (and therefore rebranding) in the process.
In the end, we decided to drop “by Aurora” from the Idex brand and go through a full renaming process for the upcoming brands and technologies so they would share a common “theme” rather than a common brand. We wanted loose ties to something greater - a sum of all parts which hinted at a better future without putting a trademark stamp on it. That would give Aurora the agility to react as the market shifts without having to lean too hard into one direction.
If you need help making sense of your own Brady Bunch of brands, get in touch and we’ll be sure to put some fresh smiling faces into those boxes.