A fresh look for the Fairphone brand
The word “rebranding” can strike fear in the hearts of even the calmest colleagues, especially when you feel such a close connection to the brand, as many of us Fairphoners do. But it doesn’t have to be scary – sometimes a little bit of change can reflect a company’s natural evolution, or help you more clearly communicate what you stand for. Over the past months, the Fairphone communications team has been working on just that – what we’re calling a “brand development.” You may have already noticed some of the changes, but I’m excited to walk you through the work we’ve been doing and the results of this labor of love.
A walk down memory lane
Things move so quickly at Fairphone, it’s sometimes surprising to realize that we’ve only been a social enterprise in our current form since January 2013. Before that, we were a campaign started in 2010 by our founder and CEO Bas van Abel who was trying to increase awareness about the use of conflict minerals in our everyday electronic products.
Making our story easier to share
We’re campaigners at heart, and that’s why we’re passionate about leading with our values. Since the beginning, making the phone has been a means to an end to improve how our products are made. But alongside using our phone to improve the industry, the phone itself has become an even bigger part of our story. The modular, repairable, long-lasting Fairphone 2 is truly game-changing, and we also have ambitious commercial goals in a competitive market.
That made us start thinking about how our brand could reflect this evolution – which is where brand development came in. We wanted to do justice to the phone part of our identity, balance it with the fair, and at the same time make this all easily digestible to our loyal community. But we also had to find a way to reach people who care about our issues but have never heard of Fairphone before.
Fair or Phone? Fairphone!
For most of you, the biggest change you’ll notice is our new website. Our mission at Fairphone relies on three pillars: Creating a phone to improve the supply chain and grow a movement for fairer electronics. Therefore it’s fitting that the new Fairphone.com uses a simple top-level navigation of Phone, Story and Community.
We have a big story to tell, so our redesign makes it easier for you to get the latest updates on our activities, and to quickly understand what our main ambitions are. For example, we’ve changed the names of our action areas in our Story section from Design, Mining, Manufacturing and Life Cycle to Long-Lasting Design, Fair Materials, Good Working Conditions and Reuse and Recycling to make our goals clearer.
Lotte van Raalte from Halal Amsterdam helped us develop the look of our new photography by creating documentary-style images and casting “normal people” (not models!) who shared our values (for instance, casting a social worker or a sustainable living entrepreneur). We wanted photos that would show the human side of our company and product, and we’re delighted with the results.
Help us spread the Fairphone story
Fairphone wants to show that there’s demand for fair products, and we’ve got this far thanks to the discussion and involvement of our community. But how does the fair and phone relate to you? How are you connected to the different parts of our story?
We have a new Community section filled with resources to help you share the Fairphone story. It will keep growing over time, and we’re eager to hear your feedback in the comments. You’ll see two sections: 1) Tell our story and 2) Organize an event. Here you’ll find materials to help you host an urban mining workshop, promote the Fairphone within your organization, or organize your own community event of Fairphoners.
If you have ideas for other materials you’d like to see, let us know in the comments.
So, what do you think?
Brand development isn’t possible without lots of hands and minds. We kicked off this trajectory with independent communications agency KesselsKramer, who helped shape the finished product with concept development on the brand and visual identity. Then, I have to thank a number of people for their tremendous work: our in-house creative team and a number of freelance interaction designers, graphic designers, copywriters and developers who have been applying our new visual identity across all channels. Finally, this web project would not exist without the dedication of our ecommerce team, so big thanks to our project managers and IT specialists.
Now that you’ve seen our new website, we’d love to get your feedback. Are there sections that you’re missing, or you think can be developed more? We’ve started a forum thread to gather your comments, so please start there. Thanks again to our community for all your support. We hope this new website launch is just one of many exciting announcements about our fair story, phone development and involvement of our community to take us further in our mission.