Designing with Trust, Grit, and Empathy

Mara Childs
December 6, 2019

In July 2019, the Possible team introduced our new brand identity (shown above). Created in collaboration with a team of trusted designers, we reflected on our history and progress before looking ahead to the future of Possible. Beginning a few months before the launch, our rebranding process made sure to gather all of our team’s voices and incorporate our excitement about the progress we had made up until that point while using our momentum to give us a great foundation to continue to scale rapidly.

Being an infant startup, our team and product were not at the same level of maturity as an older company, gifting us flexibility and freedom to pave a path forward. Passionate about our mission and vision, we felt it was an appropriate time to refine our voice, and intentionally meld our long-term strategy into the look and feel of our brand. At our all-team offsite, we gathered to hone in on what was important to us, both individually and as a group. From a few sessions with our whole team, three things rose to the top, and we’re proud to have aligned around our three core team values: empower with trust, serve with empathy, and succeed with grit. Our CEO, Tony Huang, wrote an incredible piece about our cultural values and how we integrate these values into the why and how our company operates.

Early on, we also aligned around our determination to serve all Americans. Our customers come from all walks of life, and have come to us for one of many various reasons. We love that we have this opportunity to help a lot of different people, and our voice takes on a friendly and approachable tone so that we can connect with people no matter what their situation is. Though skewing toward being more casual in tone, we say things confidently and we are firm in what we stand for and believe in. Being proactive about issues, owning up to our own errors, and working with customers to be able to accommodate a path forward that’s best for everyone are just a few examples of how this translates into our voice practices. We’re frequently reminded of our impact through our own app store reviews, and we like to be a voice among our customers while offering help and support.

“Thank you guys for trusting in me when others denied me i appreciate that. Sometimes in life you get an illness that you have no control over. I lost everything from having cancer and thank you again for believing in me have a happy holiday as well.” —T

Unlike traditional payday lenders or other short-term loan providers, our product is meant to help make short-term credit access to people more inclusive, based on factors outside of just a traditional FICO credit score. For instance, some companies have adopted the word “democratization” to describe this effort to use new applications of technology to bring a service or product to all people. While we agree with the importance of access, we were also delighted by the opportunity to showcase our commitment to best-in-class customer care and perhaps most notably, optimism—something that we wear loudly and proudly with our name itself: Possible. Our desire to serve all people—including those on the margins today—and to push ourselves to create an increasingly better product helps define what our brand means going forward.

We were both excited and challenged by the opportunity to unite our electric progress while building a brand foundation that could carry our continued growth for the months, years, and products to come. Our brand serves as our foundation and supports our endeavors for the foreseeable future as we strive toward our mission of improving the financial health of everyday Americans. In practice, our first product is a mobile installment loan that was created to be a socially responsible alternative to predatory payday lending, and that comes with many opportunities to interact with our customers. While we’ve defined a mobile experience around an evolving understanding of our customers, we set an intention for our brand to work across inclusively for many applications, both digital and otherwise.

Leading with a commitment to accessibility and clarity, we drove our visual language with the same tenacity we’ve used to scale our product this far. Our app uses Inter, a typeface built for screens by Rasmus Andersson, to emphasize legibility and readability. Leveraging our flagship Sky Blue with supporting colors Foundation Blue and Fuel Orange — names that ground us and propel us forward — we created Velocity Blue, the color that drives our mobile experience. Our departure from our previous mobile blue was made with accessibility in mind, and Velocity Blue sits in between our darkest (Foundation) and lightest (Sky) blue.

Colors and typography that set us apart in the visual field of similar products marry our logo and wordmark that are crafted from our confidence and optimism. Our wordmark is also ever-so-playful in a fun nod to our belief that we should talk to people like people. We extended our liberty in the naming of colors to our logo, in which we let you decide what shape you’d like to see. As a cohesive identity, our brand is documented in our style guide; though relatively lightweight and flexible for different applications, our style guide outlines the core elements of our visual identity. By including a few concrete examples of how our brand should look, we’ve given ourselves a starting block, but not restricted our growth and development.

At Possible, we are proud to make conscious decisions based on our shared team values. Our brand is our beliefs, work ethic, and vision come to life. Building on a foundation of strength helps us develop ourselves in all directions to support our long-term goals. From our current mobile installment loan product that’s helping customers build their credit to the friendly blue accent walls of our Seattle office, our new brand identity percolates through our presence as Possible. Looking forward, we’re thrilled to share everything that our brand stands for in a new visual space that builds on our progress and serves as a springboard for the future. We’re incredibly grateful to have had everyone on this journey with us so far. We’re also so glad that we get to welcome new friends every day, and we can’t wait to see all that’s to come!

possible-team-photo

To get a loan with Possible, download the Possible app from the iTunes or Google Play Store.

Mara Childs

Mara is the first designer at Possible Finance. She loves helping and guiding customers throughout their journey at Possible, from signing up for the app to getting a loan to learning from financial content!

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