In 2014, the ambitious French startup known as Sigfox was rapidly taking the technology world by storm. Their disruptive vision was to roll-out a global communications network dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT). Sigfox provided a low-cost, low-energy alternative to cellular networks, allowing millions of smart objects (or "things") to send simple data messages from their location, directly to the end-user, via the internet. This opened up a whole new world of applications across multiple industries, enabling companies to remotely install sensors and hardware devices to monitor, alert, control and communicate - without any of the constraints of traditional telecommunications networks.
Like most startups "ahead of their time", Sigfox was mostly known to technologists, niche developers and some analysts. It needed to appeal to a wider audience of end-users and find its own unique voice in the face of mainstream brands and competing technologies. Following another successful round of venture capital funding, these factors were seen as critical to accelerate growth and support a rapidly scaling global deployment. Nigel Reyes (Brand Manager at Sigfox in 2015) was appointed to lead this initiative at the request of the Executive Committee, and enlisted the help of internationally renowned agency Interbrand (Paris) to undertake a complete re-branding and elevate the brand to meet its global ambitions.
Strategically, the brand was first stripped-down to its fundamental values, incorporating the core vision of its founders to connect the physical and digital worlds around us. This provided a strong base on which to develop the graphical language of the brand.
"Sigfox is a true pioneer
of the IoT..."
Gartner Inc. Technology Report (2015)
The new Sigfox visual identity was purposefully designed with flexibility in mind. By creating a bold, but adaptable system, the logo could be used in print or digital media in full-colour or as a monochrome variation. By anticipating future usage in physical product designs (such as consumer devices and professional hardware), the brand message could easily be transposed, making it ubiquitous and helping to build trust among a diverse audience of end-users.
With a core mission to deliver the true potential of the IoT, the Sigfox brand promise is "make things come alive".
Nigel Reyes - Global Brand Manager Sigfox
The original brand name, composed of the words Sig (for radio-signal) and Fox (to imply cunning) was retained as it reflected the spirit of the disruptive start-up’s "DNA". The original butterfly motif (chosen to signify transformation and the weightlessness of the small data packets carried on the network) was completely redesigned to appeal to a new demographic.
Essentially, the new logo had to appear more accessible and aesthetically pleasing to a wider audience, easy to recognise at a global level and able to adapt to new products and services as they became available. The logo itself was converted into a brand "device" and morphed into dynamic variations for use on branded imagery, in print and in digital media.
The brand architecture was completely rebuilt to accomodate the growing range of official partners, suppliers, resellers and device manufacturers, therefore extending the brand’s visibility and presence in different markets. By aiming for ubiquity and consistency, the brand could reach far beyond its origins as a tech start-up and take its pride of place among more established tech giants.
The resulting brand architecture delivered the much-needed clarity for all actors within the Sigfox ecosystem, and helped to build trust between device manufacturers and consumers (through the underlying certification programs and quality endorsements). In addition to boosting brand equity, it also served as an in-built protection for the brand against future counterfeiting or unauthorized usage.
At roll-out, an extensive toolkit of marketing and branding material was released and deployed to all company staff as well as to network providers and official partners. Using a highly-coordinated online "countdown" that culminated in an official launch event, the much anticipated changeover to new branding was made seamlessly and had a powerful impact across the globe.
A major part of the Sigfox rebranding involved the creation of a comprehensive toolset of stationery, presentations, branded imagery and icons. An environmental / wayfinding system was also deployed to international offices and adapted for usage at major trade-shows in order to rapidly ensure a consistent, global experience across all touch-points.
Year: 2015 - 2016
Agency: Interbrand (Paris) and Nigel Reyes (Sigfox)
© 2020 Agency-R
Graphics: Interbrand Paris & Sigfox
Layout and Case Study: Nigel Reyes
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