Recently, our studio and W+K Tomorrow partnered with local startup Bettery, who offer rechargeable batteries and swap stations, to completely reinvent their branding from the ground up–everything from their logo to the user interface on their physical machines. We talked to associate studio manager Wendy Martenson about the year-and-a-half-long process.
When Charlie Kawasaki approached W+K Tomorrow, he had an extensive tech and startup background, and a new product: a station where a person could buy rechargeable batteries, swap them out for new ones to avoid the hassle of charging at home, and recycle old alkaline batteries. But that product needed more than just a new logo–it needed an entire new identity, starting with its name.
The original concept for the rechargeable battery stations.
“It was originally called ‘Greenbatz’,” said Wendy Martenson. “The first thing Charlie wanted was to create an illustrated green bat, and that was it. But we started talking about it more, and it turned out that he had many more needs, and that we could meet them by partnering with Tomorrow to bring it to life.”
Studio has produced other brand identities and logos, including work for startups from the Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). But because they were brought in at the beginning of the Bettery project, they found that they could be involved with every element of the product’s production, even before it went into the manufacturing stage.
“It’s very different from our other projects because it’s very long term,” Martenson said. “Most projects are only a few months long.”
Three potential logo designs and colorways.
The final Bettery logo.
Studio began with a list of names, which they narrowed down to three contenders; the team eventually settled on “Bettery”, a portmanteau of “better” and “battery”. They also produced several potential brand identities and logos.
“The manufacturing process takes a while,” Martenson said. “Over the year and a half, we had a chance to see the brand through its packaging and product design, the kiosks, even the interface for the kiosk itself. We partnered with our motion design team to create animations for it. It’s very exciting to be able to bring a brand to life in that way, and to touch it on all of those levels.”
“It was a great learning experience for us,” Martenson said. “This has all happened organically; we have great designers and it gives them new challenges, and opportunities to work in a different capacity. We hope we’ve given Bettery the tools to be successful, to stand out and be different.”