Say hello to Plum’s Brand Refresh. Read on about why we undertook the effort, what all went into it, and what’s new.
The Brand Story so far
Plum launched in 2019 with the vision to transform employee health benefits. Abhishek and I wanted to help companies, no matter what size, get access to high-quality health benefits at affordable prices.
Once we decided on the name, we wanted to come up with a logo and website for our new company. We were about to embark on an ambitious vision, and the logo wasn’t the top item on our to-do list. Abhishek quickly sketched out the first version, Arijit figured out the logomark and typography, I picked the colour, and voila – we were off the ground!
In an insurance world with many ‘hairy’ problems
While building quick short-term brand solutions was equally challenging and exciting, it didn’t necessarily stem from long-term strategic thinking or honest reflection. In the last three years, we also learned much more about the need we’re looking to serve, the industry at large, and ourselves.
We are in an insurance world with many hairy problems:
No trust, low awareness, too much paperwork
Communication gaps, over-complicated systems
Commoditization, complicated, manual processes
Opacity, too much fine print, warped policies
Scamming, too many hiding features
Loopholes, fear, intimidating processes
confused payment systems.
Insurance brands are stuffy, boring and shut you out. We wanted to come as an anti-insurance brand. We emerged as:
A ‘friendly’ insurance & health benefits ‘partner’ not just a service provider
Who ‘just takes over’
‘Super easy’ to use
‘Super smooth’ to work with
Someone who is ‘ready to listen’
Takes our feedback ‘seriously’ And actually ‘takes action to resolve’
Someone who ‘reaches out’ with added value And ‘supports you like hell’ in the time of crisis.
Through the last 3 years, we managed to build a loveable brand that over 2000 companies trust to take care of their 300,000+ employees and families. We grew from 3 people working in a co-working space to a 300+ passionate team who truly believes in the mission.
You all loved our identity, UI, content, and playful mascot, and we can’t be grateful enough! <3
So, why the brand refresh?
We have audacious plans – growing into more markets, solving for millions more happy customers, and building a company that lasts a hundred years. To do this successfully, it is important that our brand identity reflects who we are today and who we aspire to be.
In addition to our people, we see our brand as our biggest moat. We realised it was time to undertake a thorough exercise where we’d look inward to codify our identity better and align it with our aspirations. This involved more clearly defining our purpose, our values, and our visual and verbal distinctiveness — one that uniquely defines who Plum is — to our employees, customers, partners, and the industry.
The Re-imagination Process
We needed a squad and a champion to steer the process. Luckily, we had Shreyas, our head of marketing, who knew re-imagining a brand is no mean feat and would require gathering the village to move mountains.
As we began undertaking our search for the right consultants and experts to work with on this re-imagination project, there were aspects of the process we were very clear about –
- Undoing the status quo – The industry we operate in can go anywhere from boring and uninspired to jargonesque and even shifty in tone. We actively wanted to stray away from the conventional hues of corporate blue and the alienating legalese overpowering all content.
- Staying true to ourselves – We’ve always taken pride in our ability to talk about health benefits and insurance in an empathetic and clever way. People already connected with us for who we unapologetically were, and we didn’t want any of that aspect of our personality to get diluted through the process.
- Infusing delight in everything – Every touch-point we have with someone is an opportunity for our brand to add value and leave a lasting impression. We wanted every element of our craft – copy, images, interaction, etc. – to make the experience more joyful for our readers and customers.
With all this, we knew we couldn’t just work with a cookie-cutter design agency. We needed the help of strategists and consultants who understood what we were going for and had the creative chops to help us get there. And we found our dear friends at Irregulars Alliance.
The next few months were about workshops, working sessions, customer interviews, mockups, iterations, reviews and more. The process was long, iterative, and often challenging in ways we never imagined. But what it resulted in was something that seemed honestly simple yet masterfully crafted, friendly and playful, yet warm and empathetic, approachable and inclusive, yet exquisite and premium. We absolutely loved it, and we’ve been working hard towards bringing it to all of you – our customers, members, friends, families, and well-wishers.
Please meet the Plum you love and trust, just a wee-bit re-imagined.
The New Brand
Our purpose at Plum is to positively impact the health and financial well-being of every human.
And this we intend to achieve by redesigning how we get involved with our members. We don’t only want to make it a smooth ride for you by bringing team care packages to your fingertips. But we are here to get actively involved with you by trying to understand very real problems your teams can face!
Your problems help us go back and innovate with our teams and partners to build a better impact in times of crisis and healthful times.
Say goodbye to transactions; we are here to be genuine people who care about your team’s health and well-being.
Culture is core to us. It’s the behaviour in action, not just words. Our introspective efforts led to us codifying culture into values under which we want to operate every day.
Our values lie at the core of all our endeavours. In the visual world, these values are represented through symbols.
We also took the opportunity to refresh how we packaged our products and offerings in a way that would be more relatable to our customers, as well as conveyed the value of the impact we’ve been trying to drive.
We wanted our visual identity to stem from our brand pillars of simplicity, inclusivity, and accessibility. However, we also were keen on being bold, playful, and joyous.
Our visual identity is the central cue used to identify us and create consistent brand recall over time. It is a portrayal of our brand personality. Our design system is a systematic unification of our wordmark, colours, typography, symbols, patterns and illustrations.
Our new wordmark is based on the typeface Nan Jaune Midi Black with rounded corners to communicate the warmth and friendliness of our brand whilst maintaining a mature structure that showcases our commitment to our vision.
Notice we did away with the fruit in our logotype 🙂
A quick primer on why we’re called Plum – https://twitter.com/tanish2k/status/1549257891487440896
We want our approachability and playfulness to be palpable in our branding. That’s why we chose NaN Jaune Midi as our display typeface. We like it because it has personality, plus the boldness in the nature of the font makes it eye-catching across all types of media.
A healthy mix of playful displays and clean sans-serifs to ensure enjoyable reading experiences for all our viewers.
We use Nan Jaune for Headings and Displays and Chromatica for everything else.
Color is an important part of our brand personality.
We couldn’t get ourselves down the dreary path of boring blues and safe greens. We embrace our quirk and love how it comes across in all our new creative efforts.
We want to be known for our “Plum Red” and “Plum Vision” colours, to the point where people see it and automatically go, “Yep, that’s Plum insurance”. Instead of keeping backgrounds white in our visual communication, we are using ‘Plum Promise’ as the base color. This color ties in all other accents together with a pleasant feel.
The highlight colors have been thoughtfully chosen to complement our brand color to make it look inviting and exciting.
Patterns & Illustrations
Plum’s brand identity uses spot illustrations.
A spot illustration is an object that stands independently, without a background scene. Small and bite-sized, they help to accentuate text and can be used in conjunction with other graphic elements fairly easily, which gives them flexibility.
We wanted illustrations to feel playful, inclusive and nostalgic, as if someone was looking back at pictures of their loved ones in a family photo album.
All credit to Mira for her thoughtfulness and brilliance in bringing these to life.
Imagery is an important part of Plum. Their ability to represent a world of situations through zoomed-in and zoomed-out perspectives make their scope in our brand world much larger than that of illustrations. So much so that we have hero images of all our products with images.
We use images to represent human contexts such as serious situations, crises, relationships, emotions, care, moments, actions, wellness, touch, communication and more.
and so much more, that you will eventually see in our brand communication. Stay tuned!
Last but not least – we are launching a new media property along with the refreshed brand identity – Humanise.
New Digital Media Collection – Humanise by Plum
Along with the launch of our refreshed brand identity, we wanted to play an even greater role in positively impacting the well-being of people.
Plum is a company built on the premise of care – for our own employees and the companies we work with. We desire to help every company care better for the health of their people. With that in mind, we have launched Humanise by Plum – our new digital media collective bringing to the forefront conversations about people at work.
Over time, conversations about work have been laden with the following terms: productivity, optimisation, measurement and, more recently, burnout. As the focus on output and results grows, human is almost forgotten.
As an editorial property, Humanise will cover conversations about the working world while keeping the human at the centre. These conversations will resonate with many, enlighten some and challenge others. We intend to ‘humanise’ workplaces to speak of ‘happiness, dignity and respect’ more often when we refer to work.
We hope that Humanise by Plum will help put the spotlight back on humans in workplaces.
We believe that this brand refresh is a necessary step as we begin to scale up and pursue our mission to insure 10 million lives by 2025. As with most things brand-related, this is just the start of a long and continuous journey of discovery, design, and delight. Over the next few weeks and months, you’ll see Plum’s new look across all our communication – website, social media, and so much more. Tell us what you think about the new Plum.
A Note of Gratitude
We owe every bit of our success to the people that have trusted us – our team, our customers, partners, investors, friends, well-wishers and more. We will continue to be the Plum you’ve come to love and trust, and hopefully, we’ll make it all the more delightful for you and your teams.