Being a startup in an oversaturated industry, Smarkets, initially found it hard to make their brand stand out from the crowd. They had a clear vision of disrupting the industry by infusing it with the principals that had helped make the financial markets flourish and were looking for a brand and product that would show this.
Early on, we decided that to bring the best experience possible to our users, it was essential to not only have a consistent journey end to end but one that embraced our differences. By taking these and showcasing them in subtle ways to our users, we aimed to stand out from the multitude of competitors vying for their attention.
In the early days, the brand had trouble standing out amongst the hustle and bustle of its very boisterous industry, the sleek aesthetic that was at the core of the brand wasn't always able to penetrate the noise. A handicap that quickly became problematic as Smarkets began to branch out and form corporate sponsorships.
We decided to refocus the brand and bring something that could break through the noise of the industry. What we came up with was a logo that was simple, dynamic and versatile enough to work in any situation that was needed. Rather than focusing on aesthetic, we wished to portray we, shifted focus and instead shone a bright light on what made Smarkets unique. It's technology.
By accompanying this new logo with a visual style that promoted flexibility and versatility, the brand was no longer shackled. It could grow in-line with the business needs, changing to fit within the variety of sports, markets, venues and even regions as required.
A concept that we put to the test during a year-long partnership with The Jockey Club. Not only did this allow us an opportunity to test messaging and have firsthand conversations with users who we might others not have access to about their thoughts on our product in a very informal setting.
However, while the informal chats at The Jockey Club racecourses did provide some insight, they were a pale comparison for the formal user testing sessions that we carried out throughout the year. These sessions allowed us to get in-depth feedback on key features of the product, as well as get valuable feedback on unreleased features and even requests.
Through these sessions and several other initiatives we started to collate user feedback, we can continuously make improvements to both the desktop and app versions of the product that we closely monitor through a variety of metrics. A process that allowed our mobile app quickly became the highest-rated betting app in both app stores within a few months of being released.