Dutch agency Verve has launched its new brand identity for African fintech Flutterwave, which has just been valued at over $3 billion, currently making it the highest valued African startup on the continent. The fresh visual system is based on 'LabaLaba', meaning 'butterfly' in Yoruba, one of the main languages spoken in Nigeria.
"Flutterwave is such a powerful and dynamic brand that exudes the spirit of African entrepreneurship and so our collaborative approach was critical to this, ensuring the brand remained authentically African while standing out in its category," says Roman Stikkelorum, managing director at Verve.
Flutterwave already had a butterfly logo, so following 12 months of rapid growth, it had become a "symbol of reliability and trust," according to Stikkelorum, one that Verve could expand on. The agency, therefore, created a modular identity system and motion principle elements around LabaLaba meaning 'butterfly' in Yoruba, one of the principal languages spoken in Nigeria and throughout the African west coast.
"We saw that Verve would be able to deliver on what we really wanted; a team that cares deeply about showcasing culture and personality through branding," adds Ted Odalele, head of design at Flutterwave. "We enjoyed re-discovering ourselves and workshopping the different ways we could retell our origin story. Identity is a window to interacting with the world and Verve has given us visual language and tools to do just that."
To address the multiple touchpoints any brand has to now consider, Verve challenged Flutterwave to think beyond its logo and invest in a branding system built from its core. This system has been designed to quickly adapt to the ever-changing needs of consumers and move the brand away from the fintech category to one focussed more on the creator economy and its consumers.
"Traditionally, the global fintech visual aesthetic is dominated by green and blue, colours that are far too cold and corporate for a brand that prides itself on enabling and empowering African businesses and entrepreneurs," says Stikkelorum. "We chose a B2C approach for a traditionally B2B brand in order to resonate with the audacious dreams of entrepreneurs; whatever those ambitions may be. The whole identity and brand strategy is grounded on this single story and pulls through across the new brand and its assets."
Verve also developed a brand library of guidelines for everything from photography to typography as well as an illustrated guide for general brand communications to ensure Flutterwave's brand could evolve and expand for future products and services.
"In this day and age, in order to survive you need to stand out and adapt as a living brand," concludes Stikkelorum. "We are ecstatic that this project not only met the brief but combined the best of our skills and Flutterwaves' to create a brand that is bold and distinctively African and built from the core of classic digital Dutch design and future-proofed, as the company grows from strength-to-strength."