Under the Hood: Behind the Brand Refresh
Waze’s Head of Creative on the community-driven brand refresh
Under the Hood gives you an inside look at different parts of Waze — straight from the people working on them every day.
Traffic is the worst. It makes us feel powerless and out of control. At Waze, we work to change that. We do whatever we can to make people’s time on the road more rewarding. Sometimes that’s adding functional features to the app, like helping you plan a drive or find the cheapest gas around. Sometimes, we just have to bring the fun, like adding a celebrity voice to guide you as you navigate. If we can evoke a smile every now and again, we all win.
We take our cues from our Community—the millions of people who hate traffic, but know they can do something to fix it. When you hit a pothole and report it, that report doesn’t really help you in the moment, but it does help all those people behind you. And when our volunteer Map Editors add toll prices to the map, it’s all for the benefit of people they’ll probably never meet. It’s the most helpful, kindest, positive social network out there.
So when we decided to refresh our brand, it became more about revealing who we are, not reinventing anything. We want everyone who uses Waze to feel like they’re part of this community, not just a “user.” We wanted to bring the joy we bring to people on the road into the building blocks of the brand.
A Brand that Belongs to the Community
Throughout the refresh process we brought the Community into the conversation, to understand how they feel about the brand, and what more they’d like to see from it. Our conversations took many forms, from regular meetups to a study conducted with 13,000 drivers to asking our rather opinionated Waze-loving friends their opinions.
These discussions made two things clear: we needed to build on elements that have always been part of the brand, but bring consistency and simplicity to them, and we needed to give our community more avenues to express themselves through the brand…