Uber’s Brand Refresh

Uber has spent the past year trying to convince customers that it has put its problematic reputation in the past. And what better way to usher in a new era than with a complete rebrand?

Uber has unveiled an entirely new look that will eventually feature a fresh, custom-made typeface, new colors, a redesigned in-app look including animations and more.

The company says this rebrand reflects Uber’s transition from “San Francisco startup to a global company,” particularly one that’s become a “platform of mobility.”

New-road-GIF-FINAL

The company is doing away with the symbol that’s been featured on its app icon for the past two years. Through the aforementioned internal research, the team discovered that most consumers don’t actually associate the symbol with Uber, and that drivers would even turn around the decal that featured it to the other side, which read “Uber,” so passengers could have an easier time recognizing their cars.

Uber found its strength in three things: Its name, the U and the color black. So in creating a new logo, they leaned into those features.

That new logo is a simple wordmark that (naturally) reads “Uber,” with a capital U, in Uber Move, a typeface that was custom-designed for the brand. Previously they’d been using Clan Pro font, which, though they licensed it, they still had to share with other brands that did the same.

In terms of color, Uber is zeroing in on black and white in its new branding. However, there are several secondary colors, all of which take inspiration from transportation, and feature bold-but-soft hues of purple, green, red, yellow, orange and brown. A bright shade of blue is the “safety color,” inspired by the associations of blue with security in everyday life: The United Nations, for example, as well as the blue safety lights that are omnipresent on college campuses. This blue will feature more heavily in the app, as an accent color.

The hope is that this rebranding will make Uber’s presence is a bit clearer to riders, drivers and potential customers. Uber’s No.1 imperative in the redesign is “seeing Uber and knowing Uber,”

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#UberSpringCleaning.

We have all been there: we dutifully pack up the jeans that we haven’t worn in years and other items that have lived in our closets for years and promise to take them to Goodwill. For me, the nearest location is 3 subway stops from my house. The last thing I want to do is drag a hulking bag of clothing down into the subway and back out again.  Sadly, most of my donations end up being trashed.

Turns out, I’m not alone. Most unwanted clothing in the United States gets thrown in the trash. According to The Atlantic, Americans buy five times as much clothing as they did in 1980, and textile trash grew by 40 percent from 1999 to 2009. Americans recycle or donate only 15 percent of clothing, and in turn 10.5 million tons of textiles a year end up in landfills. This makes textiles one of the least recyclable materials that are reusable, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Less than 16 percent of the more than 14 million tons of textile waste was recycled in 2014.

Too bad giving away stuff isn’t as easy as it seems.This past Saturday, Uber partnered with Goodwill to come to the rescue.  uber-goodwill-spring-clean

Users of the mobile application in more than fifty US cities opened the application to find a new “GIVE” option, available only on May 2. Customers could use the feature to summon an SUV to pick up bagged clothes, which they took to the nearest Goodwill, free of charge.

In addition to major US cities where Uber has a large presence, the spring cleaning initiative was in cities such as Detroit, Dallas, Denver, and Miami, among others. The nationwide promotion between Uber and Goodwill was built off a previous successful spring cleaning initiative in New York last year, and another clothing drive in Boston and San Francisco last fall.

There were some hiccups. For example, a few of my friends reported that they kept getting, “No cars available,” messages. Also, Uber didn’t take full advantage of their social media resources to promote the initiative – most learned about it at the last minute via traditional media.

All that aside, I still believe the idea is a great one. Uber has huge brand awareness and resources that greatly benefit Goodwill and the initiative makes it fairly simple for people to give. I would love to see the likes of Blue Apron and Nature Box provide similar services. Imagine being able to donate your weekly box instead of, ‘skipping’ it?! #Awesome.