Changing how the world moves
Uber came to us at a time of immense change. A new leadership team was on the horizon and the business had reached a new peak in growth, operating in 660+ cities globally, with an incredibly diverse fleet of vehicles ranging from cars to bikes to tuk-tuks to even flying cars. It was clear that the business had outgrown the brand, and that it was the right moment for Uber’s brand to evolve. The brand we created helped shift the company from a rideshare app to a platform for global mobility; from a narrow Silicon Valley perspective to a truly global outlook; and from being focused on growth to being focused on people.
The Global Mobility OS
The evolved Uber brand needed to work around the world. By engaging the organisation at scale and taking an iterative approach with global teams, we worked to create a brand that was flexible and impactful, while still maintaining consistency across markets and audiences. We first developed Uber’s overall position as a brand by establishing the concept of Uber as a 'Global Mobility OS'—a seamless, endlessly supportive platform that puts people, vehicles and goods in motion around the world. This strategy enabled the business to lean into a new positioning and its strengths across a growing geographic footprint and expanding ecosystem. It also inspired a hybrid brand architecture model that capitalizes on Uber’s ownable role as the only resource where people are empowered to ‘go anywhere’ and ‘get anything’. Today, Uber leans into this narrative framework across all of its key communications and brand building initiatives.
If Uber was to act and show up like a ‘Global Mobility OS’, it needed a ‘beyond simple’ brand identity that could easily flex across its entire infrastructure. We partnered with the Uber Brand Experience team and MCKL Type Foundry as well as product and marketing teams across five mega-regions globally to create a universal ‘beyond simple’ Uber brand. The identity system was designed so that teams in diverse markets could tailor it to their audiences through imagery, pattern, and culturally specific content. Key parts of the brand included a bespoke typeface, designed for legibility across 13+ languages; driver-centric stories told through a supportive ‘U-frame’ composition; and a Safety Blue addition to the colour palette to indicate special moments of care and connection.
An $82 billion IPO
After identity development, we partnered closely with the Uber team to shepherd the new brand into the world. “A new brand identity is only half the challenge. Implementing the new designs and strategy across 80+ countries is the real test,” said Dan Henessey, International Creative Director at Uber. “Wolff Olins partnered with us to deliver brand trainings and build a creative review process—not only to ensure brand consistency, but to elevate the final creative output to new heights.” The new brand was launched in September 2018 alongside a new mission statement and a renewed commitment to safety. Following our partnership, Uber’s brand went up 51% in value ahead of their initial IPO. In May 2019, Uber went public to be valued at more than $82 billion.
Travel and hospitality
What We Did
Brand Strategy, Brand Architecture, Visual Identity, Verbal Identity, Research, Employer Brand, Culture Strategy & EVP, Physical Environments, Digital Experience
increase in brand value ahead of their initial IPO