Motile

Building a consumer electronics brand for the most unlikely of consumers.

The Ask

Following the acquisition of Jet.com, Walmart approached Sylvain Labs to explore the potential of a new private label brand of tech accessories aimed at a consumer outside the bounds of Walmart’s typical shopper, but squarely in Jet’s playing field—the young, urban, affluent, and tech-proficient. From name to identity, to value proposition, to launch products, everything was on the table. How do you balance the scale and resources of one of the world’s largest retailers with the authenticity and personality of one of the web’s fastest-growing startups to build an authentic, design-driven lifestyle brand?

Unearthing Truth

This project was always about the people. So we began by speaking with aspirational consumers — New York City-based millennials in creative fields — as well as tech and fashion industry experts about what motivates them in life, how they define “good design,” and their point of view on technology and tech accessory products and brands. We supplemented this qualitative research with secondary research on tech and fashion trends, competitive brands and product offerings, and the tumultuous world in which 20 and 30-somethings live today. From this, we developed a sharp point of view on who these people are and a potential role this tech accessory brand could play in their lives.

Unlocking Possibility

This project was always about the people. So we began by speaking with aspirational consumers — New York City-based millennials in creative fields — as well as tech and fashion industry experts about what motivates them in life, how they define “good design,” and their point of view on technology and tech accessory products and brands. We supplemented this qualitative research with secondary research on tech and fashion trends, competitive brands and product offerings, and the tumultuous world in which 20 and 30-somethings live today. From this, we developed a sharp point of view on who these people are and a potential role this tech accessory brand could play in their lives.

Manifesting Impact

With a crystal clear understanding of the brand, its users, and its differentiated role in the world, we brought the brand to life through name, brand voice, and robust brand identity system. Additionally, we hosted an Ideathon™ with a blend of clients, aspirational consumers, and fashion and tech industry experts to develop initial product concepts. These concepts, many of which comprise the initial line of Motile products, were rendered in dynamic sketches and the brand work was used as a filter against which all concepts and designs were evaluated.

Results

Walmart launched Motile just in time for the holidays 2018, exclusively on Walmart.com. The launch included more than a dozen products, including a line of backpacks with embedded 10K mAh wireless chargers, a wireless bluetooth speaker, and QI wireless power banks. Lauded upon the first drop by both fashion and tech bloggers alike, the brand was praised for its “minimalist aesthetic that could rival the Everlanes and Nikes of the world.” The brand has since expanded to include a wireless bluetooth mouse, a portable Apple Watch power bank, and a laptop.

Press

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