Waze

Galvanizing a company and community to live its purpose.

The Ask

Waze is one of the leading navigation apps, a service built for and by communities around the world. However, in 2018 it was at an inflection point — most of the founders had left the company and it was preparing to launch its second consumer product, Waze Carpool. Guided by instinct and a huge amount of gumption through its first 10 years, it was time to develop a formal brand strategy that existed beyond the heart and guts of its founders. How do you codify an authentic brand purpose to galvanize a company and guide its next wave of growth?

Unearthing Truth

In order to truly understand the culture and heart of a global organization, we spoke to over 80 people across the Waze company, uncovering what special traits drove their growth over the previous decade. We then worked with the C-Suite of the organization, based on our company wide audit, to determine the organizational barriers to implementing a cohesive brand.

We then set out to conduct a global quantitative study, as well as qualitative research. We attended Waze community meet-ups and other community events. All of this eventually allowed us to build a singular design target that could inform Waze’s continued growth.

Unlocking Possibility

Waze, unlike its competitors, had always put people at the heart of mobility. They launched and thrived by building a crowd-sourced service where total strangers could help each other get to where they’re going faster, more enjoyably, and safely. This philosophy — coupled with the launch of a new Carpool service where people could help others move through the world — helped us set an organization-wide vision of changing the way the world moves through everyday acts of cooperation.

Manifesting Impact

After developing a company vision and brand strategy, we needed to make sure the work was applied across the organization. We then worked with the heads of departments, from Sales, HR, Ops, Product, and Business Development, to integrate the strategy and vision into their working processes. Examples included reworking the B2B value proposition and pitch process for sales and building a new set of product principles and user-centered ideation framework for the product team.

Results

Since the completion of this work Waze rolled out a new brand identity and increased sales the following year by 35%. The team successfully launched Waze Carpool globally with campaigns that brought the brand strategy to life. The vision and strategy helped a globally distributed team realign around a shared purpose — changing the way the world moves through everyday acts of cooperation — by building tools to ensure the brand was actionable in the everyday.

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