Creating the first digital marketplace for sustainable mining solutions

May 15, 2020
Wunderdogs

The mining and metals industry is recovering from one of its most difficult periods in decades. Market volatility and a downturn in commodity prices have created a new normal where cost cuts, automation and operational efficiency are vital. Yet despite the rapidly changing industry landscape the nature of mining – and many similar industries – for the most part remains unchanged.

Up until recently there existed no central marketplace where mining businesses could acquire and implement new technologies whilst simultaneously discovering trusted new digital solutions. Purchases were siloed, requiring huge investments in time and resource to locate, validate and implement new technologies and services.

In late 2019 industry leaders Shell and IBM formed a new strategic partnership. Their goal? To become the digital transformation leaders for heavy industry. How? By leveraging their skill set and reputation to create the worlds first digital marketplace for sustainable mining solutions. With the long term goal of expanding to other heavy industries once the platform was proven to be a success in the mining space.

The team approached Wunderdogs with nothing but a product. They required a complete visual identity (including a name), a UX / UI Kit as well as support designing the digital marketplace itself.

Before commencing the naming we worked closely with both teams to identify important brand attributes. Key stakeholders placed significant value on “future-proof”, “reliable”, “curated” and “end-to-end”. Our brief then became: a strong-sounding, short, globally understood name. Something that embodies the aforementioned attributes and is industry agnostic: a key feature given the plans to expand to other heavy industries in the future. After a few iterations, the product came to be known as ‘Oren’.

Our research and strategy findings informed the core of Oren’s brand identity. A style defined internally as “Multi-industrial minimalism”. Our approach balances conservatism and industry heritage with innovation and a contemporary look & feel. The identity is deliberately at odds with the dark colors and overly industrial feel of competitors, however the imagery is familiar and relatable to all within the sector. An approach that appeals to all marketplace players: mining Executives and solution developers.

At the core of the new identity sits the Oren logo mark. A polygon is used to represent the multi-faceted nature of the platform: with each side dedicated to a different industry within which Oren either operates (mining) or will operate in the future (construction, oil & gas). The shape is also a geometric nod to a screw – an image synonymous with the industrial process, with the ‘O’ a less subtle representation of the name Oren.

Oren’s color scheme features traditional neutrals with unexpected fresh tones, such as Mint and Indigo as well as coral reds for highlights. The well balanced primary and secondary palettes combine with the classic yet progressive NotoSans font. Giving the brand a trustworthy and fresh feel.

In the secondary phase of our identity work we created a thorough UX/UI kit for the digital marketplace which included a bespoke set of cross-industry icons. The kit was developed specifically for the IBM development team as they fine tuned the product.

The name and visual identity were then brought to life across the Oren website: a beautiful and comprehensive digital representation of the brand. Animations were used throughout to bring an element of dynamism to all pages with interactive text fields and drop down menus introduced to improve the user journey.

Armed with a new name, visual identity and website IBM and Shell successfully launched their joint venture in March 2020.

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