Why We’re Rebranding

We pride ourselves on our growth mindset, so we're always striving to improve and evolve. We realized that we were really good at doing the work, but not so great at marketing ourselves.

This is who we are:

1.    We are past intrapreneurs who are passionate about corporate innovation

We refined our services to be clear that we are passionate about building a culture of innovation through innovation sprints (empowering internal intrapreneurship) and corporate incubation (building successful internal ventures).

2.    We are entrepreneurs who love building startups

We are building a venture studio to co-found businesses with ambitious startup founders. It’s a “for-entrepreneurs, by-entrepreneurs” initiative to share knowledge and build phenomenal businesses that will disrupt industries.

3.    We are curious and hungry to stay on top of emerging innovation and startup trends

Staying ahead of the curve is how we build excellence as industry leaders. We gathered the smartest people we knew to start a small fund ($250K) to invest in ambitious, high potential early-stage startups. This way, we are deeply rooted in the startup space and helping shape future unicorns.

At Onova, we’re on a mission to build tomorrow’s biggest companies – whether that’s internally within or outside an existing corporation. With all the changes that are happening around us, and with fresh eyes on our strengths and passions, we wanted our brand to evolve with our growth to better communicate our vision.

New Colour Palette and Branding

Our new logo (with the 2 sticky notes) reflects one of our core values of collaborating and ideating, together.

A bold and vibrant green, as our new primary colour, reflects our energy and growth mindset.

Our Website Re-Design Process

Step 1: Establish the Vision, Key Goals, and Objectives

“Walt Disney told his crew to ‘build the castle first’ when constructing Disney World, knowing that vision would continue to serve as motivation throughout the project. Oftentimes when people fail to achieve what they want in life, it’s because their vision isn’t strong enough.” - Gail Blanke

Vision drives everything – and so aligning these elements to guide your design is vital to your success and image. We started with understanding who our audience was and then identified what type of journey we wanted them to experience in our space (what does good to great look like). Having a clear user journey in mind helps you plan for content creation and also optimizes your layout and design.

Step 2: Conduct a Website Critique/Audit

Our in-house designer reviewed the old website various times and prepared notes on UI/UX and stylistic suggestions for an improved user experience. Every detail is combed through while considering different design principles. Strategies on how to conduct a product website audit includes conducting user interviews, which involves asking someone to go through the website with a goal in mind and identifying whether they achieved their goal. Additionally, evaluating metrics available to you that provide you a detailed understanding of how long people are staying on certain page or which areas of the website they're lingering around provides you insights on how effective your design, layout, and copy is.

Here's what our previous landing page looked like:

Step 3: Understand the Brand & Business

Our designer then conducted multiple interviews with the co-founders with targeted questions to learn more about the company and its journey to where it is today – what makes Onova special and what is its history? We brainstormed our 5-year aspirations independently (as co-founders) then collaboratively. It was important that every aspect of what we do is based on our genuine passion and interests, and it could be conveyed in a way that made sense.

Example Branding Questions:

  1. What are keywords that reflects the brand of the company?
  2. How do you want others to feel when they see your brand? 
  3. What should be top of mind when someone thinks of your brand? 

Example Business Strategy Questions:

  1. What's going well for the business vs. what isn't going well?
  2. What are big bets that the business is interested in making?
  3. What are we genuinely passionate about doing? What gets us up in the morning?

Step 4: Conduct Research and Create a Mood Board

This is where the magic begins to happen! Mood boards are a fantastic way to visually present the overall energy and undertone that the design will head towards. This is an overview that is inspired by everything the designer has collected so far, including the vision and the brand.

Example Process:

  1. Conduct competitor research: What's going well with your competitors? What's not going so well?
  2. Conduct design research: What are the latest design trends in industries parallel to yours?
  3. Align keywords with design decisions: How do we strengthen the messaging of the company's brand through design decisions?

Onova is a combination of the words "Open Innovation" and "Supernova". A supernova is a stellar explosion resulting in a brilliant array of light and the formation of new stars. This is a metaphor for the work we do with our clients in building out their capabilities to surface brilliant ideas and turn these ideas into real market-ready products. In our design, we wanted to ensure we had elements of both "Open Innovation" and "Supernova".


Step 5: Create the Brand Guide: Colour Palette, Creative Direction, and Logo

From here, we’re beginning to break down the branding elements and start drafting new colour palettes and logos – what is Onova going to be represented by? Our whole team had numerous discussions as we narrowed down the options until we decided that we all loved the bright green! Our team used Figma to create our design vision.


Step 6: Create a Website Skeleton

One of our biggest challenges was condensing all of our information, so creating a website skeleton from ground zero was a phenomenal exercise that helped us be succinct and intentional. This step involved cleaning up our content, recategorizing and restructuring everything into more manageable and intuitive pieces, and using visual cues (such as labels) to simplify the user journey.

Tip:  Elements that you'll want on your website include a call to action, social proof, as well as clear and concise messaging.  


Step 7: Create Visual Elements: Icons, Vectors, Website Assets

We wanted to keep everything clean, but also involve dynamic elements with our moving icons to excite and engage our audience. Sometimes, people take away more from your visuals than your text so you really have to make sure that they not only complement your text, but really encompass the core of your messages!

Tip: We use Lord Icons for the dynamic icons that move (on our Careers page). You can also check out Noun Project.


Step 8: Refine Content

Review, reduce, and do it allover again! We wanted to keep what was absolutely necessary and delivered the core values of our brand.

Tips: We used Copy AI, one of the companies under our investment fund, to help provide intelligent copy for our website. Here's a guide on how to write landing pages by Julian Shapiro.


Step 9: Prototype the Website

We have the puzzle pieces, now we just have to put everything together! Our designer used the Figma platform to begin prototyping and creating mockups for the website. It was like watching our very own creation come alive!


Step 10: Uploading the Website

You might think this is the end (and we’re so close) but there are so many things that can go wrong, including little interface errors and spelling mistakes, which is why we have Step 11.


Step 11: Test with Users – Collect Feedback

A fresh pair of eyes can do wonders for catching little hiccups that happened throughout the process, from language stylistics to preferred icon alignments. We love taking feedback, and so user testing was invaluable to polishing everything off! Remember to test on different device types and ensure that your SEO is enabled throughout.


Key Takeaways


Here are a couple things that we learned along the way throughout our in-house rebranding:

1. Rebranding requires a lot of research and consideration into company history, milestones and growth journey, desired public image, and where they want to be in the future (goals, value, vision) to fully understand their story.

2. Rebranding should be a transition (not a complete 180-degree flip) so having a nod towards older elements can be a thoughtful touch towards the bigger picture.

3. Website copy is very important where it can absolutely make or break the user experience. Most of our visuals are based on our copy so our designer had to keep a marketing perspective in the back of their mind throughout the entire process.

4. Take advantage of icons, text visualization, and negative space. Sometimes less is more! All of our visuals are vectors, abstract and/or geometric to create a clean, minimalist, and professional feel towards our new look. We also followed the 8pt grid concept for spacing on the new website so its easy-to-read and your eyes can follow the information in the way it’s presented. Don’t forget to make your CTAs loud and clear for your audience as well!


And there you have it!

Interested in seeing how we can support you and your business in your innovation initiatives? Book an introductory call with Victor Li, Founder & CEO of Onova.
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