Moving Brands partnered with Flywheel to rebrand their taxi-hailing smartphone app, formerly known as Cabulous. The new and vastly improved app was successfully launched despite the concurrent explosion of alternative transportation start-ups in the Bay Area, themselves a reaction to negative consumer sentiments about the perceived lack of available taxis. In reality, taxis were available but running inefficiently because of an inability to “see” potential riders, and taxi fleets were burdened with expensive, ineffective and non-consumer-friendly enterprise systems. Moving Brands positioned Flywheel as a smart solution for both taxi riders and taxi fleets and helped to successfully launch the new brand with a superior service in an increased number of cars.
Moving Brands has a well-earned reputation for their depth of creativity and knowledge of the market, and their work on Flywheel is no exception. The before and after is remarkable. They challenged us to think about how our brand could scale globally and be just as relevant in 10 years as it is now.
Steve Humphreys, CEO Flywheel
At the core of the Flywheel story was the concept of being “city-driven.” Given that the service is focused on cities across the US (and eventually around the world), Moving Brands created a narrative that speaks directly and universally to urbanites—people with places to be and things to do. Therefore, Moving Brands focused Flywheel on streamlining the experience of getting a taxi, effectively providing a secret shortcut for in-the-know urbanites to get to where they need to be as efficiently as possible.
Our knowledge of the moving world played a crucial role for a company that literally moves people by shaping the development of a brand that serves customers online, on mobile platforms and in the real world. As well as an authentic and enticing narrative, we created graphic elements and language that blend on-screen and real life interactivity into one seamless experience and will communicate the brand just as effectively in future years as it did for the initial launch.
Moving Brands created a visual identity system and brand guidelines that ensured that the new look, feel and tone of voice extended from the in-car experience to the website, app, advertising and launch materials. The new logo, a red, forward-leaning “F” comprised of a winged circle formed by traffic lines feeding into a roundabout, and the tagline “your secret shortcut” serve to both communicate the consumer benefits of the brand and differentiate the company from other transportation apps.
Although the company itself does not own or operate any taxis, Moving Brands created messaging and strategically-placed design elements to extend the perception of the brand beyond the app screen and successfully encourage consumers to use the new name as a common noun and a verb, as in: “My Flywheel is outside” or “I’ll Flywheel over there.”
For Flywheel’s customers, time that used to be spent frantically looking and hoping for a cab has been replaced by a few quick taps on a beautifully branded, intuitive to use and effective smartphone app. Graphic elements from the new logo are used extensively to brand the app’s UI, from transition screens to the map interface. Bright, vibrantly colored stripes and circles are applied strategically across the interface, throughout marketing materials, and on the taxis themselves to create an engaging brand experience.
Since its partnership with Moving Brands began, Flywheel has added 1,000 new cars in San Francisco and expanded its presence to Miami, San Diego and a slew of secondary markets. The brand and the app’s UI are well-positioned to venture into other service offerings, including rail, air, ferry and even alternative methods of transportation, such as pedal cabs and bike shares. They have recently raised almost $15 million in Series B funding.