Angaza designs technology that enables businesses to provide affordable, life-changing products to the 1.2 billion people living off the electrical grid. Communities in rural, last-mile areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa, south and east Asia, and Latin America have saved $50 million switching from kerosene fuel to solar energy using Angaza’s technology. Angaza provides hardware integration for pay-as-you-go energy products such as solar home systems and lighting, and a software platform to enable pay-as-you-go sales and distribution anywhere in the world.
In 2017, I was brought in to refresh and help establish the Angaza brand to compete internationally with other solar energy distributors, making Angaza the leading technology platform for pay-as-you-go sales in frontier markets.
The concept behind Angaza’s business model is brilliant, and life-changing for over 2.5 million people to date. Much of the world’s population lives far away from electrical grids, and relies on burning kerosene for light. kerosene is expensive, polluting, and a dangerous fire hazard for those with burning lamps in their home. An entire solar home system actually costs less than a year’s supply of , but the up-front cost is a barrier for most people living in these rural areas. Angaza introduces a pay-as-you-go system to remove the barrier for consumers in off-grid markets, allowing them to bring solar energy into their homes and pay small amounts over time in a kind of rent-to-own scenario. The goal is to provide affordable, renewable energy products to the world.
Angaza is unique in the pay-as-you-go energy space in that their technology can integrate with any manufacturer’s products, and their sales software platform is brand-agnostic, allowing local businesses to sell products from a variety of sources.
When I began, the software platform was already serving thousands of people, but the branding and marketing of the Angaza technology was nearly nonexistent. They had a descent logo, some haphazard sales materials, and little else to present to their rapidly expanding market. It was my duty to introduce and establish a branding system and identity to this mid-stage start-up, and create a lasting sales and marketing presence.
I began by surveying the existing branding materials, and creating a competitive analysis of the pay-as-you-go energy landscape. Angaza, and a majority of their competitors, were all using similar shades of blue and yellow as their primary brand colors, making it difficult for Angaza to visually differentiate itself.
The shape of the existing Angaza logo did have the advantage of being unique and distinct, so rather than a complete redesign, I opted for a refresh of the logo and color palette, though with a completely new style guide of visual assets and design rules for creation of new content.
Angaza’s CEO and founder, Lesley Marincola, happened to have an affinity for the color teal. Teal jewelry, teal shoes, a teal hoodie, even the walls of the Angaza HQ’s meeting room were painted a deep shade of teal.
As no other players on the pay-as-you-go energy field were using teal as a primary brand color, Lesley was very happy to welcome the blue-green shade into the Angaza brand. In their primary region of business operation, sub-Saharan Africa, businesses commonly employ bright, lively colors, so the secondary and tertiary brand colors were carefully chosen to create a well-balanced palette to compliment and support the primary teal, with a bright look.
My solution for a new style guide was to take Angaza’s existing language of icons and design elements and expand them, with an updated, flat, clean appearance.
Many of the people interacting with the Angaza brand are not native english speakers, so a library of descriptive icons was important to help convey the messaging and describe the complexity of Angaza’s business in simple, understandable terms.
The typography was streamlined from four different mismatched company typefaces that had been in use into one consistent and versatile typeface, Proxima Nova.
With the updated logo and new brand style guide in place, there was an abundance of new sales and marketing material to be created. Slide decks, presentations, software demos, infographics, booklets, digital assets, print brochures, business cards, and all the other usual collateral utilized by a rapidly expanding company conducting business in over 30 countries across five continents.
A challenge was to create material targeted both at solar energy device manufacturers as well as distributors of renewable energy products that included water pumps and agricultural business tools, clean cookstoves, solar televisions and appliances, as well as lanterns, lighting systems, and solar home systems. The materials were being distributed to business partners, consumers, and investors in North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
The Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo, organized by GOGLA, is the premier event for meeting, showcasing, and networking in the off-grid renewable energy industry. Angaza had a somewhat lackluster debut at the 2016 event in Dubai, and was determined to make a strong showing at the 2018 conference in Hong Kong. Since nearly all of Angaza’s competitors and partners would be in attendance, our presence needed to be strong and make waves.
I worked with a local Hong Kong based contractor to build a custom trade show booth to showcase Angaza’s renewable energy product portfolio and software platform. I designed and created presentations, new software demos, digital and printed collateral for the sales and thought leadership teams to present to new potential partners.
We had a limited time to coordinate and execute the entire project package, and pressure was high to make Angaza stand out as the number one technology platform in the off-grid energy industry.
While it is sometimes difficult to quantify marketing efforts, our results from the event were incredible. We established five new partners at the conference, and hundreds of new leads for the Angaza business development team to follow up with. The new brand identity left its mark with the forum attendants, with Angaza emerging as the champion of innovative technologies in the pay-as-you-go energy sphere.