Designing the Future of On-Demand Device Repair
Built on the ever-growing demand for immediate device repair, UK-based IMEND was one of the earliest digital business models in the space with local technicians always on call for at-home phone repairs. Like Uber, IMEND grew in the on-demand economy only to see the market saturate and stall growth. To not only survive, but to thrive, they needed to grow beyond their borders, and to do so, they would need a scalable brand experience capable of delivering the fastest, most delightful repair in the industry – one both technicians and consumers in any market would love.
The ChallengeWhile their on-demand repair services were once innovative and novel, they found the industry overwhelmed by copycat brands — all offering the same service. And, in such a crowded market, you have to be better and offer more. And to make their efforts more challenging, following a recent acquisition, they were experiencing some challenges in what truly made them special — their customer service. They needed to grow but they couldn’t lose their famous service that had kept customers coming back.
OutcomePartnering with Digital Surgeons, IMEND was able to create a future-proof experience blueprint through a fast-paced two-week design sprint, which not only elevated their unique customer experience beloved by users, but expanded it — setting them apart from their competition and positioning them for accelerated market expansion through a new set of insights, strategies, and tools to make IMEND the most human, empathetic brand in device repairs around the world.
It All Begins With a Workshop
To kick off the design sprint, we put our newly branded thinkFWD innovation toolkit to work, facilitating a design thinking workshop that would immediately create a shared understanding of problems, challenges, and goals, as well as reframing techniques for better understanding and solving their global challenges. This better equipped IMEND for launching globally as a team by giving them the tools, mindset, and methods they needed to not just differentiate from the competition but to imagine further as a global team with a unified, shared vision.
A New Positioning for Brand & Experience
In the sea of on-demand mobile repair sameness, one thing was clear: what set IMEND apart was slipping. Customer reviews had taken a drastic dip since the brand’s acquisition. But, if they could repair that part of their business, they could not only return to what they once were, they could capitalize on it and create true differentiation in any market. That’s because as on-demand mobile repairs grew, they focused on the same thing: the horrible break, followed by the forgettable fix. That’s why IMEND would be positioned as the positive solution — the ones who truly understand and help, not just repair.
While some brands believe in bridging the break and the fix, we knew IMEND could be the brand that would go further by being a positive and reliable force — a go-to source for service, moving people and technology ahead. Because we know time with a broken device is painful, IMEND would operate fast, bringing solutions right to your door with a memorable experience. That way, we weren’t just solving today’s customer experience problems, we were helping to deliver new possibilities for tomorrow.
Building the Bridge Between Brand & Experience
As a brand that dated back to the first iPhone, it became very apparent that there was opportunity to evolve the brand for a wider range of device users as a whole. They called themselves the “Uber of phone repairs” but had branding similar to mall kiosks that sold bedazzled phone cases. Their future branding needed to be more ethereal, and conceptual, transcending the more literal representation of broken screens, but tying their service to the better more human consumer experience. It had to infuse personality, because no one was; sophistication, because the rest of the market felt under designed; and approachability, because when you have a broken device and just want help, you want open doors, not obstacles.
We believe that, when done right, logo concepts have the power to be a deep concentration of both the visual ID and design system. Shortly following a co-creation session where we explored a number of potential directions, we unanimously landed on a concept that was both simple, but deeply complex. Embedded in a sleek logo mark lived an “E” that could quickly and effectively capture the essence of IMEND’s core value proposition and business model; speed (speed lines) and the act of repairing the device (layers).
Looking across a competitive landscape filled with muted blues and primary colors, we decided to evolve the original blue from the brand, while also adding a new color to the core palette — electric lime. This would help us build faster brand awareness and recall using a high-impact unused color in the space as we looked to aggressively launch and scale throughout new markets. Bold, sleek elements juxtaposed with bright images of the time after the repair when you’re living your life fully with your better tech, mixed in a bit of levity through the voice and tone, created a well-balanced human brand DNA and design system that delivered the scale the team was looking for. It gave us the depth that accurately captured the experience customers would have with real repair technicians during the IMEND process, while setting up easy opportunities for us to “personalize” the brand’s experience through photography and copy that was localized to each market.
Humanizing the Digital Experience
No matter how appealing the brand looks or sounds, a device-repair service is only as good as the experience when it matters most. After-all, our user has a broken device, and probably isn’t too happy. In fact, there is a good chance they're using the broken device! Not fun. That’s why focusing our design objectives around usability and accessibility through quick one-touch contact options for easy, fast repair booking was critical.
Using everything from device detection to voice activated UI elements, we designed a highly-informed mobile-first experience that could get users through the funnel and book a repair no matter how damaged their device was. Everything about the UX of the site was thought through, challenged, and then thought through again, knowing that the needs of the user were the cornerstone to the whole brand experience. Once we had solidified the booking experience, we developed the rest of the digital experience using a component-based architecture that could be the highly personable “front door” for the IMEND brand that could communicate its superior repair service, regardless of market or need.
Connecting the full IMEND Ecosystem
Most brand experience design projects could have wrapped there — an elevated brand identity and frictionless, digitally-enabled customer experience. But, in the spirit of real innovation, we wanted to take it a step further. We asked ourselves, how might we turn the IMEND business into a two-way marketplace that could create demand and support for technicians, while serving the needs of people and businesses? This led us to explore everything from what an native app experience could look like for both customers and technicians, using data and device diagnostics, to proactively setting up repair opportunities, and even building an educational platform that could train new IMEND-certified technicians globally. Altogether, it would prepare the IMEND team for a major global expansion, as well as brand and business demand, applying tools, strategy, and marketing tactics applicable to different markets, cultures, and needs, from Dubai to Australia.
The work for IMEND is amazing. It truly takes the brand to the next level. We will have the best looking phone repair brand in the world, and the design is as good as any of those massive companies we looked to for inspiration such as Airbnb, Doordash, etc. - Keir McConomy, Founder and CEO of IMEND Global