How SomeOne branded Tesco's Hudl tablet in 9 steps

Gary Holt outlines how, with some smart thinking and keen branding, SomeOne took Tesco's tablet from research to launch into an expensive and intimidating market.

Tablets are emerging as a 'retail portal' of the future, but in the UK penetration remains relatively low. According to Ofcom, three quarters of UK households do not have a tablet. Tesco's research found that many feel that the technology is too expensive or intimidating, so it decided to enter the tablet market to change that. The ambition was always to create a colourful, accessible, easy-to-use tablet for the whole family to enjoy.

Hudl was conceived to coordinate every part of family life and allow these aspects to work seamlessly, in harmony with each other. It's designed as a family tablet to make things easier for people, with all the Tesco services in one place, as well as content for all the family and help features to make it accessible and not intimidating for people to use if they'd never had a tablet before.

The logo is based on House Industries’ Neutraface No.2 font

The brief to SomeOne was to build a brand name and identity to bring this to life. The extensive project involved working closely with a team of experts at Tesco, creating everything from the name to the visual brand identity, brand guidelines, iconography, packaging, promotional elements, animation and accessories through to the point of sale displays and colleague uniforms in store - even the way the name is burnished into the back of the device. The concept behind the tablet itself and the 'brand world' we built around it perfectly reflects the team structure and working practices for the project as a whole.

SomeOne’s packaging has been considered from a user experience point of view

I think SomeOne was chosen for this project thanks to our knowledge and understanding of digital and telecoms markets, as well as our experience across the many design, strategic and digital elements required for a project of this scale. However, we like to think our enthusiasm and creative approach helped a little, too.

01. Learning the market

Tablet penetration in the UK remains relatively low – according to Ofcom, three quarters of households still don't have one. In order to enter this market in the most appropriate and effective way, we needed to know it in as much depth as possible. Hence the thorough audit and review.

02. Forming a strategy

Working with the marketing and strategic experts at Tesco, and closely with Wieden+Kennedy, we responded to the challenge by looking to create a tablet that is both great value and a great specification, because making quality accessible is very much what Tesco stands for.

03. The naming process

A significant part of this project was our naming process, where a series of names were suggested, tested and researched. The name must support the overarching strategy, help the creative process and present opportunities. It has to resonate, and be something that people understand.

04. Creative exploration

A project of this scale needed a broad team, which included the core Tesco team, to drive the creative forward. The project covered different design disciplines, from naming, branding and identity, to packaging and point of sale, though to information design, iconography and user experience.

05. Going galactic

The identity is intended to represent technology and tablets as central to family life, and central to a digital and social life – thus the Solar System metaphor. Hudl was conceived to co-ordinate different parts of family life and allow them to work seamlessly together, in harmony.

06. Reflecting the concept

We aimed to carry this idea through the whole user experience as well as the identity, which needed to be expressed across a broad range of communication collateral. Ensuring a coherent face across all of the customer touchpoints was a clear focus of the concept development.

07. User experience

For the tablet to deliver the right kind of user experience, we worked closely in conjunction with digital design studio ustwo and Tesco's digital and technology experts. We created a series of pictograms and icons that supported the brand world and formed part of the experience (see more on that here).

08. More than a logo

We believe in 'brand worlds', not simply brand identities. A world where all elements of a brand and product have a coherent relationship, not simply a consistent stamp. This requires a broad range of identity and brand elements to be created; all together, and all related.

09. Going to market

And so to the launch, where we applied all of the brand assets at our disposal. We hope that our work means that thousands of people will have access to technology that will make their lives easier. We were delighted to hear that the first two days were the fastest-selling tablet launch Tesco had ever seen.

Words: Gary Holt

Before co-founding SomeOne, Gary was the executive creative director of Lambie-Nairn, and previously at Carroll Dempsey & Thirkell and Tutssels. Gary has delivered branding, strategy and creative work for clients including O2, Eurostar and London 2012.

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 221

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