Why Deliveroo Undertook the Less Glamorous Task of Revamping Its Brand Guidelines
After a decade of remarkable growth and international expansion, Deliveroo has reached a crucial point of maturity. However, achieving this milestone necessitated a return to the fundamentals of its brand guidelines.
Emily Somers, Deliveroo’s global director of brand and creative, reflects on the rapid growth within the innovative food delivery sector. This accelerated growth resulted in a significant degree of fragmentation and inconsistency in the way the Deliveroo brand was represented. She points out that Deliveroo’s brand guidelines had not seen an update in over seven years, leading to a situation where “no one was following anything.”
In a startup environment, such as the one Deliveroo operates in, the rapid pace of growth often does not allow for the same level of rigorous structure found in established, century-old organizations. However, Somers acknowledges that creating rules might not be the most exciting aspect of marketing. Still, it is an essential framework that provides creatives with a starting point rather than a “blank sheet of paper.” Without this structure, she emphasizes that time, resources, and money are wasted, as every project begins from scratch. What was needed was a way to establish a foundation quickly and then infuse it with creativity, flexibility, and flair.
The challenges stemming from outdated brand guidelines became evident when Somers and her team embarked on defining Deliveroo’s first consistent global brand identity. To create a centrally agreed upon identity and personality, they had to go back to the drawing board.
Deliveroo currently operates in multiple countries, including the UK, France, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar. In 2021, the company ventured into the grocery delivery market with the launch of Deliveroo Hop, competing with services like Gorillas and Getir.
Without a clearly defined global personality, local marketers in new territories were left to interpret what Deliveroo stood for. Somers notes that certain key elements of the brand, such as its distinctive teal coloring and the iconic ‘Roo Head’ logo, were not consistently represented in their communications. This inconsistency meant that Deliveroo was not receiving the recognition it deserved for its substantial marketing investments.
To address this issue, Paul Hewitt, Deliveroo’s global head of creative, took charge. He recognized that Deliveroo riders, often described as “the best free out-of-home advertising,” were a walking embodiment of the brand, proudly wearing the teal colors and prominently featuring the company’s name and logo. However, this stark contrast with the premium and cinematic style of their marketing materials was causing a lack of cohesiveness in the overall brand experience.
Hewitt faced the challenge of deciding how far to evolve Deliveroo’s identity, taking inspiration from Coca-Cola’s ability to maintain consistency in the face of an ever-changing market. Ultimately, the brief was to delve into what Deliveroo already possessed and build upon it.