Fix Finance for All: Kallan & Co’s Customer-Centric Rebrand of Taxfix

29 Jan, 2024 | Admin | No Comments

Fix Finance for All: Kallan & Co’s Customer-Centric Rebrand of Taxfix

If you’re anything like me, the phrase ‘tax season’ sends a primordial shudder down my spine. Thankfully, with the digitization of tax filing and the proliferation of apps, gone are the days of hauling out the dusty receipt box once a year to jigsaw your return together like a manic crime scene detective..

In this dynamic landscape of digital tax filing, Taxfix has emerged as Europe’s leading mobile tax platform, alleviating people’s fears about taxes and finances while making complex tax systems accessible to everyone. With a proven track record of generating over three billion euros in tax refunds, Taxfix, founded in 2017, has transitioned from a disruptor to a market leader. This evolution prompted the need for a strategic rebranding effort undertaken by Kallan & Co — a Helsinki-based design studio for technology-driven businesses that transforms technology into meaningful brand and product experiences.

As Taxfix experienced exponential growth and strengthened its market presence through strategic acquisitions, including the notable Steuerbot, the company needed to redefine its brand from strategy to expression. Kallan & Co faced crafting a brand that asserted Taxfix’s ambitious leadership position and resonated with existing and potential customers and employees. The goal was to align Taxfix’s brand identity with its multi-product and multi-platform expansion, creating a brand that confidently communicated its mission to the world to build trust and inspire advocacy at every customer interaction point.

II had the opportunity to ask the Kallan & Co team to dig further into their process for Taxfix; Luca Picardi, Lead Strategist & Head of Brand Strategy, and Hannu Koho, Design Director, shared their responses with me below.

(Interview edited for clarity and length.)

The central idea of ‘Fix Finance for All’ is powerful. How did Kallan&Co ensure that the concept translated across the visual, verbal, and experiential elements of the Taxfix brand? Any specific design or communication strategies that played a crucial role?

Luca Picardi: At its core, ‘Fix Finance for All’ is an all-encompassing idea that drives everything Taxfix. This spirit informs the company’s culture and behaviour — reinforcing its role in the world to make the complex and messy financial world more accessible and approachable to anyone. Fixing taxes is just the start of their journey.

The primary creative challenge was to capture the invigorating feeling and benefit of customer empowerment that Taxfix provides while balancing it with the calm and credible reassurance of its financial expertise. The goal was to create a brand capable of being precise and pragmatic during taxing times and celebratory during customers’ more rewarding moments. This duality runs throughout the brand, from the tone of voice and photography to colour and typography.

With Taxfix evolving into a multi-product and multi-platform company, how did the design team address the challenge of maintaining a cohesive brand identity across different products and platforms while allowing room for individuality?

Luca Picardi: Taxfix’s expansion into a multi-product and multi-platform company is an ongoing and evolving process, with a long-term trajectory still unfolding. Numerous decisions are pending, and its final direction is yet to be determined.

We were at the beginning of this fast-changing journey during our project. We explored various brand architecture models to swiftly test scenarios within the Taxfix ecosystem. We simulated future products’ potential look and feel, experimenting with different colour schemes and fine-tuning visual elements. Each iteration allowed us to assess how individual products could maintain a distinct identity while remaining seamlessly integrated into the overarching Taxfix brand.

This future-proofing process helped define a really comprehensive and cohesive final brand system in everything from an extensive standardised colour palette range to a deeply responsive typeface choice that works hard in any and all marketing or product contexts.

The emphasis on simplicity, expertise, and user empowerment is evident in Taxfix’s rebrand. Can you share examples of design choices or elements you specifically incorporated to convey these brand values to users?

Hannu Koho: Each brand element was carefully selected to embrace varying levels of simplicity, expertise, and user empowerment. Our creative process began with the key signature financial motifs that served a dual purpose. These symbols provided diverse communication possibilities to simplify and guide people’s financial journeys, encompassing everything from taxes to savings; they also functioned as cropping devices, placing customers at the literal centre stage of the brand. All of this underpins a central value of Taxfix – making finance fit people, not the other way around.

The chosen typeface, ABC ROM, strikes a perfect balance of sturdy precision and expertise while retaining unique quirks and humane characteristics. It became a crucial tool in building customer confidence through the ‘Taxfix voice,’ which is approachable and expert. Additionally, ROM effectively addressed specific challenges in the German market, Taxfix’s largest, by accommodating the lengthy nature of German words, particularly in tax-related content. The diverse widths proved invaluable for clear communication, whether in prominent headlines on marketing billboards or detailed body copy within the app. When it comes to taxes, the fine print matters.

Colour emerged as another crucial element in conveying the brand’s values. We refined a warmer range of green shades — from more vivid to muted and darker tones. Our aim was to keep the ‘green thread’ from the original brand but embed it with more versatility, meaning, and, importantly, energy. To breathe more life into the brand beyond green, we introduced a set of secondary colours, enabling Taxfix the flexibility to speak to different mindsets, emotions, and needs. The palette was inspired by the various colours of the Euro cash notes, given Taxfix’s European roots, with its key markets currently in Germany, Italy, and Spain. These include hues of lilac, gold, and blue. Each colour adds a unique dimension to the brand — communicating everything from calmness and credibility to confidence.

Considering Taxfix’s commitment to putting customers center-stage, how did the design team ensure that the rebrand resonates with the diverse needs and preferences of the user base? Were there any user-centric design principles adopted during the process?

Luca Picardi: Many companies claim they’re all about their customers but fall short in practice. Taxfix, however, truly lives up to its commitment. Right from the initial pitch meeting to every subsequent project session, the customer consistently came first, serving as the guiding principle of our conversations and the structural foundation of the entire project process.

This customer-skewed approach lived through every aspect of our work, from the comprehensive customer research provided by Taxfix to the proactive customer testing embedded at various stages of our branding project. We ran customer testing for two of our brand prototype concepts and, eventually, the final concept, involving thousands of customers. These testing phases emerged as critical milestones, ensuring that our decision-making process wasn’t confined solely to internal perspectives but was also influenced by the external world.

This highly collaborative approach with end-users played a large role in refining our understanding of their needs and preferences, ultimately shaping a brand that resonates authentically with its audience.

With Kallan & Co’s strategic rebranding efforts, Taxfix has successfully evolved into a multi-product and multi-platform company, solidifying its position as Europe’s go-to digital tax platform. The new brand identity, centered around ‘Fix Finance for All,’ reflects Taxfix’s commitment to customer empowerment and sets the stage for continued growth and innovation in the financial technology space.

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