Case Study

Brand Identity for revolutionary invention that converts urine into electricity

The challenge:

Following the decision to have a presence at the 2018 Chinese Toilet Revolution Innovation Expo in Shanghai, Oxentia needed a brand identity and web-presence for their client, University of the West of England (UWE).

Scientists at UWE and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL), with funding from the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation, had developed a clever urine power waste treatment systems that can convert urine into electricity using microbial fuel cell technology. This is something of massive potential to help the poorest in society.

The only problem was that with the Expo only four weeks away, there was no product name, no brand identity and no web presence. With Oxentia, as commercialisation consultants, there was also a strong need for an identity that would help to raise investment.

The approach:

In the limited time available, we had to understand the history and story behind the invention, design a fast-track brand identity questionnaire and meet with the inventor, Prof. Ioannis Ieropoulos and his team.

The approach followed a methodology that explored:

  • Environment and context
  • Attitudes and behaviours
  • Differentiators
  • Purpose and positioning
  • Values & Belief

On the understanding that it would be impossible to meet the Expo delivery date if there were delays or or any last minute changes, strict deadlines for decision-making were agreed and adhered to.

The solution:

Robial – the creation of a short, memorable brand name with a story. Robial is the fusion of ‘robotics’ and ‘microbial’. It references the team’s early research into whether robotics could solve self-sustainability without the use of batteries, and the subsequent discovery that it lay in Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) technology.

A brand identity with the unifying concept of ‘transformation’ – Transforming Waste, Transforming Lives.

A master logo using Nexa Bold, with customisation of the ligature between the ‘r’ and ‘o’ characters

2 x graphical identifiers – circle and box graphics that are abstract representations of the anodes and cathodes in the microbial fuel cells which help convert the urine into electricity.

A colour palette comprising of:

  • Green – to reflect the environmental nature of the product
    Blue – to communicate a positive sense of wellbeing
    Orange – demonstrate the energy found within MFC technology

A simple one-page Robial website that gives visitors the story behind the brand, a sense of who in society will benefit, answers to most pertinent questions and news about the  successful trials. It also features a animation by the Oscar award-winning company, Aardman

The result:

A brand name, identity and website that were delivered in 5-weeks.

Oxentia and the UWE team could attend the 2018 Chinese Toilet Revolution Innovation Expo on 6 November 2018 as Robial. They had a stand which carried the Robial branding, appropriate business cards and a website with which they could attract the names of potential investors.

Oxentia are now in a position to continue their work as technology commercialisation experts and continue to raise investment for the commercialisation of this exciting technology.

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