Oct 13, 2020, 7 min read
Oct 13, 2020
7 min read
We’re incredibly excited to reveal Brex’s new brand today!
When we launched Brex in 2018, we had one goal: to be the first corporate card for startups. The world didn’t know anything about us, so we had to be very focused on what we wanted people to know about Brex. This focus on extremely clear messaging translated quite literally to our brand. Since then, we became known for our billboards across SF and NY, and we achieved our goal of being known as the first corporate card for startups.
But we always had bigger ambitions beyond the tech community. Over time, we became much more than a corporate card, serving many more businesses than just startups. Our previous brand was too limiting. We needed to evolve it if we wanted to grow into an iconic and loved one, representing and supporting the entire new generation of businesses.
Over the last year, we embarked on a journey of self-discovery to understand Brex’s purpose, who we serve, and what the future of our brand could be. Brands are living organisms, and this is just the first step into becoming one we’re proud of, but we’re excited to share what we’ve learned so far.
What is a brand?
In my view, a brand is the externalization of your core beliefs. It’s about telling the world what you stand for, in big and small ways. From billboards to how we build products to the copy on the footer of the email we send customers everyday, every touch point is an opportunity to craft a connection to existing and prospective customers, and clearly convey who we are. You know that feeling you have when you open the box of an Apple product, or when you finish scrolling a page on an iPhone and the scroll bounces beautifully? This is Apple conveying their brand, in big and small ways. It’s their way of saying “we cater to those who care about the details, the polish, and want to be at the intersection of liberal arts and technology.”
Great brands have a certain magic to them. It took me a while to understand where this magic comes from, but every time “what a company stands for” aligns with the values of their customers, the magic happens.
But brands are not about what you do. They’re about why you do it. “Financial services” is our what. It’s impossible to align values around “financial services.” It cannot be our brand, because “financial services” is just the subject in which we operate. It’s not who we are. To find our why, we need to look inward.
It all starts with the mission
When we started our first company back in Brazil, one of our mentors used to say that dreaming big or small takes the same amount of effort, so we might as well do it big. This idea stuck with us, and dream big has been a core value for Henrique and I ever since. At Brex, it’s no different.
…dreaming big or small takes the same amount of effort, so we might as well do it big.
At the core of Brex is the idea that accomplishing big, great things is just a matter of putting yourself to it. It won’t be easy, but why wouldn’t we build Brex to its full potential? Why wouldn’t we help our customers build their own companies to its full potential? Why wouldn’t we help our employees live their careers to their full potential? We cater to people who share this same belief. Those who want to achieve the best version of themselves, who approach life with a growth mindset and are willing to reinvent themselves in pursuit of greatness. Their own greatness, in their own way. But still greatness.
With that in mind, we came up with our mission statement. Our mission is our true north. It’s about why we exist in the first place. It’s the single, unified goal that all of us are behind. It encompasses everything we’ve done in the past, and everything we will do in the future. It is the same for every single person in the company, across every team. It aligns our success towards the success of our customers, and represents the role that Brex plays in the greater good.
Our mission is to reimagine financial systems so every growing company can realize their full potential.
Brex exists to serve growing companies. This doesn’t mean we only serve companies that have increasing revenue, but instead every company that has a growth mindset, and wants to achieve the best version of themselves. Startups, our first customers, are definitely in that category, but we soon realized it was much more than that. This is the mindset of an entire new generation of businesses.
Brex exists to serve growing companies. This doesn’t mean we only serve companies that have increasing revenue, but instead every company that has a growth mindset, and wants to achieve the best version of themselves.
People starting companies today don’t believe in the old way of doing business. In a sense, every business born today is a tech company. By starting a business today, you’re at the cutting edge of how business gets done in your industry. You’re doing things differently. If you’re starting a restaurant, for example, supporting delivery apps won’t be an afterthought anymore. In fact, it might be the reason you open the restaurant in the first place. Similarly, you wouldn’t simply open a retail store, but instead an ecommerce brand with a physical presence — think pop-ups or collabs. And half of your sales would come from Instagram.
Over the past 20 years, the internet made accessible everything you need to run a business to its full potential: communication tools, data analytics, marketing software, infrastructure — except for money, which is so critical for the success of every growing company. The new generation of businesses is doing things differently, in ways that banks would never understand. To realize their full potential, they need new financial systems catered to this new way of thinking, ready to power their growth instead of preventing it. This is what we build at Brex, and how we plan on enabling growing companies.
The new generation of businesses is doing things differently, in ways that banks would never understand. To realize their full potential, they need new financial systems catered to this new way of thinking, ready to power their growth instead of preventing it.
Our new logo
Our mission statement gave us a clear idea of what we stood for. But as we started exploring the visual representation of our brand, we wanted to convey the idea of realizing one’s full potential in the most visible element of Brex: our logo.
When I was a kid, I used to watch every single documentary about space exploration, and was fascinated by it. Needless to say, going to the moon was one of those times when humanity really realized its full potential. And the first thing Neil Armstrong did when he stepped on the moon was planting a flag to symbolize the accomplishment.
A flag is the representation of an ideal, a dream bigger than any individual. In some ways, this is the spirit of dreaming big, and what we aspire to do as a company.
Our flag represents the entrepreneurial spirit, the courage to reinvent yourself in pursuit of greatness, and the winds of change that enable our customers and employees to do things differently. We’re excited to help every growing company plant their flag and leave their mark in the world!
We love our new logo, but it is just one of the many changes we’re making to our look and feel. Our team did an amazing job coming up with an entire new design system for our brand, one that elevates our customers and represents the great things they’re doing. They will soon share more details on the (year-long!) process that got us to our rebrand, but in the meantime, I’ll share some of my favorite pieces.
We launched our new website, dashboard and mobile app today — please check it out on the website here. We will start shipping cards with the new brand very soon, but your virtual card on your Apple/Google/Samsung wallet should be automatically updated to our new brand.
Lastly, we have amazing news to share in our Marketing team. We’re incredibly excited to announce that June Sauvaget is joining Brex as our Chief Marketing Officer! Before Brex, June led consumer marketing at Spotify and did a phenomenal job growing an iconic consumer brand. We can’t wait to see the impact she will have elevating our brand and customers to new heights. Welcome to the team, June! :)
Pedro and Henrique
This memo was co-authored by our cofounders and co-CEOs, Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Dubugras to share with customers as part of our rebrand reveal. They are both Brazilian entrepreneurs and before Brex, built Pagar.me — a Brazilian payments platform.