BRINGING FLEXY BACK

creating a very scalable (& flexible) brand

Flexcar is a monthly car subscription and flexible alternative to car leasing and/or ownership. founded in 2019 by the avis-budget group, this automotive start-up currently operates in four markets including boston, atlanta, charlotte, and memphis.


ROLE: director of brand & creative

November '21 - november '23

I was hired with the responsibility of leading Flexcar through a comprehensive rebrand and to create an in-house creative & brand team to execute all marketing, creative, and brand touch-points.

I started as a team of exactly one and laid the foundation for the brand including the logo, brand mark, color, typography, brand guidelines, photography standards, and more.

Within six months I built a robust and talented in-house creative team, "Garageband". All of the work represented in this walk-through was executed by myself and my team except where noted.


there were a few things to address

Before a conducting a rebrand it was important to go through a market/category audit even if Flexcar was an outlier in terms of direct competition. It was also important to make sure stakeholders were aligned on the direction of the identity; thusly, I conducted an exercise of creating moodboards and conceptual word-associations to help define the approach. In this case: unleaded, hybrid, and electric. Being a tech-forward app-driven startup, it was helpful to unanimously agree that "electric" was the direction to proceed with.



wordmark and brandmark




brand colors



typography



iconography


While many brand executions might struggle with dark mode, we embraced it as a core design tennent. Conceptually, it made sense that we could draw inspiration from a dashboard display and pivot our assets based on "night driver" and "day runner".


UX/UI

As Director of Brand & Creative, it was my responsibility to direct our product UX/UI team to ensure brand consistency into the digital experience. It's critical that the execution of a brand isn't reversed engineered into a 9:16 ratio; rather, it is the digital user experience that should reflect the brand ethos within the constraints of the delivery. I was very fortunate to work with a digital team that was open to thinking differently about how brand (and things like surprise & delight)  can influence the user experience.




digital marketing

One of the enormous advantages of having an in-house creative team is the ability to quickly iterate and constantly improve the efficacy of ad performance. In addition to executing Flexcar's marketing efforts, I also implemented workflow processes and a digital asset management system for effortless ad delivery.




OTT / TELEVISION


This animated spot appeared in four markets on both streaming and traditional regional media buys. The spot was cleverly facilitated as such that the message could be ingested without sound (if the source was muted); alternately, the audio was extrapolated for radio with no additional edits.


This ad was shot on location in Charlotte, NC at both the residence of NASCAR race car driver Ryan Ellis and his racing team's garage. We also shot on location at the Xfinity Race Series to create a compelling message for our newest market in North Carolina.


out of home


Myself and my team produced and branded out-of-home content for just about every conceivable non-conventional medium including aerial banners (yes, still a thing), a duck boat, the Braves pitcher mound at Truist Stadium, the Celtics TD North Bank jumbo-tron... the list goes on. 


PHOTOGRAPHY

In early 2022 I hired Hayroad productions to facilitate a photo and video shoot. The goal was to obtain a trove of photo and video assets that could be leveraged across all of Flexcar's channels. I directed the 2-day photoshoot in Austin, Texas with 5 models and about 20 people on set. The images and videos were used for omni-channel marketing needs, as well as internal assets, but also served as a template for our photographic standards.





explainer content


Our scrappy (and knowledgeable) team was not only able to produce explainer content on the fly, but we also saved on production costs by building a modest in-house studio. These costs more than paid for themselves. We also leveraged talent by identifying Flexcar employees that felt comfortable in front of the camera. Our ability to iterate, pivot, and shoot on the fly not only made for a better customer experience, but also saved tens of thousands of dollars in the process. 


brand partnerships

A strong and confident brand identity can scale into just about any situation--even a branded NASCAR. My in-house team produced content and assets for multiple omni-channel campaigns featuring MLB, the NBA, and NASCAR. Deliverables included paid & organic social media, OTT television, OOH, digital animated subway boards, and radio.


Flexcar sponsored NASCAR driver Ryan Ellis in the Summer of 2023. My team conducted a three day photo and video shoot that included being embedded with the pit crew at the Charlotte Raceway Xfinity Series. 


We shot Marcus Smart, former Guard for the Boston Celtics, in March and again in August of 2023 after Marcus' trade to the Grizzlies. The team had to quickly pivot to an entirely new campaign centered around an amazing custom Flexcar jersey.


FLEX-A-PORTER



I wasn't satisfied with the idea of our employees in the field dressing like an Avis-Budget representative. No one wants to wear khakis and a belt. The program I built centered around making our Flexsters comfortable and easily identifiable. The Flexcar lookbook consisted of various components that could be mixed and matched so Flexsters could make their uniform their own. 


organic social media

Social media is a window into a brand's personality. I encouraged my team to approach our social media channels with irreverence, fun, and something unexpected.



ENVIRONMENTAL


My creative career started with store design which was useful when Flexcar pivoted from a "contactless" app-driven subscription to an in-person customer-centric experience. It was important that the totality of the brand felt seamless and connected... from brand awareness, through the consideration cycle, to finally picking up a Flexcar in person. I took elements from our toolkit and extracted them in a way that was bold, punchy, and fun (on a very limited budget). 



wayfinding



summary


This walk-through is a small fraction of what myself and my team produced over a relatively short amount of time. For example, we built a robust SEO program integrated into our content site along with a stellar podcast that served as a soft-sell to the brand. (Along with some killer Spotify playlists.)

In addition to building a fun brand in a seemingly boring category, my goal was to inject something unexpected for the end-user. I did this by rejecting the transactional nature of the rental car market; this was the impetus for the member concierge program I built along with the "unboxing" experience of getting into a Flexcar for the first time. 

Having come from a strong brand and CPG background, I am thankful for the experience and opportunity to build a brand in a category new to me. But mostly, thankful to my amazing team that helped me create something memorable along the way.

KEY accomplishments


  • extrapolated market and customer research and insights into creative & brand strategy
  • directed the UX/UI brand integration in-app, homepage
  • developed the Flexcar brand tone & voice and crafted the Flexcar brand position and promise
  • built, directed, and managed the in-house creative team "Garageband" consisting of copywriters, designers, video editors, animators, UX designers, & visual designers
  • produced and directed the Flexcar brand & style guidelines including the Flexcar design system and brand toolkit
  • executed all omni-channel performance marketing and campaigns including digital ads, OTT, OOH
  • built a comprehensive customer "unboxing" experience & member concierge program
  • developed Flexcar's way-finding and experiential design
  • drafted Flexcar's core employee values
  • reduced dependency of outside agency costs by over $500,000 in 2022 and an estimated savings of $800,000 in 2023
  • increased top-of-funnel paid social media conversions by 22% YoY attributed to refined and iterative creative learnings
  • 18% reduced CAC spend attributed to shortened consideration cycle in GTM brand marketing efforts

MY team


Creative & Art Direction: Ali Eddlem
Art Direction, motion & video: Ryan Lindner
Creative Direction, copy: Douglas Sullivan
Visual Designer, marketing & brand: Khalen Roye
Sr. Visual Designer, UX/UI: Emma Shieh
Art Director, UX/UI: Mark Alexander

contributors


Lifestyle shoot | Austin 2022
Producer: Jenn Sargeant | Hayroad Productions
Photographer: Sully Sullivan
Video: Adam Boozer

NASCAR shoot | Charlotte 2023
Video: Cameron Speaks | Likewise Media

Logo & brandmark refinements
Designer: Ryan Frease


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