Over the last few months, all of us at Tydy have gone through an important journey. One that made us look inwards. One where we asked ourselves difficult questions about our future and our past. Most importantly, we evaluated all of this in the context of the present. Saying ‘we live in interesting times’ might just scratch the surface, considering the current state of how we work.
The goal of our rebrand: To strengthen our position (as a company) for who we are today while charting a path for where we want to make an impact tomorrow.
I am fortunate to have started a company with two other co-founders, where we have an equal balance of business, technology, and design. As the co-founder with a background in design, it’s important for me, to embed design into the fabric of how we work. This has been recognized by our customers and is evident in our philosophy and approach to onboarding. However, where design has been considered in our approach and product experience, it has been ignored in our brand.
A quick preview for those who are don’t know Tydy:
Tydy is the global productivity platform for HR & IT teams, chosen by companies such as Unilever, AB InBev, Genpact, EXL, Fidelity and others — to help deliver a unified & personalized onboarding experience to new hires. We do this by automating every single touch point of the onboarding experience, from capturing data, managing vendors, keeping new hires engaged, informing stakeholders, and much more.
To show you a glimpse of how untamed our brand is currently, the images below show the results that a quick Google search for ‘Tydy onboarding’ generates. Barely cohesive. everything starting from the logo, fonts, colors, social posts, app screenshots, are all different, representing how loosely cultivated our brand is (until now).
Now I could use the common excuse — “We are a fast-growing startup, with limited resources, and were focused on getting a product-market fit and getting cash-flow positive (which we have done!)’ — but it would be just that, an excuse.
Onboarding was a pretty mundane activity when we started (still is for many) and most of it involves a lot of manual work — filling forms, compliance paperwork, emailing reminders to candidates, sending booklets of benefits information, managing and updating records in excel sheets, etc.
However, work to us is not just the act of producing output, it is also about the conversations, the relationships, your personal growth, the purpose of the work, and the impact created by it. As we dug deep into our motivations, shared anecdotes of our journey so far, fears for the future, moments of pride so far — we uncovered two primary territories that drive what we do at Tydy:
1. The joy of simplifying chaos
2. Forging a meaningful path
The time we spend at work is valuable — because it is time we could be spending with our families, learning something, or doing something that brings us joy. But often we associate our time at work as stressful and chaotic. We found the Zen ritual of raking white sand in the temples of Kyoto, as an aspirational corollary to how we would like work to ‘feel’ — tranquil, calm, and fulfilling.
White gravel quarried in Kyoto and is widely used in the gardens in temples of Kyoto.
How Tydy’s philosophy aligns the ethos of Japanese zen gardens:
Japanese zen gardens are meant to be serene places where the mind can be at rest.
In the quest to be highly functional, companies have instituted multi-tier approval systems, processes for escalations, and introduced specific tools for specific workflows. In addition, with the age-old ‘email’ and its brand new evil twin, ‘notifications’, our brains keep skipping from one context to another. In short, work is chaotic. At Tydy, we want to bring serenity into this chaos. It’s a big goal, but our first step has been to unify the onboarding experience by bringing everything together for new hires as well as at HR/IT admins, so they don’t have to.
The act of raking the sand is a form of meditation in motion.
Over the years, work has got a bad rep. The word ‘work’ has become an antonym to ‘play’ when it doesn’t need to be. In its’ best form, work puts us in a state of flow — where we feel fulfilled. At Tydy, we are daydreamers who are also doers. Guided by empathy, curiosity, and imagination, we find our flow in producing things that work well — like that recipe that turned out as promised or that perfect bit of code — and we want this state of flow, for everyone.
While creating the intricate designs, takes a lot of time and concentration, it is required to produce something meaningful.
Work is hard. Doing something well requires us to completely immerse ourselves in it. But most of our time goes into busywork — work that makes you feel you are doing a lot but in actuality does very little to achieve your end objective. At Tydy, we are passionate about reducing busywork to make room for meaningful work. We are building tools that automate mundane processes to enable teams with the time to concentrate on work that matters to them.
No matter what we do, we want to end our day, with a deep sense of contentment that we are building meaningful tools for companies to succeed. We were inspired by the role topographic maps play for explorers in search of the unknown and were fascinated by their significance and the depth of knowledge they hold.
Topographic maps are a tool that can two-dimensionally represent a three-dimensional terrain. They do this by using color-coded lines to map the earth’s surface and are the most accurate representation of geographical features.
How our impact correlates with the fundamentals of topography:
A topographic map is the foundation of any adventure.
Starting something new is a bold move. Especially if it’s a new job — that determines everything from your livelihood, social status, where you will live, and opportunities that will open up in a few years. When someone joins a company, they take a leap of faith and having a source of truth that can show them a preview of what to expect can be a game-changer. Tydy is the first company touchpoint for any new hire but more importantly, we understand the tremendous responsibility that we have to them — we are the foundation for every employee starting a relationship with a company.
Topography describes the shape and terrain of the land better than any map .
When we started Tydy, we saw onboarding as the first mountain we needed to pass, in our journey. Little did we know that what we saw from afar as a tiny mountain was an entire mountain range with checkpoints, deep valleys, broken bridges, hidden caves, and a bunch of other surprises. However, we now have it all mapped out — no one understands onboarding, better than we do. From compliance-related processes such as facilitating background checks to delightful moments ensuring flowers are sent to new hires, from ensuring IT teams ship laptops to helping new hires understand the company’s approach to diversity & inclusion — we believe we have mapped out the terrain of onboarding. And if we haven’t we know we can, better than anyone else.
It guides you to where things are and how to get to them, whether you’re hiking, biking, hunting or just navigating the world around you.
Since the beginning, Tydy has been the GPS guiding employees in their journey from offer acceptance to becoming productive employees. However, Tydy’s role doesn’t end there. Onboarding is not a one time process. As employees continue on their career journey, they make transitions — get a promotion, transfer to a new office, take on someones’ role, leave the company (off-boarding) or move to a new role after a company merger (we have done this). At every step in the way, Tydy helps orient the employee. As long as organizations continue to change, Tydy will help guide employees through these transitions.
Topographic maps are chosen for critical missions like search and rescue or military operations.
Onboarding is a mission-critical process for the company. It has an impact on revenue: the better onboarded a new hire is, the quicker they can be productive and generate revenue for the company. In a fast paced world, companies do not have the luxury of having people on the bench for a few months before they can be useful to the organization. Our deep understanding of onboarding makes us a trusted solution for our customers who don’t want to lost any revenue when it comes to onboarding.
As our logomark, we wanted to create a symbol that could be used with or without the company name, and over time, become a symbol of trust anywhere it is used. We call it Topo.
Deconstructing the visual language:
- The overarching flow of lines was inspired by the technique used in the ritual of raking shirakawa-suna.
- The construction of the T represents the top view of roads or pathways to symbolize the concept of a journeys
- The concentric backdrop to the T, was inspired by contour lines used in topographic maps that to signify the various elevation levels.
Onboarding today is mostly seen as a process, a checklist that needs to be completed, an event that happens on the day of joining — but that’s not how a new hire envisions it. Onboarding is an experience that a new hire starts experiencing right after they accept their job offer and how it makes them feel. This is why we positioned ourselves as an Onboarding Experience Company — the only one. We deliver the entire onboarding process as an experience.
For any mark to truly become an iconic signifier of a brand, it needs to be pervasive, flexible, and applicable in multiple scenarios. We took the 3 lines of the Tydy logomark and extended them into becoming a key identifier of symbols that represent Tydy. The shapes created are extracted from the exact curves and angles of the original logomark.
When we looked around, at the team we have built at Tydy, we see developers, sales, designers, marketers — but most importantly, we see a band of explorers. Everyone comes from different backgrounds but what binds them together is their curiosity and willingness to forge their own path. When rethinking our brand, we did not want to make something that was only experienced on the outside. The brand needed to represent. be owned and experienced on the inside as well, by the team who we truly love — Team Tydy.
Example 1: Showing up professionally on Linkedin
If there is one place we know all most people we interact with in the workplace — as colleagues, customers or prospects can be found, it’s on Linkedin. In the absence of a physical office, we need to still be presentable to the world and this is why we created branded banners for each of our employees.
Example 2: Playful digital avatars
As most of our meetings and interactions have moved to digital platforms, we recognize that our brand needs to be present there too. A few of our employees took our logo (when we released an alpha version) and started using it as their Zoom profile photos. This was a signal. So we created digital avatars based on the logo to allow them to express themselves further. We have already seen an improvement in the interesting conversations these digital avatars trigger on our Zoom calls :)
We are very excited about the next chapter of Tydy and what it holds for us. The world of work is rapidly changing, and we are excited to drive this change for our existing and future customers. As we grow, we will continue growing our brand and more importantly, continue having fun with it — stay tuned.
Thoughts or feedback? We wouldn’t be anywhere if we hadn’t listened to smart people around us. If you have any feedback or thoughts on this post, don’t hesitate to reach me on Twitter (@gaurabhmathure) or connect with me on Linkedin (please add a note in your invite mentioning why you’d like to connect).