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The Birth of a Unicorn – Story 3

January 11, 2022

This is the third story out of a collection of bi-weekly fireside chats. It’s all about bringing a multi-faceted start-up to market in the “Fintech” space, while at the same time building a runway for RAYL to become a global “Challenger Financial Institution”.

I hope you enjoyed the first two instalments of “The Birth of a Unicorn”. We have explored building the company vision and a review of some of the management tools I have deployed at the early stage, but I wanted to touch on a few elements close to my heart. I started my career during the 80’s in global advertising and branding and was formally trained in design and typography.

I was taught all about letter forms before the birth of the desk top computer and the concept to desktop publishing, so you will hopefully see the care that is taken over the look and feel of all our material. Silly little things like letter spacing, kerning (which is amount of space between two letters, or other characters: numbers, punctuation, etc. and the process of adjusting that space to avoid awkward-looking gaps between your letters to improve legibility), and widows are important to me.

Its all about projecting a brand that punches above its weight, which is important for someone like RAYL as we enter a market of giants. Brand management is a 360-degree thing, take UPS and their brown vans for example. Have you noticed that they are always clean – spotlessly clean. It’s not a fleet management KPI, although that’s obviously how they manage to pull it off, but a brand management ethos. They have clean vans and immaculate uniformed drivers because their research shows that people would not trust a company with scruffy and dirty vans to carry their package.

It’s the same with RAYL. We are asking enterprises and retail merchants to entrust us with their data and money. Whilst we intend to be all things digital and obviously agile, there must be an underlying sense of stability and trust. That’s why we have taken care over the selection of colours, typography and images.

Most business owners understand branding in its external manifestation, but don’t think about the look and feel of a HQ reception, for an example, and how it reflects the colour pallet or look and feel of the web site. Think of this as Corporate Religion. In a crowded global market where we can by the same product from anywhere and have it delivered faster than from around the corner, it is no longer products that compete, its concepts.

In many ways companies reflect the people who run them. The stronger the personalities, the more penetration they have in the outside world. They are like archangels who make Corporate Religion a description of the of the company’s personality. If implemented properly it helps prospects understand the proposition, it validates for customers why they have bought the product or service or use and gives employees a flag to rally round and a vision to drive towards. BUT the CEO must hold the moral compass.

To that end, we created a set of guiding principles around what you as a member of the team should expect from RAYL and what RAYL expects from you. And just as important what the company expects from its founding members and business leads going forward. You can see both below and at RAYL.com.

Internal charter – How RAYL founding members and business leads should operate.

What a RAYL member of the team can expect and what RAYL expects from you.

If you have any questions specifically about RAYL or being a CEO of a Unicorn in the making, feel free to drop me a line at njeffery@rayl.com.

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