When I think back to my very first day over two years ago, it was something quite different to anything I had experienced during my 13+ year career as an established Brand Designer. It was a small team, based across a few European countries (Malta, Turkey and here in the UK).
Walking towards the office at the Shard, it certainly had the street cred and name drop value. It felt good to walk through those large swivel doors and through reception. Taking the lift to the 9th floor I was greeted by the Marketing Director who proceeded to welcome me and introduce me to the then small teams that made this intriguing start-up. The CEO of the business, began asking me questions to get to know more about me as a person, which gave me the instant feeling that I was not just an employee here to do a job but a valued member of the team.
It was surprisingly refreshing in comparison to working within design agencies, where top level management were notoriously difficult to engage with and questions always needed to go through a long chain of command. Most of the time you never really knew what information was passed on.
Here at OpenPayd it couldn’t be further from those past experiences. Iana, our Chief Executive, sits amongst everyone else and is always happy to answer questions and share knowledge. In fact, she and all the senior level management, encourage our team to speak up and make it clear that no idea is off the table. You have a solution to a problem? Let’s hear it. You have an idea on how the platform can be improved? Let’s discuss and get it in motion.
It is a true start-up in every way! Each member of the business plays a vital role in growing the business. Hard work and dedication always came hand in hand with social events and encouragement from management to take time off when needed. I feel nothing but pride in what we all achieved in the early stages of the business.
It wasn’t long before I really felt like I was part of one big multicultural, multilingual (dare I say it?) family! Everyone here has their own unique story to tell, and this contributes to a positive working environment. The difference it makes to your day-to-day life is hard to put into words - after all, you spend more time with your colleagues than anyone else.
For the first time in my life my job doesn’t feel like a chore. Monday mornings don’t feel like a struggle. From day one I was excited for the day ahead and I have been ever since.
As a Designer with big and small agency backgrounds, working for clients such as Sony, VisitBritain and most notably heading up the Global Brand Guardianship for Burberry, the idea of starting fresh within a FinTech startup such as OpenPayd never entered my mind. After receiving a call from the People & Talent team looking for a Designer to join their Marketing team, I must admit I was initially hesitant because I didn’t have a lot of knowledge when it came to the FinTech industry.
But what I did have were ideas, aspirations, and an understanding of how businesses grow from a design, marketing and branding perspective.
This expertise allowed me to focus on growing OpenPayd’s brand presence. The task at hand was gargantuan. They had a name and a logo. Everything else was up to me. From a Brand Designers’ perspective, it was a golden egg! The rare chance to build the branding of the business from the ground up. So I took the jump and got stuck in, researching on what was happening in the marketplace, who the competitors were, what style and visual dynamics the industry were utilising.
With every brand it starts with the basics: understanding the challenges we faced, being clear on what the business’ marketing objectives were and then building the branding objectives to align. We needed a website - a place where those who needed to understand our product offering could engage with us, source white papers, e-books, API Docs, Sandbox etc. A knowledge hub that will forever evolve as we do. Ultimately, to create a website that industry experts can return to, time and time again to get the latest on our ever-growing platform and license enhancements.
Today, social media plays an integral role in shaping how brands are perceived and engaged with. It’s a tool that is becoming more and more important. As we’re driving traffic to our site through targeted ads and showcasing our product offerings, we needed to get more creative to capture the attention of our target audience. Growing our brand presence in the marketplace as not just a start up but as a fast-growing, high achieving business with an offering unlike anyone else. We have arrived and we aren’t going to sit quietly.
We set core Values. A Mission Statement that meant something to each of us. Engaged with internal activities, created new and evolving branded products, the list goes on. We have never lost sight of wanting those who work at OpenPayd to be invigorated by the brand and make it clear to others what we are capable of.
With any new role, there’s always a window of learning before you feel like you have it all down to a tee. Here at OpenPayd, the learning continues to this very day. Every single day is new, and there’s always an opportunity to digest new information from each and every department. Our openness to communicate across all levels of the business allows us to facilitate further understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. Sharing information opens the door for anyone to voice a suggestion - a better way of doing something, a bigger idea. Nothing is off limits here.
Over the course of two years, OpenPayd’s marketing capabilities have grown as the business has. As we move into a very exciting time for the business in 2021, with a new London Hub in the FinTech neighborhood of Old Street, we know we have a pivotal role to play in pushing the brand further afield and making more people aware of the incredible things OpenPayd can do. I’m really excited for what’s next for OpenPayd and even more excited to be part of the journey - embracing everything that comes with it.