In the crowded real estate market, a YC-backed startup creating an apartment marketplace focused on building communities and promoting exploration deserves a brand system that is recognizable, communicates its mission and beliefs, and is easy to execute.
Members / roles
Kopa Team, lead by Chief Product Officer (CPO) Courtney Sabo
Starting with Our Beliefs
After helping thousands of renters connect with hosts, we needed to understand more about why each renter and host loves Kopa. We used these learnings to create a brand that communicates what we do and why we do it.
Learning from our current and potential customers
By interviewing hosts, renters, and employer partners, we heard common themes about what was and was not working with our brand and product. We took these learnings and laid down the groundwork of a new brand.
What we learned:
- Our focus on bringing people together sets us apart from our competitors.
- We operate like a friendly neighbor. We're true to ourselves, offer advice and encouragement, and are genuinely kind.
- Every renting experience is different, which requires a flexible design system.
We believe in guiding our customers through all their needs. Renting is hard for both renters and hosts. Renters uproot their lives to live in a new, unfamiliar space with unfamiliar people. They have to learn the drawers in their kitchen, figure out exactly what time to leave their house to make it to the bus on time, determine out how to make friends, and so much more.
Hosts need to make ends meet by renting spaces. This ranges from individual homeowners with an extra bedroom to property managers with hundreds of apartments. Everyone wants to feel assured that the people renting their property will respect the space as much as they do.
We acknowledge that everyone comes from different paths of life and have different goals and that the same apartment isn't right for every renter, much like the same renter isn't right for every host. We respect those differences, and our new brand reflects our ever-changing and growing audience of renters and hosts.
After brainstorming hundreds of options, we landed on "Kopa," which translates to "together" and communicates our focus on bringing people together in the renting process. Our goal is to guide renters to the right apartment, to the best-matched housemates, throughout the entire process of moving to a new place, and to the right community of people who will create memories with you and make you feel at home.
Our logo is grounded, and each character has its own quirks and imperfect counters. The arm on the "k" is meant to be just that—an arm that waves and welcomes renters into new places. The perfectly circular "o" represents the whole experience of renting and finding your community.
Our typography is as simple and human as we are. We chose Soleil (meaning "Sun" in French), a geometric sans typeface highlighted by its asymmetric counters, giving it a warm and friendly feel. Soleil's tall x-height makes this a perfect typeface for all sizes and applications.
Similar to our typeface, our colors are meant to feel like home — a combination that might remind you of a fresh take of a rural house on a warm, sunny day.
Our primary color (#852751) helps users navigate throughout their renting process by highlighting every main button. With a high contrast of 8.53:1, this color passes Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) AA and AAA standards.
We use a potato shape to crop backgrounds and photos to complement the rectangular aspects of our product. This helps navigate users throughout our designs, highlight key areas, and add visual play.
While our logo and typeface highlight our simplicity, our illustration style focuses on humans interacting with each other and everything that surrounds them in and around their homes. Utilizing our warm color palette and focusing on real-life scenarios gives our illustrations a branded feel that helps our customers understand what we do.
Diversity Within Illustrations
We chose illustration subjects that reflect the unique properties, renters, and hosts on Kopa. To maintain our playfulness created in our launch in October 2016, our new secret mascot Charles the Cheetah makes an appearance in some of our illustrations.
We understand the importance of human touchpoints throughout the renting process, which is why we chose a hand-drawn illustration style that's created with charcoal pencils.
Much like our renters are diverse, their experiences are different, too. We communicated this with the use of a path. Some paths are straightforward. Some leave you unsure of where you're headed. Some go in loops. Paths can lead anywhere—to a new home, a new opportunity, a new love, a new you. At Kopa, we believe that exploration and community make people whole, and we encourage our renters to explore all their paths.
Tone of Voice
Our brand is built upon being neighborly and personable, and that forms the basis of how we speak to our renters, hosts, and partners on the website, in social media, and in customer support.
We follow three key communication principles:
1. Know your audience.
Renters, hosts, and employer partners all operate on different mindsets and therefore deserve different styles of communication.
2. Be straightforward and effective.
When our customers ask questions, we make sure to provide information in the simplest way and make sure all topics are covered.
3. Be a friend—we're in this together.
We offset the stress and scariness of renting by offering advice and support that we would also give to our families and friends.