WeTransfer's primary service is simple: enabling people to send large files over the internet. But their visual brand is anything but basic. They’ve turned the process of file sharing into an enjoyable experience that’s dedicated to visual creators.
Aligning with the Creative Community
Similarly to Dropbox, who we covered in a previous issue of Design Goodies, WeTransfer’s primary users are from a creative discipline. But a differentiator for WeTransfer is in how they curate and showcase the creative community.
30% of the time, the visuals WeTransfer shares above the fold on the homepage is dedicated to its creative user base. They place these creative works directly at the heart of the experience. It gives us a homepage that always feels familiar, but somehow new.
As well as reducing the potential for user fatigue, it makes a functional experience way more immersive. But there’s a second benefit to WeTransfer. By spotlighting new artists who physically use their product, more users in the creative community can identify with what they see.
Then there’s the value this adds to the users they bring along for the journey. For their followers, it's a place to discover talented emerging creatives to support. For those creatives, it's a chance at valuable exposure. Why would an Art Director go elsewhere?
WeTransfer gains by enabling up and coming artists. It makes them more than a file transfer service. It shows they genuinely care about creativity, and it builds their reputation as experts in art and design.
The Experience Starts at Home
WeTransfer's use of images immediately sets the creative, visual tone for the brand. Take their homepage. You're straight into the core of their service once you land there.
It features a simple file upload form set against a rotating backdrop of artistic photos. For us users, it feels like it's been around forever. But it's enduring because the UX is solid, and everything else is always fresh and different.
For those of us that are old enough to remember, file sharing used to be pretty painful. Slow. Tedious. But WeTransfer now does this core thing so well, we could all be forgiven for not having paid much attention to all the great brand work they're doing across their other brand touchpoints.
“We have this minimalistic design, this simple product, but we inject it with a dose of humanity, emotion, and creativity."
- Damian Bradfield, WeTransfer's Chief Creative Officer
Delving deeper into WeTransfer's site provides us with great examples of impactful branding. This brand work reinforces the creativity which is channeled towards their core user base, and their efforts make that aspect of their identity shine further.
The copy WeTransfer writes has a critical impact on creating an audience mindset. Phrases such as "for creators, by creators", "made to move ideas", and "creativity without limits" reach us on a more emotional level. With these statements, WeTransfer are being explicit in their efforts to identify with the creative community and align with their needs.
For a brand of their size, they're big and bold enough to not have to always lead with functional copy. But this technique is still a lesson for smaller brands. By balancing the benefit with the need-to-know copy, it amplifies the experience for the reader. Their audience feels seen, and also knows what the brand’s mission is.
A Brand-First Focus
WeTransfer also empowers creators to promote their own visual language as an extension of the platform. Pro users can create a tailored transfer experience for their clients and partners by using custom background images, branded emails, unique profile pictures and custom URLs. It makes the user’s visual brand recognizable at every interaction point. By boosting the user’s brand, it drives loyalty to WeTransfer and makes the service stickier.
WeTransfer's logo, website, and app feature a minimal design with a rich color palette. Warmth and personality shine through in the smaller details. They deliberately pull back on their own visual details to give more license to the creators that they showcase. A lot of the visual elements are simple and modular, giving a modern look. But that's what makes them highly distinctive and memorable. It's easy for us to recognize them.
Captivation Through Motion
WeTransfer pays close attention to movement, too. There's subtle moments of delight on transition effects, hover states, and micro-interactions. It's classy. It gives that sense of polish, and elevates the user experience.
Choosing to add movement has a deliberate intent. When transitions between pages and states are smooth, it's way easier for the user. People visiting WeTransfer want to share files and get the job done. But they also expect a certain visual quality. Utilising movement is a way of making the user’s experience both delightful and frictionless.
Building Brand Advocacy
WeTransfer's "Power the Work" campaign is a great community-driven brand initiative. They launched it in 2020, providing $500 microgrants to creatives during the COVID-19 pandemic. It enabled the brand to directly fund and empower individuals using their platform.
The ‘Together We Make’ campaign has also been impactful, producing inspiring stories that WeTransfer could re-tell. It builds a relatable narrative by understanding the creative process behind bringing ideas to life. It's a great example of a brand fostering a meaningful and deeper relationship with its users. And that's just one example of their community activity. There have been gallery curations, live events and more that have all built a benefit for the creative community.
Your Users Impact Your Brand
WeTransfer proves that a brand is so much more than a product or service. They champion creativity, inspiring loyalty from their users within the creative community.
They've set a high bar for making the work of their community a key part of their brand DNA. By being advocates for visual creators, they’ve defined their purpose and made their products a home for creatives along the way.