Billx is now Juno: Q&A with Sara de Velasco
Updated: Oct 11, 2021
UK-based fintech Billx has rebranded as Juno. To learn more about the company’s decision to rebrand and what Juno stands for, we spoke to Sara de Velasco, Head of Marketing at Juno.
Earlier this year, Billx became Juno and went through a complete rebrand. Founded in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic by Michael Wilkinson, Pete Bailey and Darren Westlake, Juno is a London-based payments app that is on a mission to completely “revolutionise” the way we pay and get paid with Open Banking.
Commenting on the decision to rebrand and rename the company, Michael said: “Spending time with our early beta testers we were receiving consistent feedback around subliminal meanings of our name which could impact onboarding new customers. Expanding the team and working on the future vision together pushed us to dig into what was needed from our brand and what we wanted to achieve going forwards. We developed something that has meaning to our team and value for our customers.”
Hence, the rationale for Juno’s rebranding was driven by the following 2 key factors: their customers, and their ambition for the future. In addition to responding to their customers’ initial feedback, Juno’s team also wanted to avoid limiting the brand to a product-specific name as they’re planning to grow its product offering beyond billing and payments.
Pronunciation was also important: "We also want to be a global brand, so we needed a name that would work in any language. On top of these, it wasn’t immediately obvious how to pronounce it…Billks or Bill-x".
That’s how Juno was born. The name was specifically chosen due to its international versatility, distinctness and memorability.
“The name came from Juno, queen of the Roman gods and goddess of money and protection of wealth. Since eliminating fraud and helping businesses and people take control over their money is a key focus of the business, we saw the connection as particularly powerful. It’s product-agnostic and memorable, and easy to pronounce in every language we checked.”
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What’s the new “Juno” brand all about?
After choosing a name, the next step of Juno’s rebranding process was to come up with a new logo that effectively reflects its long-term brand vision. Inspired by the goddess Juno’s association with peacocks, the company’s Head of Product Design, Cath Macaulay, has created a wordmark or logotype, font-based logo.
“The thing that really stood out to me was that the goddess Juno is associated with peacocks, which are really beautiful and majestic creatures. I wanted to try and integrate their elegance alongside more modern, tech elements specific to the fintech industry. This is how I designed the decoration on the J. These flourishes are a subtle and graceful callback to the peacock. One you wouldn’t necessarily notice but that brings the essence of its origin.”
To really stand out from its competition and the new “fintech uniform” of neons and pastels, Juno also decided to pick a rather unusual colour combination of teal green and mustard yellow for its new brand identity. The teal colour represents the business side of Juno, and strikes positivity and trust whilst referring to financial staples such as banknotes, and peacock feathers. Yellow, on the other hand, stands for vibrancy, youth, and refers to Juno’s future and the way in which it is planning to evolve the stale banking industry.
Finally, in terms of brand imagery, Juno opted for graphic illustrations instead of photos, which tend to resonate quite well with the innovative and tech-savvy, millennial customer segment.
To find out more about Juno’s recent rebranding and their overall approach to marketing, we spoke to Sara de Velasco, Head of Marketing at Juno. Read Sara’s complete interview below.
Have you faced any challenges during the rebranding process? If yes, what were they and how you tackled them?
The concept and development of Juno’s new visual identity were led by our Head of Product Design, Cath Macaulay. Because we kept the project in-house, one of the most challenging parts was maintaining a balance between this work, the development of our product and the launch of the business. Project planning, effective communication, and patience were vital here.
We were intentionally very collaborative in our approach, resulting in a breadth of differing and strong opinions on everything from colour schemes to vision, but finding a balance that we could all align with was time-consuming but a really valuable exercise. We were able to find common ground by reflecting back on our vision, empathising with our customers and always having the users at the centre of our thinking.
How have you communicated the changes with your existing customers and made sure that they’re aligned with your vision?
Obviously, we’re still pre-launch. Juno is launching this summer, but we’ve road-tested the brand with our beta users, investors and across our social channels. The big push will come in Q3 2021 though when we do our big PR launch. We are confident that our new look and our product will be a breath of fresh air for British SMEs, helping them to get paid on time, every time.
How are you approaching your go-to-market strategy? What’s your current marketing priority?
We are currently working behind the scenes to launch a pre-registration campaign that will offer anyone that signs up and shares with their friends, some really exciting perks, from reduced rates and swag to a lucky few receiving a free subscription of Juno Premium for life! We know that acquisition is vital for us in our first 12 months and outside of an incentive-driven pre-registration campaign, we are working very closely with a core group of partners with large SME user bases to support their needs. However, the gem in the crown of our GTM strategy is our in-product viral loop. It is going to be very exciting to receive this first group of users in the Juno community as we want them to help us shape our offering so that we can always have their best interests at heart.
How have you navigated the COVID pandemic from a marketing perspective?
We are a true 21st-century company, with a flexible approach to work, where team members are incredibly collaborative and generous with their knowledge and time. We have always envisioned a remote-first work environment, so there was a very little impact at all with the restrictions that covid brought. In fact, we were better able to adapt than many traditional businesses.
We have built a great team, driven by the same vision, a desire to help the British SME ecosystem thrive. Our comms and marketing approach will always be one of empathy and support for our individual users and small businesses. The pandemic has cemented a clear need for our customers. We’re on the side of the little guy to help them bounce back from a challenging year or so.
What’s next for Juno?
Well as you know, we’re on a mission to help the world get paid on time with a payment technology that puts the power back into the hands of our users. We believe getting paid on time is a right that needs protecting, whether you’re a sole trader keeping our boilers running, a cafe brewing our morning cuppa, the startup saving us legal fees or just that friend who always foots the bill.
Now in the next six months, our focus will be on rolling out our best in class technology for these core user groups, but over the rest of 2021 and beyond you can expect to see more support on the automation of the payment process, international expansion and overseas transfers and improved functionality about payments including the likes of variable recurring payments and machine learning integrations. Watch this space!
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