When we were approached by our long-time client ZestFinance to create the brand for a new short-term loan company, we had to step back and ask a big question: For those of us who are considered as having “bad” credit, why do we hate it when yet another pre-approved offer shows up in our mailbox?

Over the course of our research and consumer interviews, we saw a picture emerge: short-term loan customers don’t want to be promised that all their troubles will go away, nor do they want to be seen as needing to be saved by some knight in shining armor. They just want a little more control in their lives.

Basix was the name we felt kept things real: it’s neither filled with happy/shiny promise nor overtly money-related. It’s just what it is: a basic loan. Simplicity is a key component to the Basix message. The visual elements of the branding are also elemental: monochromatic, clean, unornamented, with lots of room to breathe in the layout.

The primary message that had to come across was “no judgment.” The language we chose for mailers, advertising, and web landing pages was specifically crafted to turn over control to the customer. This extended to the ongoing service calls, and statements that show up in the mail.

Basixloans.com launched in autumn 2015 and acquisition targets were met almost immediately.