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Shift a core brand idea to drive growth


Mapquest office.jpg


The ambition was huge: modernize the brand, attract a new customer base and inspire internal teams to rethink and reinvent the future of online maps and directions.


Careful research of the target audience and the industry landscape led to the brand idea of making maps simple, intelligent and alive. The new strategic direction focused less on directions and more on local discovery. In partnership with Senior Designer Christian Butte, the job included creating the brand idea, positioning, logo identity and user interface design.


The new brand identity now works to inspire and focus product development and engineering teams to invent new offers. Since it’s launch, MapQuest has successfully migrated over 52 million users to the new design interface and MapQuest’s parent company, AOL has made local discovery a top priority across all AOL properties.


Competitive audit

As the originator of the only mapping category, an audit of their feature sets had not been conducted in over 10 years. It was discovered that mapquest feature sets were on par with the industry but they did not invest in developing the proper backend systems to create a compelling user experience. Mapquest could no longer compete on features sets, they needed a new solution and a point of view on the future of maps.

Landscape assessment

The industry was shifting provide providing accurate directions to suggesting destinations nearby. For consumers it was more important for maps to not only be accurate but to be relevant to the users search. Interviews with established users revealed that people that used mapquest often typed in or wrote in their own notes to make the directions more relevant. This created an opportunity to humanize how people used and interacted with online maps.

Defining an opportunity

Maps had become stale. People now relied on algorithms to tell they have directions. Our stakeholder interviews and category assessment led us develop a new POV for maps. There was as opportunity to make the map experience more personal and human. 


Bringing the opportunity to life

Stakeholder interviews with the mapquest team revealed that the brand had six key pillars that all work must live up too. We expanded, categorized and reframing those pillars into three world, Simple, Intelligent and Alive. Simple in presentation. Intelligent in suggesting relevant destinations and alive in always discovering something new.