At Work

Hitting the Ground Running: 90 Days of Driving Growth through Design at Cowrywise

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Having always been passionate about design, with a strong desire to improve upon poorly conceived visuals, I began my design career nearly four years ago.  It was through a chance encounter on Twitter that my work caught the eye of Feyisayo Sonubi, the design lead at Cowrywise, leading to an introduction with the Growth lead; Grillo Adebiyi, and CEO; Razaq Ahmed. Their enthusiasm for my design approach and the company’s commitment to a design-centric culture solidified my decision to join the team in January of this year.

A Brand Identity Architect

My role at Cowrywise is multifaceted.  As the brand designer, I am entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the company’s entire brand identity.  This encompasses everything from crafting the visual language that defines Cowrywise to ensuring consistent brand expression across all touchpoints.  In essence, I am tasked with designing for growth, weaving design principles into the very fabric of the company’s success.

Hitting the Ground Running: A Seamless Onboarding Experience

The onboarding process at Cowrywise was both efficient and welcoming.  Despite the initial feeling of being overwhelmed by the extensive design system and brand guidelines, the team provided invaluable support.  Dara Fakoya, Feyisayo Sonubi, and Grillo Adebiyi were instrumental in helping me navigate the intricacies of the system, ensuring a smooth transition into my role.

A few pictures from my onboarding days, and the company retreat we had in January

A Portfolio of Impactful Projects

My first 90 days at Cowrywise have been marked by a series of impactful design projects:

  • Future Self Campaign:  I had the privilege of contributing to Cowrywise’s very first billboard campaign, “Future Self.”  This collaborative effort focused on encouraging long-term financial planning by prompting viewers to consider the message their future selves might send back in time.  Witnessing the final product generate significant website traffic and app downloads was an incredibly rewarding experience. The second idea had us weak in the knees. We needed a simple copy and had the most difficult time settling for any of the ideas we came up with. It took 6 adults almost 4 weeks to finally agree on one idea. Just a single line took ‘years’ which reinforces the idea that the simplest copy is the hardest to find and you shouldn’t settle for your first idea, there’s so much beauty in striving for the best. It was even more rewarding seeing us trending on X (formerly Twitter) from the billboard we put up. It was cathartic.
From L-R (a picture of the first billboard at Ikeja, the three-man team who worked on the billboards, Timi Joel (Growth Marketer), Obasola Akintola (myself), Grillo Adebiyi (Growth & Marketing Lead), another billboard of ours at Marina, Lagos).
  • AFCON Social Media & In-App Push:  My love for sports design came alive with the AFCON project.  I was tasked with creating social media assets and in-app illustrations, all adhering to the established brand guidelines.  The high level of engagement on these posts solidified the power of creative expression within the boundaries of a well-defined brand identity.
  • International Women’s Day Campaign:  Working alongside my teammates, I was opportune to contribute to the Can You Imagine a World Without Her? campaign for International Women’s Day.  Being part of initiatives that promote inclusivity across all platforms is a source of great personal satisfaction.
  • Easter Campaign: Through brainstorming sessions with my team, we developed a campaign that capitalized on the new interest rates offered by Cowrywise, drawing a thematic connection to the Easter holiday.  This campaign was met with positive feedback from our audience.
  • Cowrywise Frames & Wallpapers:  This brainchild of mine aimed to create visually appealing phone wallpapers and revamp the office frames.  Seeing people actively use these designs on their phones was truly gratifying.
Few screenshots of people’s reactions to the frames and wallpapers
Some of the reviews I’ve gotten from home, far and wide.

Learning Through Challenges

The creative process is not without its challenges.  There were instances where creative disagreements arose, and adhering strictly to brand guidelines sometimes clashed with the pursuit of innovative ideas. These moments served as valuable learning experiences, highlighting the importance of active listening and collaboration.  My dedication to exceptional work shone through when I persisted in presenting multiple design options for a specific campaign.  This ultimately won over my lead, establishing a strong working relationship built on trust in my abilities.

A Culture that Fosters Growth

The company culture at Cowrywise is truly unique.  The emphasis on both freedom and responsibility empowers employees to bring their best selves to the table.  My ideas and creativity are valued, and the work environment fosters exploration and professional development.  Beyond design, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my skill set by participating in video and photo shoots, adding another dimension to my experience.

The team-building activities, such as Friday design games, Saturday football matches, and the weekly Tuesday buffet, further contribute to a positive and collaborative work environment.  These past 90 days have been a period of intense personal growth.  I’ve become more proactive in generating new ideas and taking initiative.  My design thinking has evolved, focusing on unconventional approaches to drive user engagement and business growth.  Design has transcended the canvas, influencing my overall creative perspective.

Expanding My Skill Set

In addition to honing my design skills, I’ve gained valuable experience in content creation, product ideation, finance understanding, and project management.  I’ve also acquired a strong foundation in Adobe InDesign and have significantly improved my approach to project handling and time management.

Looking Ahead: A Future Filled with Promise

These past three months at Cowrywise have been a transformative experience.  It’s been a whirlwind of learning new skills, overcoming challenges, and witnessing significant personal growth.  The company’s unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring creative potential perfectly aligns with my own aspirations.  This shared vision has fueled an incredibly rewarding journey thus far.

I am stoked by the upcoming slate of projects and campaigns.  The opportunity to contribute to these initiatives and share them with the world fills me with immense excitement.  Cowrywise fosters a dynamic and innovative environment, and I eagerly anticipate the challenges and triumphs that lie ahead.

The prospect of the next 90 days is invigorating.  I am confident that this period will be marked by continued achievements, the breaking down of creative barriers, and the acquisition of invaluable lessons.  I am wholly prepared to embrace the challenges and learning opportunities that come my way. 🎉

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