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Smart homes - an exciting concept, but for most people it's still more of a dream than a reality. The Hive experience is poised to change that as the human brand in a tech-heavy market.

Known in the UK for helping people control their home from their phone, the Hive brand’s rapid growth convinced parent company Centrica to expand into new markets, and further innovate in the smart homes services category. Poised to compete directly with the likes of Nest and Vivint, the global Centrica Connected Home brand marketing team asked Wolff Olins to help them bring their new multi-market proposition, ‘Living Brilliantly’ to life.

The current understanding of smart home services and capabilities is really mixed, but we are at a tipping point. As we move on from one-off devices to full solutions, we need exciting, adaptable ways to communicate the real-life benefits that having a connected home brings to daily life.” Nicky Mackrell, Global Brand and Marketing Director at Centrica Connected Home, (the business behind Hive)

The team behind the Hive brand needed help demonstrating ‘Living Brilliantly’ as the ability to enjoy life through little moments of useful delight:

- People don’t like coming home to a dark house, so Hive provides services and technologies which mean you can always step in to the right temperature and lighting.
- To get on with living, people want to know their home is okay, so Hive provides services that let you check in on your home when you’re away.
- Tired of missing moments with loved ones, Hive camera keeps you connected.
- And by linking in with platforms like Amazon’s Alexa, Hive helps you talk to your home in order to make it react around you.

To capture all of this, we created a dynamic, connected identity that could stretch across all Hive platforms and channels. Led by a new, living mark, the brand visuals use panels and shifting perspectives to reflect the uniqueness of our homes. The colour palette has been brightened to create a more approachable, friendly and energetic feel. While the tone of voice and photography have been crafted to help the brand tell more human stories about the diversity of smart homes solutions for real people.

To make the brand successful and future-fit across our markets, we needed to evolve the best of what we had and create a robust, very flexible design system and distinctive tone of voice. Wolff Olins partnered with us and delivered a brand identity that lives and breathes, embodies our strategy, and helps us communicate our viewpoint on the category in a strong and stand-out way.” Mario Rauter, Head of Global Brand at Centrica Connected Home

Re-launched in the UK, as well as seven new North American territories, Ireland and soon in Italy, the new brand, website and the new brand platform ‘Let’s get Living’ are getting noticed.

Working with Wolff Olins, Centrica Connected Home (say they) have created a much more “distinctive” Hive brand that should stand out from competitors in a “complex and cluttered category” – especially in the US.” Marketing Week

Move aside smart homes, it’s all about connected homes now.