Reimagining a first mover in the earned wage access space.

The Challenge

How do you breathe new life into a brand that is a leader in their space without breaking the things that are working?

The Approach

We dug in to identify – and clearly communicate – their offering. To add structure and consistency into the brand, keeping what works and revamping the rest.

Enabling Employers. Empowering Employees.

Instant is a company born of a desire to change the way employees are paid – for good. In 2009, they came into the market with a brand new concept based on the belief that employees shouldn’t have to wait two weeks to be paid. This was primarily motivated by the fact that the payday loan industry and traditional high-interest APR credit cards are notoriously predatory. They are often an inescapable and financially devastating cycle for those who find themselves in a position to have to use them.

Employees — whether QSR workers at a Burger King or nurse practitioners — can use Instant as a way to receive what they’ve earned, when they want. At the end of each day, an employee can opt to take up to 50% of pay earned that day. Instantly and fee-free. Furthermore, employees without access to a traditional bank account can be paid directly on their Instant card.  

Instant has been a leader in its industry for the past decade. However, between several other competitors entering the market around 2015, and the services provided by Instant expanding, a brand refresh was overdue.  

It was essential to drill down into the different audience needs. Not only do they have to communicate their benefits to their direct customer(employers), their materials and messaging have to clearly define the product benefits to the end-user(the employees). Additionally, Instant has a strong culture within their internal team. Our interviews found that those who work at Instant are driven by the desire to pair their career with a purpose. As they expand, they want to ensure that they are attracting like-minded individuals. With this, internal ‘Instanteer’ branding was critical.

To get a clear picture of what benefits are provided to each audience, we spent weeks talking to the internal team, their corporate clients, and the end cardholders directly. We went to fast-food restaurants across the area to hear the perks – and challenges – of the Instant offering.

These conversations and competitive research culminated in an on-site workshop in Atlanta with the Instant leadership team. Here, we reviewed findings from the interviews, discussed the future of the brand, and came to a consensus on their own position. Beyond being first to market and a purpose-driven organization, they wanted to be bolder in conveying how they changed the industry. A revolutionary, bold approach was the way forward. 

With a clear path, the purpose of the brand was woven into three pillars that would guide any messaging:

HUMANITY: We exist to improve the lives of those we serve. 

VISION: We know that the future of the two-week pay cycle is limited, and know the benefits of changing it are exponential.

TECHNOLOGY: We pioneered the technology to bring it to market, and we are continuously refining and improving based on what that market needs.

Ultimately, we are driven to make the best payment solution possible in order to improve the lives of those we serve. 

Fee-free, fuss-free, and on-demand.”

We love a powerful manifesto, and Instant was the perfect organization to embrace one. A team already connected by a strong purpose, this was an opportunity to wrap it into a rallying cry to serve as their North Star moving forward:

“We’re Instant. We’re on a mission to make the lives of those we serve easier, happier, and more financially secure. 

We know that the future of the traditional pay cycle is limited – and limiting – for a world in which we have the power to connect immediately with whatever, whenever. We believe that fee-free access to wages earned is not simply a nice-to-have, it’s right-to-do

We’ve got a passion for pay. An inspired collective with an unwavering drive to up the expectation of how money is exchanged. Built of a calling to empower employers with a proven way to recruit and retain top talent. To enable employees to access what they’ve earned, when they want. To reimagine and facilitate the way money moves, instantly and easily, for our partners.

Together, we’re on a mission to revolutionize pay.”

The brand positioning work served as the cornerstone for specific audience messaging. Each audience had its own value proposition and set of key headlines to build any further collateral on.

Employers – Value Proposition
Instant is a recruitment and engagement tool that turns employees into advocates for your brand, while building a culture of respect and equality.

It’s an opportunity to be part of changing the way that people are paid. To improve employee’s lives, foster financial stability, and set the new standard for the definition of payday, all without disrupting the way you do business today.”

Employers – Select Headlines

  • Your job opportunity just got 30% more attractive. Instantly.
    Employers who pay with instant are 30% more likely to attract, and 20% more likely to retain, employees.
  • The revolutionary way to move money, engage employees…and pay. Instantly. 
  • Turning employees into evangelists.
  • The right way to pay. Their right to get paid. Instantly.
  • Win the Wage Wars.


Employees – Value Proposition
Instant is leading the payday revolution by giving you access to what you’ve earned, when you want it. 

This gives you back control of the finances that are rightfully yours so that

 you can spend, save, invest, or enjoy.

Employees – Select Headlines

  • Fee-free access to what you’ve earned. When you want it. 
  • Challenge the conventional way of payday. Fee-free pay. Right away. Welcome to Instant.
  • Bridging the gap between today & payday.
  • Instant Pay. Delivering delight. Daily.
  • Smile. You just got paid.

Instanteers(internal team) – Value Proposition
We believe that there is a better way to serve those trapped in the traditional pay cycle. We’re here to revolutionize and redefine payday – one Client, one Life, at a time.

We’re a fiercely passionate collective of creatives and problem-solvers brought together by one common cause – to make the lives of those we serve more joyful and financially secure. 

Instanteers – Select Headlines

  • We’re a purpose-driven collective with an unwavering drive to redefine how earned wages are accessed. For all.
  • On a mission to impact & empower the lives of those we serve.
  • Changing the game on financial freedom.
  • Employees in control. Employers in the know. Instanteers in good company.
  • We’ve got passion for pay.

With the messaging in place, a complete overhaul of the visual system began. The logo was the one element we didn’t want to alter – both because it had heavy brand equity and was executed well. Outside of that, the visual system was completely reimagined.

One of the first things we did was to bring an entirely new color palette to the brand. Previously relying solely on orange, white, and grey, we expanded into a range of colors and gradients to bring new life to the visuals. This is also an effective way to organize information, call out different products provided by the brand, and add warmth and humanity.

We also revamped the way typography was approached. Moving away from the repetitive treatment of headlines with the same formatting, we looked at copy – and headlines specifically – as visual elements to work within a layout, guiding the user through a piece and drawing the focus to the items most important first.

Photography plays a crucial role in this brand as we focus on humans – and although Instant is a company founded in tech, being a force for good in the lives of their customers and cardholders is their ‘why.’ Much of the photography used in the brand is people-first. Technology is a means to an end, a silent conductor to bring a service to its users.

An illustration and icon system was developed as particularly important additions to the brand, supplementing the company’s attempt to communicate more complex concepts about how the product works. These were paired with data visualization that could be used in collateral that featured charts and graphs of financial information.

Once the messaging and visual system was updated, we immediately moved into implementing the new branding across existing — and new — collateral. With these updates, a thorough audit of each piece being recreated was done to determine what information needed to stay, and what could be removed. Layout and flow were reworked to ensure information was easy to digest.

Pieces created included:

  • Handouts and brochures
  • In-store signage for employees educating them on the Instant product
  • Recruitment signage to use on-location at stores
  • Tradeshow displays and materials
  • In-office graphics
  • Internal swag for Instanteers
  • Social post templates
  • Sales materials – playbooks and case studies
  • Print ads
  • Presentations

Earned Wage Access is relatively new to market, and creating a story that’s easy to understand and see the benefit of in one quick snippet is key. We worked with their team to tell the story of one employee and the positive impact that Instant could have on their life. To do this, we produced an explainer video. 

Working in tandem with their team, we developed the story of  John. The narrative brings the viewer through a series of events that results in John needing just a bit of help to hold him over between paychecks. Furthermore, the story is relatable, allowing most viewers to put themselves in John’s shoes.

Ultimately, Instant enters the picture and shows the ways that employers can provided this benefit to employees, feel-free, to help out employees, no matter their industry or pay grade. 

Between the scripting, storyboarding, voiceover talent management, editing and distribution, we worked with Instant at every step of the way to provide this powerful tool for thier sales team.

See the full video on Instant’s Employer-focused page here.