Behind the Scenes Look at JAGGAER’s Newest Procurement Expert
At JAGGAER, we’re always looking for the best and brightest talent to bring into our family.
So, when we got the opportunity to bring onboard an expert on all thing’s procurement innovation, well, let’s just say it was an offer that we couldn’t refuse.
This expert may be a bit unconventional in the procurement space, but you can’t deny their knowledge.
They’re exactly the type of bright professional that can quickly take an organization to the next level.
There’s two people in particular to thank for bringing in this talent, but first allow me to introduce the newest member of the JAGGAER family:
Why Bring a Mascot to a Procurement Software Company?
Let’s turn to Antony Michael, Social Media Specialist at JAGGAER, and co-creator of Smartie, for the answer.
Antony: A mascot is unconventional in procurement technology. But that’s the point. It’s not something that you see every day. We wanted something to help differentiate ourselves, to build and strengthen our brand identity, and show more of our personality.
We have 1200+ people across the globe that make up JAGGAER and now Smartie is able to represent each and every one of us in a way that we couldn’t before.
A Procurement Legend is Born
When Antony came up with the idea to bring a mascot to JAGGAER, we knew he might’ve struck gold.
But, to make sure this idea could flourish, we brought in some outside help to bring Smartie to life.
That’s where Aaron Williams, Graphic Designer and Director at A Will Works based in London, came in.
What was the Inspiration Behind Smartie?
Aaron: The desire from the outset was to introduce a mascot that served as an extension of the JAGGAER brand while also providing a more approachable presence to a somewhat intimidating topic that is procurement technology.
Leveraging JAGGAER’s arrowhead symbol felt like a natural place to build from and it was quickly identified as the most recognizable characteristic of the brand and something that would enable us to create a distinctive design for Smartie.
Something I was extremely determined to capture in the design of Smartie was the notion of trust, which in itself sounds ambiguous but essentially, I wanted Smartie to be recognized as a symbol of trust, a signpost to useful insights, digestible content and most importantly a welcoming presence.
I may be showing my age a bit here but think modern-day Microsoft Office ‘Clippy’, but hopefully Smartie will stick around longer!
What was your Process to Create Smartie?
Aaron: The process from pencil and pad to digital render was actually more streamlined than other character illustrations I’ve done in the past.
A big reason is that I had a strong sense early on of the ‘what’ and ‘why’ for the mascot design which meant the ‘how’ part was a seamless transition.
Working from a softer arrowhead outline I began defining the foundational design of Smartie using simple strokes. I wanted to strike a good balance to seem human but not overly “cartoony”.
From here I started to play around with the primary JAGGAER colours until I landed on the teal hues which felt like the most distinct brand colours, and then started to mix in the secondary colours for any supporting backgrounds or scenes.
Once the foundation was set, I explored different poses in an effort to make Smartie interactive and able to be used in a variety of ways.
The final stage before signing off on the design was the positioning against the diverse character library that was being built in tandem with Smartie to ultimately ensure the work felt smooth and natural.
Why the Name Smartie?
The question that I’m sure everyone is dying to ask. Out of everything to choose from, why Smartie?
Antony: We had a lot of options to choose from but in the end, it was quite simple. Our mascot is full of knowledge about JAGGAER and the procurement and supply chain world as a whole. Smartie will deliver content to help educate the procurement community, solve industry problems and help our social followers learn more about who JAGGAER is, so it felt like a natural fit.
We hope you’ll join us in officially welcoming Smartie to the JAGGAER family! We hope you love the new addition as much as we do.
As the foremost expert on procurement look out for Smartie on LinkedIn to drop all kinds of helpful tips, best practice, and who knows, maybe Smartie will be the key to helping you unlock more value than ever before.