An interesting brand called “Dronamics” caught my attention recently. They aim to be “the world’s first cargo drone airline” and they hail from my home country of Bulgaria, so I’ve decided to check them out.
The business seems rather innovative. Let’s dissect their brand and see if there are some lessons we can learn from this company. They’re taking to the skies and we’re going to follow them.
Disclaimer: Do not take any praise leveled at the company as an endorsement. Also, do not take any criticism as a disapproval. My opinions are my own and for educational purposes only.
What is Dronamics?
First things first – let’s have a brief introduction before we get to the meat and potatoes of this brand. Dronamics is a Bulgarian start-up established by the brothers Konstantin and Svilen Rangelov. (Insert a joke about brothers revolutionizing aviation Wright here… I’m sorry, I had to. Moving on.)
The company’s primary product is the “Black Swan,” an unmanned cargo drone designed to transport payloads of up to 350 kilos (or 770 lbs. for my American readers) over “significant distances” (up to 2500 km or 1550 mi). With it, Dronamics wants to push the boundaries of unmanned aerial transportation technology.
They’ve already managed to gather $40 million in funding so it seems like investors have taken a liking to the idea. From what I can tell, the company is committed to keeping a low carbon footprint, which fits right in with the current zeitgeist.
Dronamics brand identity
The name, Dronamics, conveys a connection to drones and the field of aeronautics. It emphasizes the company’s focus on aerial logistics.
The name of their flagship product – Black Swan communicates their desire to revolutionize the industry with a “black swan event”. I can’t say I’m not a huge fan of the idea.
While black swan can be used in the context of innovation, it’s also used to point to unforeseen circumstances and extreme consequences. In other words, it can carry some seriously negative connotations, especially for a new technology that’s barely in the testing phase.
I get where they’re coming from, but I would’ve probably gotten a different route. Off the top of my head – Zero Hour would be a good alternative on the innovation front. Crescendo is a good alternative because it gives the idea of rising.
And finally, Apotheosis is a culmination of technological advancement. Those are some suggestions I would’ve led with to start off a brainstorming session.
The company’s logo features a stylized letter “D” with a square, symbolizing the cargo they’re hauling. The logotype is modern, clean, and legible conveying the professionalism and engineering at the brand’s core.
In contrast to the boldness of the Black Swan, Dronamics’ primary brand colors – blue and white (with a dash of red) are trying to communicate stability, trust, and reliability. This is one more reason why I think they should’ve named their flagship something else – Black Swan sticks out (and not in a good way).
On the one hand, they want to communicate how disruptive their technology is and how their drones can revolutionize the airfreight industry. On the other – they want to seem as dependable as the old players.
You can’t have it both ways. I’m not saying this approach can’t work (I mean, I haven’t gathered $40 million in funding). But, generally speaking, picking a lane and sticking to it tends to work better.
Dronamics positions itself as the first provider of unmanned cargo drones for commercial applications. The company is attempting to disrupt the logistics and transportation industry and “democratize airfreight”.
The positioning is not very specific when it comes to their target market. As far as I can tell, they want to target businesses but there’s no focus on a particular industry or demographic. This is something I would change.
Still, maybe by being first to market, they can afford to cast a wider net and hope for the best. They also have a number of strategic partnerships, so time will tell if this approach pays off.
The company emphasizes the autonomous nature of its drones, offering cost-effective and sustainable solutions for mid-distance cargo transportation.
As they state on their website, their “mission is to enable same-day delivery for everyone, everywhere”. That’s more of a vision statement and I’d make some changes to it, but I’ll leave it for the next section.
A mission statement outlines the company’s present-day purpose, defining its reason for existence and the specific activities it undertakes to fulfill its goals. It answers the question surrounding what the company does, whom it serves, and how it adds value to its clients.
The mission of Dronamics is not clearly defined, but if you put a gun to my head, I’d guess it probably goes something like this: “We provide cost-effective and reliable unmanned cargo drone solutions and enable businesses to transport goods faster, cheaper, and more sustainably.” Now, it’s not perfect, but it’s a solid first draft.
Let’s go back to the vision statement: “to enable same-day delivery for everyone, everywhere”. The word “enable” suggests possibility. So they want to give individuals the opportunity to receive same-day deliveries. But then the use of the words “everyone” and “everywhere” suggests a focus on the group, meaning they want to give everyone a same-day delivery, all at the same time. I’m not entirely sure that’s the meaning they want to convey.
It would’ve been far better if they’d used “anyone” and “anywhere”. This opens the realm of possibility while also focusing on each client as an individual and not as a part of a collective. So the vision statement would look like this: “to enable same-day delivery to anyone, anywhere.” Enable is followed by the preposition to, not for.
Looking better already. But something is missing. A vision statement articulates the desired future state of the world. It should be inspiring, and ambitious, and provide a clear picture of what the company aims to achieve in the long run. It’s the inspiration part I’m missing here.
“Our vision is to create a world where anyone has access to same-day deliveries, anywhere.” Now it sounds more ambitious and inspirational without being grandiose.
The competitors include other unmanned cargo drone companies. We’re talking Wingcopter, Elroy Air, and Volocopter, among others. However, most of these are indirect competition. Sure, they do essentially the same thing, but their range and carrying capacity are lower than Dronamics. This means Dronamics is in a perfect position on the market. At least for now.
The values of the company aren’t shared on their company page so I’m forced to extrapolate them from the copy and PR materials.
- Sustainability – providing a more sustainable same-day delivery service is among the top priorities of the company.
- Innovation – changing the perceptions people have about drone delivery.
- Democratizing airfreight deliveries – by making airfreight deliveries faster, more sustainable, and more affordable, Dronamics gives millions of people access to this technology.
- Being exceptional – the founders present their company as the “unlikely exception”, though I’m not entirely sure what that means.
That’s the vibe I’m getting. There could be other values, but since they’re not properly communicated, for all intents and purposes – they don’t exist.
All in all, there’s a lot the team at Dronamics is doing well and a few things that would benefit from a bit more work. The fact that the company doesn’t have direct competitors (yet) is a definite advantage which means they can get away with this stuff (for now). But there are vulnerabilities potential competitors can exploit to bridge the gap.
Till next time.