Launched this month in Romania, Indygen is… well, it’s a SIM card that can be placed inside a smartphone that “gives you access to an ecosystem of digital products made by young people for young people,” and one that “[offers] connectivity education, jobs and fun, all united in a product designed smartphone for you to stay connected smartly.” The new name, identity, and brand have been created by Bucharest-based Brandient, who describe the new product as “a digital platform capable to sustain an ecosystem which will equip the young generation with diverse self-development and entrepreneurial solutions.”
Indygen is the name of Independent Young Generation — a brand with the clockwork of an ideological movement. Its primary decoding comes from the English indigene/indigenous (Romanian “indigen”), meaning local, tribe, community, with a twist of “indie” (independent, self-determining, distinct, different, self-developing, free, unconventional, small, etc.). It is another name for “the smartly connected generation”, consequently the principal line of the brand.
There is absolutely no doubt that this is a product and brand aimed at young people. Starting with the name, which is a very smart play on “Indigenous”, “Independent/Indy” and “Generation”. The identity is very much in your face, unapologetic, and remarkably genuine-looking. The rough, Occupy-ish aesthetic has been executed really well through the custom type family and the choice of red. It may feel and sound a little too optimistic and cheerleading and entitled at times for a generation preoccupied mostly with text messaging, but the the brand and target seem perfectly aligned. The icon, aside from its “changing course” description and ribbon cause reference, also goes will with the idea of a mark for a new tribe, as it also looks like a new gender icon appropriate for both men and women.
Making a SIM card an object of desire is a fool’s errand but Brandient and Indygen have actually come up with a solution, by placing the card inside a nameless, badass collectible vinyl toy — perhaps a few years behind the designer toy trend but still applicable — that literally embodies the new brand. Overall, this is a great launch for a new product that is not exactly clear what it offers or why someone would need it, but it creates a sense of belonging that no telecom-carrier-branded SIM card will ever have.