Unbounce’s Brand Refresh

It’s not everyday you get to reimagine a brand for a recognizable, successful SaaS business, but I was lucky enough to work with an epic in-house team to do just that.

Out with the old, and in with the new…

Out with the old, and in with the new…

For some time prior to January 2018, our marketing team knew our look and feel could use a refresh (and not just because everybody and their goldfish was doing the same). Ten years prior, Unbounce emerged as a category leader, but this trailblazing persona wasn’t coming across with our years-old look. We wanted to evolve our visual identity to celebrate the incredible marketers who use our platform.

We also knew elements of our brand weren’t always consistent. We didn’t have a source of truth for brand standards, so every piece of content was getting a different treatment.

Unbounce had always placed great value on visual design (many of our five founders are designers), but this project was undoubtedly one of the largest and most important I’d been a part of since joining the company. Our team was dedicated to getting everything juuuust right.


My Team’s Mission? A Bolder Voice & Tone

My team began working closely with our in-house designers to start research. We interviewed a few people who were familiar with our company at varying degrees.

Based on some quick impression tests, we learned the external perception of our brand had us coming across as:

Hmmm, not sure about sounding “Mature”…or confusing for that matter.

Hmmm, not sure about sounding “Mature”…or confusing for that matter.

We wanted to change the way people came to think of us. Sure, we publish a ton of educational content, but our fairly safe choices were leading folks to view us as overly scientific. (Er—we love data, but we’re good without the lab coat, thanks.)

Ultimately we wanted to better embody a bold, witty, smart, helpful, and unexpected character. (Traits Ceci Martinez and I recommended anew based on this project’s intention).

To help us convey these traits, I proposed an updated voice and tone. To help our team capture it, I like to say it’s a mix of these two familiar voices:

New rule of thumb: Does our copy sound like a combo of these two voices? If not— head back to the drawing board.

New rule of thumb: Does our copy sound like a combo of these two voices? If not— head back to the drawing board.

We updated our style guide to ensure voice and tone always comes across as:

  • Upbeat, but not phoney

  • Empathetic, but not patronizing

  • Authentic, but not self-righteous

  • Knowledgeable, but not know-it-all

  • Cheeky, but never cocky

There’s more to it, but this gives you the general gist.


The Fun Visual Part

To come up with the evolved visuals, our incredibly talented designers Ceci Martinez, Sabrina Chan, Denis Suholpoljac, and Cesar Martinez were inspired by sports photography that featured athletes in power poses. We want to convey marketing performance in the same way.

Think powerful looking upshots of Michael Jordan et. all…

Think powerful looking upshots of Michael Jordan et. all…

We worked with a wonderful photographer on bespoke images to represent our customer base.

We worked with a wonderful photographer on bespoke images to represent our customer base.

We’re Blue da ba dee da ba daa…

Now, there are colour trends in SaaS, but blue has always been integral to Unbounce’s identity (and we intentionally kept that element for brand recognition). That said, there was an opportunity to make it more distinct.

We made the colour more vivid to meet accessibility standards. This new, vibrant Unbounce blue made people in our test groups feel something that the old, muted blue just didn’t. That’s when we knew we got this part right. And would you look at the cotton-candy pink that snuck in there? Noice.

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You can read more about all the fine design details here (including our typography choices and the evolved logo).

The epic team on the brand evolution: Ceci Martinez, Cesar Martinez, Denis Suhopoljac, Sabrina Chan, Hayley Mullen, Garrett Hughes, Colin Loughran, Ryan Engley.


Revealing the brand Internally

One of my favourite details of this campaign was working to share it with the Unbounce team prior to public launch. We were aiming to do everyone proud, and wanted to ignite some excitement internally. We hadn’t had a new look in ten years, so we wanted it to be something everyone loved.

We shared a presentation at Town Hall and Sabrina Chan and crew created amazing swag packs with the updated logo, values, and messaging to hand out Oprah style:

We gave staff a branded swag-pack containing a customizable notebook with stickers in the new brand look, new t-shirts, pens, values postcards, and branded gourmet chocolate. My favourite is Garrett Hughes’ copy on the box: “In case of inspiration, pull tab”.

We gave staff a branded swag-pack containing a customizable notebook with stickers in the new brand look, new t-shirts, pens, values postcards, and branded gourmet chocolate. My favourite is Garrett Hughes’ copy on the box: “In case of inspiration, pull tab”.

Inspired by MailChimp’s internal brand reveal, 2 of our branded chocolate bars contained Golden Tickets for staff to find and win vacations with.

Inspired by MailChimp’s internal brand reveal, 2 of our branded chocolate bars contained Golden Tickets for staff to find and win vacations with.

Revealing the Brand Externally

The brand culminated with the launch of our revived website featuring the new voice + visual components, as well as a campaign all about the exceptional marketers who inspired our refresh to begin with.

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To the left you can see the social campaign landing page created to help launch the brand. The brand’s external launch was worked on by the legendary Rachel Scott, Ashley Luk, Jennifer Chin, Sabrina Chan, Garrett Hughes, James Thomson, Pablo Penandes, Emily Matic, Luis Francisco, and Stephanie Gelati.