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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.