What was your mandate coming in?
As a late-stage, hyper-growth startup, we're growing really rapidly. We're doing a lot of things really well, and there just wasn't a focus on brand. I wanted to come in and bring that focus to the company. The two mandates for me were really to refresh the brand and to build out a demand-generation engine. In the marketing spectrum of activities, they kind of fall on both ends of the spectrum and they had to be done simultaneously due to time.
How did you position the rebrand internally?
Rebranding is an exercise in company positioning and company strategy. We positioned it that way, as a broad executive team exercise that we could go through together to say, “What is our North Star vision? What is the strategy? Where do we want to position ourselves going forward within a very competitive, very intense market that we play in this experience management market?” From the get-go, this was never a marketing exercise. It was always an exercise in corporate strategy.
We had many new members on our executive team that joined around the same time I did. Timing was very serendipitous because we had to gain alignment quickly. That went all the way to our product roadmap, how we invest in product and engineering decisions, where we want to divest in the business, where big future growth opportunities are. It was a very holistic A-to-Z process across the executive team, and there were certainly implications from the work that we were doing on what we were going to build, how we were going to build it, and when we were going to build it on the product side.
What were some of the “aha” moments along the way?
We had fallen into what I would say is a common pitfall of brands, especially platform technology brands, where we were adding products quickly and had diluted the equity in our brand, meaning we were trying to be everything to everyone. We ended up being nothing to no one. That's a very common thing that happens across industries and companies, but for us, the “aha” moment was really digging into our “why” as a brand, then how we can anchor onto that, formulate this North Star vision, and not waver in our approach.
Shiny object syndrome happens at every company, but when you are a late-stage startup and you're growing so quickly and there's so much opportunity ahead of you, it's really hard to stay focused. For us, the exercise turned into one of focus and discipline around the things that we don't want to do or be. Those became just as important as the things that we did want to do and who we wanted to be in the market.
Who else got involved in strategy work?
Most of the strategy work was between the executive team and the agency. We had a couple of employees involved in that outside of the executive team, and then, once those brand guidelines were handed off, it was a full company effort to get them implemented. We had a cross-functional team from product and engineering, marketing, customer success, sales, professional services. I mean you name it—HR, employee engagement, etc. We had everybody involved in that, and it really took a village to get it done and done so quickly.
What's the new brand story?
The new story around Reputation and what we do is that we manage a company’s interactions at scale—all of the interactions that they’re having with the most important stakeholders across their business. Employees, prospective customers, current customers, we take all the feedback from those interactions into our platform, and we turn that into the fuel so that they can grow their businesses and better serve their own customers and their own communities. The shorter version is: We transform feedback to fuel progress.
How did customers participate?
Our executive advisory board, our customer advisory board, different groups within our customer base were involved. When we did the rebrand, we sent all of our employees and our customers a box. The box had information about the new brand, some swag, and it was a great way to get people involved remotely and have them feel like they're a part of the launch. We had everything from email communications and newsletters all the way to actually giving them some brand artifacts themselves.
How are you measuring the success of the new brand?
We have engagement metrics and acquisition metrics that we look at to see if it's working. How many eyeballs, how much traffic depending on the channel that we're looking at, all the way to conversion into our funnel. We've been seeing higher levels of engagement and acquisition on the customer side as well. It's not just a prospecting tool. We want to make sure our customers understand the new brand, engage with the new brand, like it, and want to grow with it.