Corporate brands must continually evolve to meet customer needs and to remain relevant and competitive in the market.
But for all organizations, there comes a point at which gradual change isn’t enough. They need something more fundamental to ensure their brand is consistent with their vision and values and reflects how their products or services support customers.
At Trulioo, we recently went through a comprehensive rebranding exercise and launched our new brand early this year. The trigger for the change was a recognition that the services and value we deliver have changed dramatically since we formed 11 years ago.
When we started out, digital identity verification was still relatively new and deployed mostly by retail banks and in a few other sectors. Fast forward 11 years, and digital identity verification is ubiquitous. As consumers, we’re accustomed to a wide range of verifications, from facial recognition to uploading identity documents to access digital services.
Organizations recognize the need for robust digital identity verification strategies to build trust with customers, protect against fraud, meet compliance obligations and support growth. That has elevated the value and support we provide.
We needed a brand that reflected who we are today, the customers we serve and the strategic problems we solve.
While we will always be a technology business, our products and services have become central to our customers’ wider business goals. We don’t focus only on technology implementations; we provide expertise about complying with regulations, countering fraud threats, entering markets and engaging with new audiences.
Our company also has grown. We serve many of the world’s biggest enterprises in a wide range of sectors, and most recently, we‘ve built the world’s first truly global digital identity platform.
We needed a brand that reflected who we are today, the customers we serve and the strategic problems we solve. That meant shifting from a primary focus on a technology audience to a brand that could engage with wider business stakeholders.
Here’s what we learned along the way.
Start with customer feedback
We knew we had a great product and clear ambitions, and that gave us the confidence to question everything. We needed to know if our brand reflected our products, the audience and our value to those customers.
The answer is always, and often only, found in customer feedback. That was our starting point and where we invested considerable time and resources to gather the insights that would inform our rebrand strategy.
The answer is always, and often only, found in customer feedback.
The digital identity verification problems we solve are becoming more sophisticated, diverse and business critical. That means we engage with a more senior and varied audience within organizations. We heard clearly from our customers that they see us primarily as trusted partners who help them solve complex problems.
Day-to-day consumers barely even notice identity verification because it’s universally accepted. But it’s critical for businesses that constantly battle fraudsters and are required to adhere to evolving regulations. They simply can’t afford to get it wrong.
That customer feedback helped us understand the true extent to which our customers rely on our services. It was fascinating hearing their insight, and it set us up for the next phase of our rebrand.
Involve all company employees
The customer feedback prompted a 360-degree approach to the rebrand that took us way beyond a new logo.
It went to the core of our business and led us to re-evaluate our mission and purpose as a company. That’s when we invited our employees to share what they think about Trulioo, what it means to work for the company, and what they see as our vision and values.
Their feedback was incredibly valuable in shaping the brand direction, and it had a galvanizing effect across our team. At a time when headlines around the world are focused on turbulent macroeconomic conditions, it was reassuring to our teams to think about a bright future with the company. They paid that back double with their willingness to embrace change.
There’s an easy, wrong answer
If you rush a rebrand, you’ll more often than not get to the wrong answer.
What we did incredibly well was follow a considered and thorough process that went deep into consumer and employee research to ensure we got to the right answers.
You have to bring in people – internal and external – who can fill in the gaps.
There are many elements of a rebrand that sit outside the core competencies of most businesses. That’s why you have to bring in people – internal and external – who can fill in the gaps and take the time to find the right answer.
Our executive leadership team was intentional about sharing updates throughout the process and keeping the entire company engaged. We also had different stakeholders from across the company participating as part of a working group. Nobody felt excluded or left behind. Everybody contributed.
It’s more complicated than you think
I’ve been through a few rebrands in my career, and each time I’m reminded that they’re a lot more complex than you expect when you start. You need immaculate attention to detail.
You might not always like or agree with what you’re hearing, but you need to understand what really matters to your stakeholders.
As a CEO, you also need to listen to customers and employees. You might not always like or agree with what you’re hearing, but you need to understand what really matters to your stakeholders. Conflicting points of view and constructive tension shouldn’t be avoided, because that’s how you get the insight that underpins your new brand.
Rebranding isn’t easy. If it was, all businesses would have a world-class brand.
Steve Munford is President and CEO of Trulioo, a leading global identity and business verification provider specializing in anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) compliance. Under his leadership, Trulioo raised a US$400 million Series D financing led by TCV in 2021, and was recognized as a 2020 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Prior to Trulioo, Munford has had a highly accomplished career as CEO and/or board member to a number of companies in enterprise software and cybersecurity, including serving as CEO of Sophos (sold to Apax) and CEO of Carbonite (sold to Opentext). Munford has a proven track record in driving global growth, building world-class teams, completing acquisitions, financings, and has had multiple successful exits.