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Linnworks brand refresh - reflecting our mission to help brands sell better.

Written by:

Ian MacLeod

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Linnworks

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I am excited to announce that we are launching our refreshed brand identity. I wanted to share with you our rationale behind the updates, and what they represent for Linnworks, our clients and our partners. The word refresh is extremely important. This is not a rebrand of the company. This is an update to our identity.

The decision to refresh the brand identity came about in the middle of 2020, during one of the most challenging years for human connection and working life. It was extremely pivotal for many businesses. It was also one of the most significant years for commerce. Even with all the challenges of the team working remotely, it felt like the perfect time to refresh the brand to align to Linnworks’ evolution and strategic direction.

Who are we as a company? What is the value we bring to our clients?

A brand is much more than a set of colors or a fancy logo. A true brand identity should communicate and embrace a company's mission, vision, values, proposition and customer promise. It should be the personality and the consistency in every company touchpoint. Most importantly, it should be a promise and a relationship that a company has with its employees, clients and partners. It was therefore critical that we were (A) able to articulate this and (B) we conveyed this through our brand identity.

Embracing Total Commerce.

Linnworks has been a pioneer of ecommerce and multichannel selling for many years. But as our business evolved and reacted to the ever changing world around us, the current brand identity - including our company's values, mission, market, and purpose - were not aligned to the business we were creating or the clients we were serving. As a company, Linnworks strives to empower brands to sell better. We want to make sure our brand conveys our passion, our attention to detail and dynamic attitude that is needed to embrace the new world of effortless consumption and Total Commerce. These are the core of our brand - bringing these to life through visual identity and tone of voice became the project’s objective.  

So what is Total Commerce?

For us, Total Commerce means conducting commerce wherever your customers are, on their terms. For today’s shoppers, convenience reigns supreme. Consumers now expect effortless commerce, and consumer choice will follow the path of least resistance. Lockdowns in cities around the world over the past year have accelerated this shift to convenience.  Many consumers came to rely on online shopping for everyday essentials as they juggled working from home and other responsibilities. Shopping is now an ‘always-on’ experience and consumers expect to be able to make purchases whenever they need to. Once driven almost exclusively by price, today’s consumers are increasingly influenced by convenience and ease of purchase. Therefore, retailers and brands need to offer a frictionless experience, from product discovery right through to their shipping and returns policy. This is the Effortless Economy.

This has driven our core belief in this new world of the Effortless Economy and how we must empower brands to adapt to this new macro market environment by conducting Total Commerce. This concept of Total Commerce empowerment became another key driver for our identity update. How could we communicate and articulate our vision of Total Commerce empowerment to our clients and the wider commerce industry through our brand?

Redefining Linnworks strategic position.

What became evident early on in our planning, was that growth was a core element that underpinned our company ethos. Not just our company growth, but empowering and supporting our clients and partners in their growth ambitions. At its very basics, our software platform was created to provide growth - in selling channels, operational efficiencies, control through data and access to new audiences - all designed to help our clients’ business grow and thrive.

This concept of growth and empowerment was already evident in our existing mission statement, but it has also subsequently become core to our purpose and proposition. Growth is about looking forward and helping our clients understand and react to the future market changes, all within the world of commerce.

Linnworks Mission:

To help brands sell better

Linnworks mission to help brands sell better

Linnworks Purpose:

Linnworks empowers brands to sell better by connecting commerce everywhere, so they grow revenues wherever their customers are

Aligning to our mission and purpose, the following elements became our brand pillars:

  • Connection - We are Connected. We work with global brands, marketplaces and service providers. Our connections reflect the quality of our product and we talk about them with pride.
  • Commerce - We are Experts. We understand the challenges and needs of our industry. We are proud to be specialists, our knowledge helps to bring simplicity and ease to our clients.
  • Future - We are Futurists. We look at the path ahead and lead change. We are visionaries, constantly seeking new opportunities to develop and grow.

Constructing a brand identity.

Defining the clear and consistent strategic positioning and directional mission & purpose allowed us to start looking at how the more tangible aspects of brand identity were constructed. Did these align to our mission? Did they represent or convey our core company values (Ambition, Impact, Integrity, Freedom and Belonging)? Were they constructed from our core principles as a business? Did they elevate our position in the market, and did they create the excitement and energy that we want our brand to be powered by?

The tangible elements we identified fell into two categories - visual identity and brand marks.

Defining our Brand Marks.

Brand marks consist of straplines, taglines, slogans and any other core written, verbal or design spots that are used in a frequent cadence across your brand touch points. In other words, the key phases that become memorable and synonymous with our brand. The brand marks need to be the manifestation of our strategic positioning and capture  Linnworks’ mission and vision. It's our purpose as a business, condensed.  

Our strapline came first. The strapline can and should be a powerful element of your brand. It must capture emotion and compact all the other strategic positioning into just a matter of a few words. In all my branding experience, this is always the hardest part. However, during this project there was a single line that held true. It was a perfect combination of our mission, vision, purpose and sums up the essence of our brand.

Now Commerce Connects.

These 3 simple words jumped off the page for everyone involved.  Why? Here is our rationale.

The major challenge for brands is 'connection': (i) staying connected to their customers in the multiple environments where they are spending time, and (ii) connecting and automating commerce operations. Brands must overcome the complexity and cost of integrating technology and adapting processes to bring centralized commerce control across multiple channels, simultaneously. Linnworks solves this connection problem, making it easier for brands to take advantage of the growth of multi-channel commerce and participate in the effortless economy.

Next up was our brand slogan. This is where marketers earn their money. Slogan must entice. They must resonate with your chosen audience and most importantly, they must convey the value proposition to your audience. It was clear from the start that our visionary belief on the way the industry and customer expectation will evolve into the effortless economy, and the only way to grow within the effortless economy is by conducting Total commerce, was going to be central to the slogan. Our value proposition is also centred from a software point of view on grow, automate and control. These are all key elements that will allow and support brands to conduct Total Commerce. From all of this, our brand slogan became One Platform. Total Commerce Control.

Creating a visual identity.

Creating a visual identity for Linnworks

The second tangible element of the brand identity was the visual identity. Color, iconography, photographic style and other visual brand elements are extremely important to how the non-tangible elements of the brand are conveyed and how your brand resonates with your audience. Color, for example, can have a huge impact on your brand - some colors are now synonymous with the brands that use them, like McDonald's yellow or Coca-Cola red.

For the visual identity we set 4 core objectives:

  • To establish a visual identity that embodies a world-class design quality
  • To articulate through design our core brand identity elements (Mission, vision, values and proposition)
  • To create a memorable identity that influences and impacts the wider market
  • Don't make change for change sake

The logo, font, wordmark and main brand icon have remained the same. The icon is the face of Linnworks. Instantly recognizable. The clear and consistent font and word mark are still very relevant, fresh and contemporary. The font (IBM Plex if anyone is interested) is another brand element that has stood the test of time and still works well within the overall updated identity.

Linnworks logo

The main changes are with the color palette and how we use it.

Color.

Color is a powerful tool that helps our clients gain a greater understanding of who we are and how we work. We wanted to bring as much color to the table as possible. And while you won’t see all of our brand colors overwhelming you in our branding. Our main aim is to keep a neutral and clean look. Using Linn Black and Linn Blue primarily, we also have extra colors, which gives us the opportunity to present ourselves in a unique way. Rather than being boxed in by color, it provides the ability for us to stand out within the commerce industry.

Linnworks color palette

Color – gradient.

We wanted our branding to demonstrate we're not afraid to take risks and get out of our comfort zone. Our color gradient makes us stand out for all the right reasons.  We use it to add depth and interest to our branding and show we are brave and we embrace change. In turn demonstrating how integral and interconnected our services are.

Gradient shapes.

We use simple overlapping graphic shapes to demonstrate we are constantly evolving, adapting and changing to meet our clients growing needs. By overlaying these shapes with our brand gradient, we express how integral and interconnected our services are. Aside from adding visual interest they also create a multi-toned effect continuous blending of one color to another.

Linnworks color gradient shapes

Gradient framing.

Not only do we use gradients as a key graphic device, but we also use them in our backgrounds. It provides a natural element to our designs framing our content - showing our ability to adapt and look forward. This device reflects our constantly evolving relationships that we grow with our clients.

Nodes & Connections.

We have also brought in some additional visual cues to our brand to help bring everything together. We use nodes and lines to communicate that we are looking ahead and leading change. We use circles (nodes) to represent the totality of our continuing support for our clients, combined with lines to demonstrate our ability to adapt to the ever-changing world.

Photography.

Photography helps to show who we are and allows our clients to get to know us – it's a way to connect with our clients on a deeper level and create affinity that goes beyond our brand. By overlaying photography with our Linn Black, we express how integral and interconnected our services are.

Linnworks photography style

What does it mean for me as a client or partner of Linnworks?

Aside from much more engaging visuals and (hopefully) a better understanding of our brand, you will likely see very little change. We are still Linnworks, We are still focused on your growth and success and we will continue to empower you to embrace the new era of Total Commerce. There will be a fresh new look and feel of the platform UI in the coming months, and as always more exciting and valuable features and functions that can help you sell better.

I hope the above information has been insightful and has given you a behind the scenes look at our process to refresh and revitalize the Linnworks brand. At our core, our basic principles and mission remains clear. Help brands sell better, empower brands to embrace the new effortless economy and conduct total commerce and support our clients & partners growth ambitions. All with a smile on our face and the passion that makes us unique.  

It has been an amazingly challenging, but extremely fun process and I hope you like the final look and feel of the refreshed Linnworks.  If you have any questions or feedback, I would love for you to contact me directly at ian.macleod@linnworks.com.

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