Reimagining email signatures: Exclaimer’s rebrand journey
By Carol Howley, CMO of Exclaimer
The key to survival for any tech company is to stay relevant and adaptable. Both in terms of the goods or services you are offering, and how you’re presenting yourself with your branding. Another key to survival is admitting when something isn’t right, and changing it. For Exclaimer, an email signature management platform that enables customers to centrally manage their email signatures, this meant embarking on a transformative journey to connect with a broader audience.
In the last few years, the way we interact and communicate has changed. Email, once seen as a standard form of communication, has now become a dynamic platform for professional and personal interactions. Every email is about connecting people. It’s about growing a business, and talking to employees and customers and strengthening the relationships and increasing engagement. Your email is a hugely important tool to communicate effectively and having an on-brand signature that provides an opportunity to showcase relevant and timely information is an untapped opportunity for many companies.
As a company, we saw an opportunity to expand our target audience beyond IT professionals because we saw that the people who really use and see value in email signature management software are marketing, customer success and sales teams.
Our existing brand was not going to support this audience shift – it was very formal and functional and we want to encourage businesses to think differently about email signatures. In a time where virtual connections hold immense significance, the email signature represents a valuable touchpoint with clients, partners, and prospects alike. Embracing this reimagined approach allows businesses to make a lasting impression and reinforce their brand identity through every email exchange, fostering stronger relationships and driving engagement in the modern era of communication.
Rebranding at a time of economic uncertainty
A rebranding exercise at a time of economic uncertainty carries a certain level of risk. However, we knew that the opportunity presented by customers outside of our traditional IT focused audience was too big to ignore. Our vision was clear – to position Exclaimer as a fresh brand in modern marketing technology that helps businesses amplify their emails and use email signatures as a powerful relationship marketing asset. While purse strings are tight across the board, we believed this was an essential long-term investment to ensure we could cater to the right audiences.
How did we begin?
To kickstart the rebranding process, we collaborated with Koto Studio, a creative agency renowned for its exceptional branding expertise. Immersion sessions with key stakeholders were conducted to understand the brand challenge fully and a project sponsor and brand team were appointed to ensure active involvement and buy-in from all departments. Customers, prospects, senior leadership, and employees all contributed their insights, ensuring that the rebranding efforts genuinely reflected the collective essence of the company. Everyone had the chance to share their views and aspirations and as a result, we were able to create a brand identity that truly represents the whole company.
Throughout the process, we focused on our two distinct target audiences. We then got to work developing branding that would help strengthen our positioning as a trusted and reliable email processing platform for our IT audience while simultaneously emphasizing the value of email signatures for our marketing audience. All bearing in mind the need for scalability to include sales, customer success, and HR teams in the future.
The thinking behind the brand
The new brand position revolves around reimagining and amplifying the traditional ‘email signature’ and email communication. The world has changed, the way we communicate has changed, the way we use email has changed. We therefore want businesses to think about email signatures differently – and to realize their untapped potential.
Exclaimer’s goal is to elevate email signatures to not only be seen as ‘powerful tools’ – but a marketing channel in its own right. The focus is on maintaining a clear and easy-to-understand tone, providing customers and prospects with a consistent experience across every interaction and touchpoint.
From a visual perspective, we drew inspiration from the concept of amplification, our logo and visual elements are centered on clear movement and gentle flow. Our design process involved extensive research into nature, particularly the patterns of ripples in water, and even delved into the physics of sound waves. Incorporating the ripple effect allowed us to vividly visualize the notion of amplification, which seamlessly threads through every aspect of our brand identity. From the fresh strategic positioning to the logo, illustration suite, and even the most minute brand touchpoints, the ripple motif unifies our entire brand vision.
Reflections and future improvements
In a competitive software space, making sure we stand out was a significant challenge. We had to create a distinctive brand identity that appealed to both IT and marketing professionals. The challenge we faced was to break free from this sea of sameness and establish a distinct and memorable presence. Capturing the attention of a marketing-savvy audience posed an additional obstacle, as these individuals possess a keen understanding of the significance of effective branding in their personal and professional lives.
Our rebranding journey has provided our team with a wealth of invaluable insights that we can readily apply to future significant projects and product launches. One crucial lesson learned was the importance of engaging all stakeholders across the business and involving nominated team members from the outset. Their diverse perspectives and expertise proved instrumental in shaping a well-rounded and successful rebranding strategy.
Additionally, we recognised the significance of timing, realizing that rolling out the new branding earlier in the financial year grants stakeholders ample time to familiarize themselves with the changes before going public. To facilitate a seamless and efficient roll-out process, we made it a priority to appoint a dedicated sponsor and project manager early on, ensuring effective coordination and swift execution throughout the entire rebranding endeavor. These learnings have equipped us with the tools and knowledge to approach future projects with heightened effectiveness and a well-prepared mindset.