Our new brand identity aims to inspire the same vibrant moments your customers experience when you’re texting with them.
If you’ve been here before, you may have noticed that we’ve got a brand new look. Over the last few months, we’ve been working on an updated brand identity to help take us into the next phase of delivering incredible, personalized experiences through text messaging. I sat down with Brooke Burdge, SVP of Marketing, and Max Valiquette, Director of Brand Design—to discuss what inspired the rebrand, and what’s next.
Let’s start out with a seemingly simple question that’s actually not so simple. How do you define a brand?
Burdge: A brand is much more than a name, a logo, or a color palette (although those are all very important ways that a brand comes to life). A brand is every interaction someone has with a company. When people say they love a brand, they’re not speaking about a tangible thing—they’re reflecting on the impression they have from all of their experiences with the business.
Valiquette: One of my favorite quotes is from the founder of COLLINS: “A brand is a promise performed consistently over time.” A strong brand represents your product and what you have to say in a unified way that resonates emotionally with your audience.
Brooke, as the marketer who was part of the founding team, you’ve helped build the Attentive brand from the ground up. What’s been your North Star throughout that time?
Burdge: From the beginning, our focus as a company has been on our customers. Our brand name, Attentive, was intentionally selected to represent our core goal: to be attentive to our customers’ needs, while delivering thoughtful, engaging experiences to their customers through personalized messaging.
Brand needs to be a partnership between marketing and design. I worked hand in hand from the very beginning with Elyssa Albert, VP of Design and our first designer at Attentive. She encouraged us last year to take a new look at our brand as we've scaled, and has made sure to unite our identity across the product and externally.
Rebranding presented us with an opportunity to put our customers’ stories and the positive impact our technology has on their businesses more at the forefront of our brand. We exist to empower our customers’ growth. We want to make it easier for you to find the information you need, get inspired (for example, check out our new gallery of SMS campaigns, Texts We Love), and stay connected in a quickly evolving space.
Why redesign now?
Burdge: We’ve grown very rapidly as a business, and felt it was time for our brand to visually catch up to where we are today. In full transparency, I designed our old logo in probably an hour with my limited Adobe Illustrator skills, back in 2017. It’s served us well until now. But it was time for a more considered approach.
Valiquette: I always think that a rebrand should be tied to a catalyst. The extreme growth and challenges we’ve all faced in the past year brought us to an inflection point. After socializing the idea, we completed an in-depth brand audit to take an objective look at what was working and what wasn’t. Things like the legibility and flexibility of our logo, as well as the need for more unique illustrations and approaches to imagery, helped influence the decision to rebrand.
What story do you want to tell with the new Attentive brand?
Burdge: We’re here to help the 3,000+ brands we work with scale their businesses. With our rebrand, we’re shifting the spotlight toward our customers and their growth stories. We also wanted to take this opportunity to better share how the breadth of our product capabilities help drive that growth.
We want our customers to feel excited, optimistic, and empowered—and know that we’re always here to help. Our bright colors and writing style are intended to help convey that spirit. Ultimately—even in B2B—you’re still communicating with a human, not with a business. I want people to feel like their interactions with the Attentive brand are fun, motivating, and helpful.
Valiquette: The story behind our rebrand is where we started—conversations. Conversations are the simple form of what we empower our customers to do. A great conversation can be a remarkable journey.
Our customers are world-class marketers. We want to keep that at the forefront and hold ourselves to that same standard. But enterprise software doesn’t have to be stuffy. People should have moments of delight when they interact with Attentive.
What was the rebranding process like? What were your goals and priorities? Did they shift at any point?
Valiquette: I had a great partner in Elyssa Albert, and we knew we had the internal team in place to spearhead the rebrand, but we didn’t want to forfeit the other important work those teams were doing. We also knew early on that bringing in a partner would be important. Collaboration was essential to that partnership, and we found that in our friends over at High Tide.
Burdge: Getting external inputs was really important. When you eat, sleep, and breathe a company every day, it can be hard to step outside of that thought process. Hearing external perspectives—from our agency, our customers, and other marketers and designers—helped us confirm that we were moving in the right direction.
Valiquette: We had an idea of where we wanted to go, and there were certain things that felt essential to prove or disprove.
Were there any moments where you were proven or disproven that stood out to you?
Burdge: I was originally very committed to keeping a yellow logo. I love that your eye picks up on yellow quickly and that it’s recognizable and cheerful. But I was disproven about how we could keep the yellow. It’s still a prominent part of our identity, but we’re using it in a way that’s more adaptable.
Valiquette: We didn’t want to lose some of the core elements of our prior brand identity as we evolved. Our new logo still has the attention to detail, communicated through the crosses of the t’s and dot of the i. Yellow is still our most recognizable brand color, just in a new form. We kept those nods to the past because they’re a strong identity for us to continue to build on.
What did you learn from running this process remotely? What tools did the team rely on?
Burdge: I still haven't met Max in person, which feels unbelievable to me since we work together so closely. Our team has a dedicated Slack channel focused on the rebrand and sharing ideas. Both the Marketing and Brand Design teams have done a great job of sharing things that inspire them, not just focusing on the to-do list.
Valiquette: Our biggest priority, given the challenges of being remote, was fostering collaboration—that free flow of creative thought that happens when you’re sitting in a room and putting stuff up on a whiteboard.
Initially, Miro helped us collaborate on our mood board. As we kicked off the rebrand process, Figma was definitely the tool that stood out to us as the most collaborative. We have some pretty overwhelming rebrand documents. The brand mark alone probably had 200-300 variations, so there were thousands and thousands of scribbles. I don’t know how we would’ve been able to do that remotely without Figma.
Burdge: We also decided to re-platform our site to Webflow, which gives us more direct, creative control for any evolutions that come with being a fast-moving company. It’s intuitive, so after a few training sessions over Zoom we were all able to adapt to it.
Let’s zoom out for a second and talk about storytelling. Julie Zhuo, the former VP of Design at Facebook, recently said, “I think about marketing as telling the story of what you’re doing and why it might be valuable for someone. I think both [marketing and design] influence the other because, at the end of the day, the constituent is that you’re thinking about the customer.”
What are the powers of both marketing and design, and how do they work together to tell a compelling brand story?
Burdge: Thinking about our brand voice more—not just what we’re saying, but how we’re saying it—is an important part of our strategy as we grow. Our brand voice attributes carry over into our visual identity to tell a complete story.
Valiquette: You could look at it as if we’re both in an orchestra—we just play different instruments. When we write as marketers, we need to adhere to our brand voice. That extends to the visuals as well. The visuals shouldn’t be speaking a different language than the copy is, whatever the conversation is. It all needs to blend well together.
What’s next? What can we expect to see from Attentive in 2021?
Burdge: Our brand will continue to evolve and you’ll see elements of it play out across every single touchpoint, including event experiences, social media, and our own text channel.
Valiquette: When you launch a rebrand, it’s not the end of the process. Our brand will continue to grow over time.
Now that you’ve gotten the inside scoop on the rebrand, explore our new website. We love celebrating our customers’ successes and hearing their stories. We hope you do, too.