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Free as a bird – The Testbirds rebrand story

Back

Free as a bird – The Testbirds rebrand story

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Fredrik Forss
| Linkedin
| International Marketing & PR Manager

“There is freedom waiting for you, On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask, ‘What if I fall?’ – Oh, but my darling, “What if you fly?”

– Erin Hanson

It’s the biggest project our marketing team has tackled so far. But finally, on the 14th of October 2021, we officially launched our rebranded look and feel.

This is our story of why we did it and the effort it took to make our brand soar.

So, why rebrand?

Outgrowing the nest

In short, we had changed. Our previous look had served us well for many years, but we knew it was time for something new.

What we wanted was a logo and a look & feel that reflects our modern, state-of-the-art business. That shows everyone exactly who we are now but will still be relevant as we continue to grow and evolve.

As one of our graphic designers, Stephanie, noted “Our look was not fitting and contemporary anymore. Testbirds has grown in the past years and keeps growing. It needed an adjusted appearance.”

Eli, our Data Analyst, expanded on the change. That it was also to “…improve on the perception of our brand, especially regarding creating the right associations in the potential customers’ conceptual framework. The new look is fresh and more modern and makes us visually stand out alongside our competitors.”

The past years have seen Testbirds attract a wide range of increasingly diverse and larger clients. Our success, our experience, our maturity needed to be reflected in the market.

My own feeling is that the new design is intended to be in line with the general structure of the company, to reinforce the growth of Testbirds, and to reflect the professionalism that Testbirds demonstrates in its customer projects. It should radiate quality, modernity, and future viability.

Taking the leap

But, of course, we had to start somewhere.

This meant taking a long look at ourselves. At our history. At what we want to be and where we want to go.

Stephanie summed it up nicely.

“… we want to be and should be a role model for our customers. While also living by the motto ‘Practice what you preach.’”

If, for example, we’re talking to you about creating a great user experience, we need to make sure that you have one every time you visit our webpage, use our services, and deal with us. To talk the talk and walk the walk.

It was also – no surprise – essential to focus on business needs. As Fred, International Marketing and PR Manager, pointed out, the new look and feel should portray “a stronger brand, both in representation and awareness. A more modern and competitive look to challenge our competitors.”

Our Digital Marketing Manager, Volker followed that up with our desire to “become the leader in crowdtesting and have a modern, state-of-the-art website and digital marketing channels that achieve better conversion rates and hence more clients.”

Ultimately, as Tobi, Head of Marketing & Communications said, our new look should show how we’re a “sympathetic brand that provides a fun experience” and that the rebrand should “create more awareness, improve our image, build our brand, and support demand/lead generation.”

With all of this in mind, the next steps began to take shape.

Old Testbirds logo

Old logo

First up came the gathering of improvement ideas. While led by our marketing and design teams, the call went out to everyone at Testbirds.

As the ideas came flooding in, we turned our attention to several other areas.

New logo Testbirds

New logo

The logo and look & feel were a top priority. As was developing the overall user experience concept. This was kicked off by our graphic designer, Stephanie, and her colleagues. “We did research about our users and clients, also about our competitors, had a critical look at what we have now and decided to keep the good parts and add new design parts. From then, we worked on the website structure and user flow, as well as the logo, character illustrations, colors, fonts, and the overall UX design for the website.”

So, pretty much everything.

But it all clicked. As Volker recalls, “…pretty much the first sketches hit the nail on the head.”

Fred was also enthusiastic from the start, “The first times I saw the new web designs and illustrations I was so excited, I easily found myself smiling.” Eli shared the enthusiasm, “When I saw the new material, I got personally happy with the changes proposed. Especially regarding our logo, color schemes, and the illustrations.”

This then led to ‘how’ the new graphics would be used across multiple forms of collateral – from brochures to trade-show booths.

Alongside this, numerous discussions were held about content. Should our tone of voice stay the same? Where does content need restructuring? What new material had to be created?

Over time, everything began to take shape.

The challenges, however, were adding up.

Fly like an eagle

Nothing, however, stopped our enthusiasm.

Even though, as Volker put it, “Corona took its toll.”

We certainly knew it was time to rebrand. What we didn’t know was how much, and for how long, the coronavirus pandemic would impact our day-to-day work.

Ultimately, I look back and see that the complete relaunch was mainly done from the home office. Working remotely, as Volker has said, certainly resulted in extended timelines, “When you don’t sit in the same room and cannot really get into a team flow, things take longer than planned.”

This was made more complicated as the team changed, and multiple decisions constantly had to be made.

“It has definitely brought some challenges and difficult moments at certain times”, said Fred

It’ll come as no surprise, but it was the graphics that caused the biggest challenges.

Illustrated characters in working environment

One of our many new illustrations

As Tobi recalls, “We underestimated what it means to create new character illustrations. There are so many things you need to consider, including diversity, which has been a big topic and still is. We checked all illustrations with an external agency (DisCheck), so that everything is covered, and hopefully nobody would feel discriminated against in any way. Also creating a new logo included external tests through our crowd and an external market research agency. Then there were the always ongoing discussions about changing and defining a new color palette!”

Color palette comparison

Old vs. new color palette

“I completely agree,” Fred adds, “We had to make many difficult choices of which old design elements to keep and which to get rid of, as they have been around a while, and some have held special roles in our branding during that time. We also had many long discussions and testing to determine the best logo concept and subsequently the best version of that logo concept. Let’s not even talk about the technical difficulties with how programs handled our new font and working out those kinks.”

Of course, for the graphics team, the challenges were a bit different. “One of our greatest challenges,” said Stephanie, “was the need to get rid of the old boundaries (design-wise) and start to think freely and find the new look and feel. In the end, it worked out great, but like in any process things take longer as expected and surprises appeared.”

Whether through lockdowns, changing designs, or technical difficulties the team’s dedication and passion over several months of development finally saw our rebrand take flight.

The perfect landing

 “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Walt Whitman

Reflecting on the entire process, it’s clear that everyone felt we accomplished exactly what we wanted. If not more.

As Eli said, “The new design looks stunning, and our new server and overall technical backend will add extra support to our marketing efforts.”

Personally, I couldn’t wait for this change to happen. It is the biggest step regarding the corporate brand and identity that Testbirds has gone through and a very important step for the future of Testbirds.

For Tobi, the results were impressive. “We can be proud of what we have achieved, especially when you consider all of the challenges! We were able to launch a new logo, new colors, and new illustrations. This is even more than we could have expected at the beginning of the process.”

In the end, it all came down to the team.

Tobi continued, “It’s been a real team effort where everybody was involved in most of the important steps. I think this was a great opportunity for the whole team to grow and learn new things. We have so many skills in the team, and that really helped us to get it done.”

We also couldn’t have done it without the great support from Testbirds staff from other departments who provided their know-how on various topics and made suggestions for the web design.

“I’m very proud of what we accomplished in this project,” said Fred. “We’ve achieved a special look and feel that is a delight to experience. We now have a new brand that truly reflects the Testbirds identity and is something that we can all be proud of being part of. The project has brought out the strengths in our team, both individual and collective strengths. Additionally, I think we’ve all enjoyed it as a whole (even with some frustrating parts), thanks to the team culture and level of collaboration we maintain. It goes to show what you can achieve with a coherent team that has trust in itself and the processes it carries out.”

Every rebrand forces a company to take a close look at itself. To consider their path. To make them consider what they want their company to be and where they want it to go.

At Testbirds we knew it was time to change.

To shake things up and take our business to the next level. To truly take off.

Perhaps it was a crazy thing to do. The effort involved. The timing. The stress.

Sometimes though, it’s exactly what you need to do. You can’t change the world if you only sit still.

For us, what we do is more than just helping our clients develop better products, it’s about building a better digital world – together.

It’s why our team worked so hard for so long.

And achieved so much.

So, here’s to the Testbirds crew, the freelancers who helped, and our crowd of testers across the planet. You all made it possible.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ― Rob Siltanen

But don’t just take our word for it – explore the website and our new brand! If you have feedback, we’d love to hear it! Send us a message at marketingfeedback@testbirds.com.



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