Redefining an iconic social media brand
Hootsuite is the leading social media management provider with millions of users around the globe. As the world’s first social media management platform, it has been on the pulse and at the forefront of how people use social media for over a decade. However, since the company was founded, the industry Hootsuite pioneered has expanded and evolved—becoming crowded, noisy and diluted. As social media matured and became an environment of instant feedback, hot takes and influencer culture, conversations around mental health challenges inherent in the space began to bubble up.
Catalyzed by organic growth and key acquisitions of companies like Heyday and SparkCentral, Hootsuite needed to reassert its category leadership while expanding its frame of reference to include growing capabilities around social marketing, commerce and care. It also needed a way to show how it intends to mitigate the negativity and challenges of the channel—using its position as a leader to show a better way forward. As a result, Hootsuite partnered with Prophet to create a refreshed brand strategy and identity.
We started with a robust evaluation of the competitive set, conducting methodical audits in tandem with stakeholder and customer interviews to understand what made Hootsuite’s products and people unique.
Inspired by Hootsuite’s expanding capabilities and its values-driven, positive organizational culture, we identified an opportunity to elevate the entire category of social, dismantling the tradeoff between using social for-profit and social for positivity. We crystallized the strategy by articulating a new purpose: “We believe in the power of social to uplift people and ignite brands and business.”
We designed a refreshed take that would break Hootsuite free from the sea of sameness, both in the way the brand looks and speaks. Hootsuite is a brand that seeks to uplift, amplify and delight, and its longtime icon, Owly, needed to play a critical role in the evolution of the brand. We worked with the team to appoint Owly as Hootsuite’s new chief connection officer, the anthropomorphism of the brand’s tone and tenor.
For the verbal identity, we knew we needed to express the next generation of social maturity in a unique way—by demonstrating Hootsuite’s expertise, not just claiming it. To help Hootsuite stand out in a sea of simple, conversational voices, we leaned into its warmth and personality, largely via Owly, helping its new voice shine with a playful, mischievous edge and a touch of Canadian colloquialism to signal its roots as a Vancouver-based company.
Visually, we designed an Owly glow-up, expanding Owly’s appearance—optimized for the logo mark—to a full body with poses. For the first time, Owly could emote, react and empathize, emulating the feelings of both Hootsuite and its customers. We paired Owly’s playful, flat illustration with a funky wordmark (based on “Adieu” by Good Type Foundry) and a daring, nature-inspired color palette. We specifically crafted these core elements to feel human, tactile and warm to buck the glossy, pastel artifice common across the industry. However, this is a modern, visionary brand, so we balanced this friendliness with a sharp, dynamic design system.
Emphasizing rhythm, momentum and transformation, the new system reflects the energy of the social landscape and the positive impact Hootsuite has on organizations, consumers and society.
Finally, equipped with the new strategy, visual and verbal identity, we partnered with the Hootsuite team to create value propositions for their emerging capabilities around social commerce and care, bringing the brand’s DNA into cutting-edge new offerings to resonate with existing and new buyers alike.
Hootsuite’s new brand launched to much excitement. Adweek explored the rebrand with a full feature article, while other outlets around the globe from Mexico to Spain and the UK to Australia covered the transformation resulting in millions of brand impressions to date. Hootsuite’s employees are enthusiastically embracing the brand’s new identity, posting on social with a passion that burns bright as they disrupt the industry all over again.
Within 60 days of the brand relaunch, 36 pieces of global earned media coverage have resulted in a total reach of over 10 million unique monthly views. In the same period, the brand’s launch campaign reached 19M unique users, generated awareness with over 1.7M prospects (brand lift), influenced 528 conversations and delivered over 94M impressions.
This award-winning work was recognized by Fast Company in its 2023 Innovation by Design Awards in the Best Branding and Enduring Impact categories and as a Silver winner in the 2022 North America Transform Awards for “Best use of copy style or tone of voice” and “Best brand evolution (business).”
unique monthly views within 60 days of brand relaunch
prospects (brand lift) within 60 days of brand relaunch
impressions within 60 days of brand relaunch
“When we started our rebrand process, we knew we needed a partner that fully understood our objective for this new brand identity–Prophet was able to deliver a strategy that was robust, creative and aligned with our business goals and guiding principles.”
Chief Marketing Officer