How a new identity became an unexpected unifying force for creator-guided commerce high-flier LTK
In 2011, Amber Venz Box painted the original rewardStyle logo in her Dallas apartment, which served as the company’s first HQ.
The company added a consumer product, the LIKEtoKNOW.it app, three years later. As rewardStyle grew, having different names for its consumer and business brands caused confusion for both sets of customers.
The company set out on a major effort to rebrand itself and standardize on a single look and feel. They decided that the new name LTK preserved the equity of their flagship product while ushering in a new era.
LTK’s office still has the old name and branding in many places. That’s because they didn’t try to do everything all at once. Instead, the company took an incremental approach, unveiling the new name and updating its products first.
The new name has united the company and helped clarify its course for the future. “It really was the best decision we’ve made,” says Venz Box.
Lessons from LTK’s rebrand
Do your homework. Asking a few people around you what they think isn’t the same as research that positions the brand in the company’s larger strategy. “I can’t reinforce enough that you need to always make sure you do your due diligence with research,” says Maggie Collins, LTK’s creative director.
Involve internal and external stakeholders early in the process. Bring your most important customers along and get their buy-in. “I’d reach out to my most loyal folks,” says Americus Reed, a professor at the Wharton School, “and share with them that hey, our name is changing, but who we are and our core values are not.”
Speed counts. “Once you’ve made your decision, move quickly,” Amber Venz Box says. The rebrand will become like a second job for so many members of an organization, on top of their usual crush of duties. “The tighter that you can make that turn from decision to action, ultimately the less painful to an organization,” she adds.
Incremental is all right. “You need to bring reality to the scenario,” Gabrielle Muse, founder of branding firm Studio Mococo, says. And that “means identifying high-value priorities.” As LTK decided, changing the signage at headquarters was not one of them. Start by making the external changes that count most.
Spread the story. You’ll never reach everyone before the rebrand, but you can after. LTK distributed videos explaining its changes to customers and partners. “We felt that gave people access to us as if we were just talking and answering the questions people would naturally have,” Venz Box says.