Five minutes with Glenn Manoff
Trustpilot, the online platform that publishes reviews for online businesses, has undergone a brand makeover to celebrate its 11th year of establishment. Glenn Manoff, senior vice president of brand and communications at Trustpilot, talks about the rebrand, its challenges and the world of communications.
What made you choose to rebrand now? What was lacking before?
I think there are two things:; one was there came a natural point where we’re reaching the end of our first decade. The second was that we’re no longer a startup. We’re hoping we’ll be the next unicorn, a billion-dollar kind of company, but we hadn’t loved the brand enough. Because of that, it had started to become a little cluttered. I also think that the core assets of the brand, the colours, the logo, the name, the way we write our name, the story, the way we talk about our mission and purpose, needed to reflect the world the way it is in 2018.
What was the role of internal and external communications in the rebrand?
We spent three or four months just talking to our own people in detail, interviewing almost half the company in one way, shape or form, in groups. We then did a lot of research on what is happening in the world and what has changed. What we started to realise is that it is now a different era, where openness becomes even more important.
Openness, transparency and collaboration became really important concepts that came out of conversations with our people. We then did something at the end of the process; we spent quite a lot of money to bring everybody together and reset with really well thought through, really choreographed events, where everyone got to discuss how they feel and really say, ‘This is a moment where we draw an end to decade one, beginning of decade two.’
What was the biggest challenge you faced when rebranding?
I think the biggest challenge is that we’re not Facebook, we’re not that scale, but we do have 2.2bn page impressions of brand every month on other people’s websites and marketing assets. We had the change of brand that they had already adopted into their world and that was being seen on that scale. It’s quite easy to tear down the old sign in your office and redo your website, but it wasn’t in our control to do this simultaneously across all of our customer base and all of the assets they use. It was an engagement problem but also a technical problem
Apart from the rebrand, what challenges do you face as a head of communications on a day to day basis?
From an internal perspective, we’re a company of 700 people, but we’re in seven cities and we want to keep the spirit and the ethos of the brand and the company communications. We want to build something where people share the same understanding for some sense of purpose, the same knowledge of the company, of the brand, the products, which is challenging when we’re in a lot of places and a lot of people and we don’t have the kind of resources to do that. It is a challenge. I think externally, the issue of trust in the internet, trust in the digital world, trust in each other, trust in institutions, trust in government. This is the defining issue of the times that we live in and it’s really complicated.
How did you decide on the roll-out strategy?
The crucial thing for us was to not lose the power that our name and star rating system already had, and to not lose customers. And there was a third one, which was that because our brand has to get into other people’s brands, putting our assets onto their website or onto their advertising, from a creative point of view, it couldn’t look wrong. It couldn’t shout louder than their own message. It couldn’t be in colours that are jarring.
We were not building our brand, we were building our brand to live in harmony with everyone else’s brand. For the roll-out strategy we had interviews upon interviews with consumers and with businesses that use the brand. The roll-out strategy required us iterating and listening to consumers and customers every single step of the way.
In a few words, what do you want people to take away from the new brand?
I want people, consumers, to take away that this is a place that is open and transparent, where they can make their voice heard and be influential. Also, that they can hear other people’s voices. More people consume reviews than write them; the same with lots of content on the internet. You get more consumers than creators, but I want them to take away that it’s a trusted space, that what you read is authentic and real; it’s not manipulated and it’s uncensored.
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