Womply just got a makeover, and we’re excited to tell you all about it.
Today we unveiled a new logo, color scheme, and visual brand identity system that we’ve been working on since late 2019. We’ve also completely redesigned our corporate website, Womply.com. We’re thrilled about these big changes, and we’ll walk through the whole thought process in this post.
Spoiler alert: Our new brand is more than a visual upgrade. It reflects the evolution of Womply and local commerce. As you’ll see, the new Womply brand gives a wink to the past while keeping both eyes on the future.
Background on the Womply brand
First, let’s take a short trip down Memory Lane to put the new Womply brand into perspective. Womply was founded in 2011 by Toby Scammell. Back then, Womply was focused on connecting consumers with local businesses via card-loaded deals. That’s our business’s origin story — but what about the very distinctive name?
If you’re like most people, when you first heard of our company you probably asked yourself, “What’s a Womply?” The company’s name has been a source of intrigue for a long time! Turns out, “Womply” was the name of Toby’s boyhood pet wombat (he grew up in Australia). Accordingly, the cuddly creature became the company’s namesake and de facto mascot.
Womply’s first logo
In homage to wombats everywhere (OK, they’re only found Down Under), Womply’s first logo prominently featured a cartoon-y wombat head in the wordmark. Take a look:
The wombat head that doubles as the “o” in Womply was also pulled out as a standalone icon, used in social media and similar applications.
The logo’s playful look and feel reflected the company’s easygoing personality and ethos of not taking ourselves too seriously. It also created a conversation point by putting the wombat — an unfamiliar and un-indiginous critter in the U.S. — out in front.
The shift to B2B software
Around 2014, Womply’s strategy shifted from B2C to B2B software. Back then, Womply was focused primarily on unlocking data insights and analytics to small businesses who have historically been flying blind and relying on intuition to run their operations.
During this period in the company’s history, Womply also instituted a major focus on partnerships. In fact, many small businesses who started using Womply’s software solutions during this phase likely did so in connection with their merchant services provider, payment processor, or similar company that partnered with Womply.
Because of this evolved strategy, and the focus on co-branding, Womply’s brand took on a more simplistic and subdued look and feel. The primary logo shifted from the whimsical one with the embedded wombat graphic to a simple, sans-serif wordmark.
This logo served Womply during a period of tremendous growth, as hundreds of thousands of small businesses across the country started using the company’s software and data solutions. Womply expanded its product offerings and started offering these expanded solutions through more channels, including direct sales and self-service.
Around this time, we revised Womply’s mission statement to “helping small businesses thrive in a digital world.” This mission reflects the impact that changes in technology and consumer behavior have had on America’s vital local businesses in recent years, and Womply’s central role in helping these businesses make the leap.
In keeping with the new mission statement, Womply’s look and feel took on a more abstract and digital styling. Despite these changes, we didn’t want to completely abandon the company’s founding story, most notably the connection to the wombat as our mascot. So, we designed a standalone wombat icon, with sharper edges and more vibrant blue hues, to signify the digital-era transformation of all small businesses, including Womply.
As the concept of “local” continued to evolve for small businesses everywhere, Womply continued to roll out new products and solutions designed to make the offline-online integration smoother for busy business owners.
Over time, this led Womply to launch a bunch of vital new solutions, including the first pre-populated customer relationship management (CRM) system for small businesses, and an API platform to help software developers use Womply’s data to build or enhance their software.
In with the new
By the middle of 2019, we knew that Womply’s business had outgrown its visual brand. Womply was serving more businesses with more products via more channels. Womply had evolved from a software company to a platform. It was time for a brand refresh.
We started having strategic conversations about how to approach our brand more holistically and professionally. We considered everything — including the possibility of changing our company name! — and ultimately decided that two things would not change:
- We would retain the Womply name because it’s distinctive and has intrinsic value to our company, customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
- Our mission would not change. We’re still in the business of helping small businesses thrive in a digital world.
For the first time in Womply’s history, we enlisted the help of an outside brand agency. We interviewed half a dozen brand agencies and decided to work with Frank Collective, a creative agency based in Los Angeles and New York City that specializes in brand identity projects.
Over the ensuing months, a stakeholder group at Womply worked with Frank Collective to determine exactly how to express the company’s mission and vision in art and style. We started with a deep strategic exercise, then moved on to creative development. We’re thrilled with the results.
A big vision for small business
At the time of the brand refresh project, about 500,000 American small businesses — think restaurants, boutique shops, hair salons, and auto shops — used Womply’s data and technology solutions. Our goal is to serve millions of these businesses, which are the backbone of American commerce and culture.
Accordingly, we fixated our brand strategy on the notion of “reimagining Main Street.” There’s tremendous power in the classic imagery of Main Street storefronts. For many entrepreneurs, it’s synonymous with the American dream and the strength of local communities.
Despite the challenges that come with change, American mom and pop shops have been the foundation of our communities for generations. These businesses are more responsible for American dominance as an economic and cultural force than the largest companies in the world. Their humble and unassuming style belies their massive impact on the American success story.
The essence of Main Street is very much alive even as technological upheaval sparks wrenching changes in consumer behavior. Today, word of mouth has been replaced by online reviews on third-party websites, digital marketing has supplanted newspaper coupons, and email marketing has swallowed up traditional loyalty programs.
We wanted to capture all that in our new brand — the nostalgia of the historical Main Street, along with the exciting promise of a future that blends online and offline experiences in local markets.
Here’s what we came up with.
Reimagining Main Street
First, the logo. We wanted a more distinctive look than our nondescript text-only wordmark. One of the most iconic emblems of small business is the storefront awning. The design pros at Frank Collective found an elegant way to blend the Womply “W” into an awning shape. We rolled this image into our primary logo and peeled it off as a standalone icon, as well.
You’ll notice that we made a serious departure from the classic blue palette. Cool blue hues are the default for B2B software companies, and we wanted to stand out. In addition, we wanted our visual brand to say “Americana” without being corny. So, we developed a color scheme anchored in warm tones.
In addition to the awning icon, we wanted to invoke other classic Main Street images with a modern twist. Enter “badges.”
These design elements hearken back to the days when mom-and-pop business storefronts used signage, window paintings, custom packaging and receipts, and other ephemera to attract new customers and market to their loyal patrons. You’ll see these elements pop up throughout our redesigned websites, in our slide decks, in our online ads, and more.
Lastly, we moved away from the abstract illustrations that characterized Womply’s brand for years and replaced them with a candid photography style. We wanted to show small business owners and operators in their everyday environment — behind the counter, in the service bay, and serving customers in countless other settings.
We’re excited that our visual brand now more fully reflects our mission and vision. Special thanks to everyone at Womply and Frank Collective who had a part in this process, and to the millions of American businesses who serve as our inspiration every day.