​GoDaddy: A logo is the manifestation of a brand

GoDaddy has kicked off 2020 with a new logo and a rebrand inside and out to reflect customer-centricity

GoDaddy has kicked off 2020 with a new logo and a rebrand.

While a logo may seem like a straightforward aspect of a brand, GoDaddy's CMO, Fara Howard, told CMO a logo is the manifestation of a brand and must be undertaken with care and consumer research before any decisions are made.

The new logo aims to capture the company's ability to enable, connect and champion millions of people around the world who are making their own way as entrepreneurs. Called the 'GO' it is a reflection of how GoDaddy celebrates everyday entrepreneurs from all walks of life, backgrounds and cultures, and how GoDaddy brings together humanity and technology.

"The GoDaddy brand stands for inclusive entrepreneurship and helping anyone who wants to change how they work and live for the better by bringing their ideas to life online," Howard told CMO.

"Regardless of where an entrepreneur is at in their journey, from taking the first step online to shipping a first order to conducting a new marketing campaign, GoDaddy is here to guide them along the way with advice, support and all of the tools necessary to succeed."

With 19 million customers worldwide, GoDaddy enables news businesses to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers, and manage their work. GoDaddy has more than 6000 GoDaddy Guides around the world who have nearly 2 million conversations every month with customers. GoDaddy's guidance aims to empower its customers throughout their journey to name, create, grow and manage their ventures.

It recently introduced 'Websites + Marketing', pairing a website builder with a suite of marketing tools for small businesses, and the launch of a platform-wide update to its GoDaddy WordPress hosting offering that makes it easier than ever to create customisable sites with increased flexibility.

Prior to the rebrand, GoDaddy has been actively shifting its marketing and marketing communications to ensure everything it does celebrates and focuses on its customers. It undertook research over a year ago of around 10,000 customers and non-customers about how it could better communicate its three key ‘territories’: Humanity, joy, and entrepreneurial spirit. These are directly aligned to the comapny's strategy.

“We've been spending a lot of time putting our customer at the centre of everything that we do. And as we've started to shift both the tone and approach in how we communicate with our customers, we are making sure that they're playing a key role in our communication,” Howard explained.

“We spent a lot of time thinking about the importance of a logo as we wanted to make certain our logo represents each of our three strategic territories around humanity, joy, and entrepreneurial spirit.

“We learned through that research there was absolutely an opportunity to introduce a new logo in a way that could better communicate to those three territories. We started to evaluate the equity that existed in our current logo so we were clear on what we would be walking away from what we would be walking towards."

GoDaddy engaged external creative agency, Koto, to work with its in-house agency. But as Howard put it, a logo is only as powerful as all the stories a brand tells it with. What's more, given the current logo had been in market for 22 years, it was not a simple decision to change it.

Bringing it back to humanity, joy, and entrepreneurial spirit had to work both internally and externally, Howard said.

“We needed to communicate we are a technology company with humanity. We've got 6000 GoDaddy guides around the world who are ready to customers about solving their problems, and the guidance that GoDaddy brings to our customers around the world is a strategic differentiator for us. So we needed our logo to embody the joy of fulfilment,” she said.

“It's really around the joy we know our customers experience when they're able to do what they're supposed to do in the world, what they want to do in the world. But we know establishing their digital presence and building their digital businesses is hard work, and joy is a result of the guidance and humanity we bring to the work with them."

The logo now makes up a part of a comprehensive marketing strategy that is omnichannel as well as being campaign-driven and always-on. GoDaddy uses a mix of media channels to engage its customers and is always exploring new channels and ideas to ensure it reaches its customers wherever they are.

“We’ve recently spent a lot more time and money investing in digital channels, whether that be YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. And as they are all global platforms, there's community for us to quickly learn from each other as a global company, to learn from each other's regions as a global company," Howard continued. "But the digital presence for us is critically important, particularly for these entrepreneurs who are trying to build their digital business.

“That doesn't mean TV doesn't matter, it's been a highly effective channel for us. However, coupling TV with digital and the combination of all of those channels is generating even better performance marketing outcomes for us."

As for marketing segments, GoDaddy uses a defined customer journey that it says is similar across segments, across verticals.

“We know there’s an opportunity to look at these everyday entrepreneurs at a vertical level, meaning we could talk to them specifically about their needs as a restauranteur, or as a mechanic. And we have done targeted communications to those customers," Howard said.

“But what I find most compelling and maybe a bit surprising is if we think about the entrepreneur and aggregate their journey, their psychological journey is actually quite similar regardless of their vertical, and their needs are actually quite similar, too. So when we think about an entrepreneur, they often start in this state of dreaming, and often when they dream they want to plant a flag with their name, so they go out and buy a domain, and then they start to contemplate the creation of their idea into a business.

“From there, they think about their business components at the same time that they start to think about the digital needs for websites and marketing. We've found that by speaking to a broader audience, across verticals, specific to their needs throughout their entrepreneurial journey, it's highly effective.”

GoDaddy also has an always-on approach to marketing, along with campaigns, with both long-term and short-term metrics measured to gauge success.

“We do have broad reach campaigns we will continue to invest in. But being always present in digital media is an imperative now, so we are increasing our focus in social media, display media, digital video, and it's been part of what's helped us accelerate our success over the past several years," Howard said.

“And as we identify both messages that resonate via specific channels where that resonance is even higher, we continue to fund initiatives because we're measuring real time as well."

The shift to the GO logo has been a significant undertaking for GoDaddy and not a change the marketing team took lightly, Howard concluded.

"But it is an innovation and the story that we've been telling around the world for quite some time, so it was the right time for us to wrap our communication with a logo that is filled with stories of our entrepreneurs. The reception we had from our customers, our employees, and our in our media partners, is positive, which makes me enthusiastic.”

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