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The next chapter for the Funnel brand

Published May 29 2024 4 minute read Last updated May 29 2024
A bigger brand
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  • Carl Ronander
    Written by Carl Ronander

    Carl is the VP of brand and communication at Funnel. He has more than 16 years of experience working in brand strategy and management.

Making major changes to a brand is not something that one should approach casually. In fact, many scholars recommend that you avoid it altogether. Why? Such a big change could end up eradicating brand equity rather than adding value.

Yet, today we are launching a totally revamped Funnel brand to the world. How did we end up here?

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Functional to emotional

Strong brands that grow resonate beyond a rational level. They trigger an emotional connection with their target audience. 

The Funnel brand, as is often the case for fast-growing and product driven tech start-ups, was centered around functional and technical attributes. While that served us for some time, we are about to embark on a new, larger area of growth. This requires a stronger brand with more potential.

Functional elements can, eventually, be copied by competitors. Therefore, brands that reside only within this transactional nature with their customers stand the risk of becoming irrelevant. However, brands that leverage emotions create a competitive moat that is much more difficult for competitors to break through. 

This emotional connection is built through clear brand positioning, laying the foundation for brand salience and mental availability.  

Stand out-1

In our own process of growth, we knew that developing a more distinctive brand identity would help Funnel stand out as well as become more consistent across all of its touchpoints — the key driver of customer memory.  

For Funnel, the leader of an expanding and still-nascent category, carving out a share of customer memory through meaningful differentiation and design is a high priority. 

Room to grow

The Funnel product is entering a new phase, adding product capabilities around visualization and advanced marketing measurement (MMM, MTA and incrementality testing) to our marketing Data Hub core. This expanded product offering of Marketing Intelligence demands an equally ambitious brand identity that can showcase our new chapter. 

So, we needed more emotion, more distinction, and more differentiation to be implemented more consistently while supporting our rapid product growth. In short, we needed a bigger brand. 

Defining positioning and a brand concept        

To define our brand positioning we did two things. 

  1. Spoke to our customers. As our brand essentially is not what we say it is but the perception of the people who use it and get value from it.
  2. Conducted a number of internal workshops with ALL employees that wanted to participate to get an understanding of what matters to us and get a true nuanced picture (not only that of top management).

From this work, two clear themes emerged. First, Funnel gives you a feeling of control. That is the ability to trust your data and work with it autonomously. Second, Funnel gives you courage. The confidence that allows our users to be more data driven and have greater impact. 

By combining these two perspectives, we defined a new brand position for Funnel: we give marketers data courage through control.   

Courage

This positioning sets a much clearer direction for what we want the Funnel brand to be, but it is still just an internal definition. The positioning needed to be crafted into something more direct, easier to remember and attention grabbing. 

Enter our creative partner Nord DDB who helped shape the development of our brand concept. Together, we explored creative expressions of how “data courage through control” could be brought to life. We realized that Funnel allows you to bring order to something chaotic (data) while giving it fluidity and the ability to tell a story. Funnel reframes what data can be, which led us to our new brand concept.

Make data dance

Constructing a new identity

To become distinctive, we created an identity that allows the brand to be more clearly codified using few hard-working assets. Inspired by “make data dance,” we visually captured both data points, and shapes of data in a dynamic design system that works equally well in still as in motion. Basically showing in a coherent, consistent, choreographed and powerful way that organized data can be engaging, visually fun and appealing. All together creating a true standout brand with  meaningful differentiation.

So, what does a brand that makes data dance look like? 

Let's break our thinking down into its components.

Design idea and symbol

The foundational idea for the identity emerged from choreography and Funnel’s core purpose: to build a framework and structure for your data. In that framework, you have a data or (if we are talking dance) a starting position. Then, you add another datapoint that might look and behave fundamentally different.

Grid

In ”making data dance,” we want to visualize data and how we (through control) help to grasp, shape and reorder data. From this sprung a visual world made up by geometric embodiments of data – namely circles and squares. When choreographed, a pattern emerged, and our new F-symbol was born.

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The open space in the F is a way of creating distinctiveness and alludes to an open funnel. This gap, in combination with the simple geometric shapes of the circle and the square, became central in building out the new identity – leveraging them as our hard-working assets. 

Logotype

Creating the F symbol gave us a system for further developing the full Funnel wordmark. Using a 3x3 grid and always using one circle, a new Funnel logo emerged.

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The new Funnel logotype builds on the circles found in our previous identity, and it has a distinctive, bold data feeling to it. 

Font

Building on the design cues in the F-symbol, we collaborated with the type designer Kristian Möller to build a custom corporate typeface: Funnel Sans.This is a modern sans-serif with both clarity and character. In the display version of the font (intended for headlines) we continued to work with the gap from the F-symbol as a brand recognition driver to ensure consistent brand presence.

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Colors

In the design audit we conducted of our own and adjacent categories we could conclude that red was a dominant primary color. While red might be an attention grabbing color, it does not necessarily create the best associations for a marketing data company. As such we ended up choosing a deep green as the new primary Funnel color in combination with more energetic secondary orange and pink. The result is a much calmer expression for the brand and aligns with the positioning of data courage through control. 

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Making the shapes come alive

The core circular and square shapes are not just elements within our logotype or typeface. They also act as brand recognition elements – containers for imagery, powerful iconography and insightful infographics. When successfully implemented, they will be as recognizable as the Funnel logo will become.

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However, we recognize that functionality also empowers conversion. So, we have created functional icons to be used on site & product for interactive purposes.

Functional icons

Bringing it all together

The power of “a few hard working assets” in our identity tells the story of our ability to make data dance in a distinct, coherent and consistent way. It will be immediately recognizable and will set us apart from our competitors – emotionally conveying how our tools and products give our customers data courage through control.

This is the first step in a very exciting and new chapter for a leader in the marketing intelligence category.

Funnel brand assets

As with any new updated identity, the launch is just the beginning of our next chapter. We look forward to the continued development of the new Funnel brand in the time to come and hope you like it as much as we do. 

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