To mark its brand relaunch, Gumtree invited its 200+ staff to London’s Milbank Tower for its first ever brand conference last week. A host of speakers including General Manager Morten Heuing; MBE sportsman Greg Searle; writer Rob Self-Pierson; Koto Creative Director James Greenfield and our very own CEO Marc Nohr took to the stage, sharing their thoughts on the day’s theme: ‘A World of Opportunity’.
First to grace the stage was Morten, whose talk entitled “If not now – when?!” set the scene on the challenge ahead and why the rebrand is such a significant step towards Gumtree’s future. Following this, Olympic rower Greg Searle delivered a moving speech on his journey to becoming one of the nation’s greatest sportsmen – and the struggles that came with it. Something that resonated well with the room given the context – over the past year Gumtree has experienced many changes internally and externally, the brand constantly adapting to achieve success.
As the attention moved towards the new brand identity, James of Koto revealed the thought process behind the beautifully simple tree logo design; a minimalist and modern approach that recognises Gumtree’s ambition to become a leading digital brand. Wordsmith Rob Self-Pierson spent his session running tone of voice workshops, instilling the new brand language throughout the organisation.
Then came Marc, who focused on the power of storytelling and how to awaken the power of a brand. “Good stories are heard. Great stories are felt,” he explained. Continuing with this theme he posed the question: “What’s your story?” Referencing the likes of Hovis, Plymouth Gin, Nike and Ikea, Marc agreed that stories can come from many aspects of the human experience; whether it be a story about origins, time, place, strength or even weakness.
Putting the spotlight back on Gumtree, he asked the room to think about what their brand story was. “What is it that people want? How can Gumtree help them? And why is this uniquely motivating?” A free and open marketplace, achievable results on your terms and thousands of listings – these were just some of the brand benefits Marc shared that were pivotal in defining the new brand strategy: A world of opportunity within your reach. In our launch TV ad the viewer is taken on an emotional journey, which tells the story of a father who buys his daughter a piano on Gumtree, focusing on the opportunities this gives her.
Ending on an ambitious note, Marc showed an image of the Google office in California positioned next to the Gumtree headquarters in Richmond. While we can easily visualise what happens within the Google office (nothing ever seeming too far-fetched), he wanted staff to reflect on what they wanted people to imagine happens inside their own building. With this rebrand comes the opportunity to change the way people think about Gumtree.
A great day for all who attended, generating real excitement for things to come and turning staff into true, living advocates – something which is a powerful asset in the 21st century.