Rebranding Uniplaces, a startup company, that wants to establish itself as the leading player in a market was always going to be a great challenge. Especially as it’s such a dynamic market and with an audience that is so tuned into esthetics, design, and looking to connect with an emotional brand.
When I joined Uniplaces, I was ready for the task before me. It wasn’t going to be easy, but it was an opportunity to reposition and to strengthen the brand that I wanted to seize.
I think maybe the hardest challenge to overcome was that the people who worked here, the founders and other early staff, had grown so attached to the old brand. I understand it, of course, they had lived and breathed the old Uniplaces (should I say the old UniPlaces ?) for so long, they were very protective of it. They knew the change had to be done, they wanted it to happen, though. It would refresh the company, the brand and its values.
It was a complicated process, we took several steps in many directions, but one element kept coming back to us: the door.
That’s why I decided an open door had to be a part of our new logo. It stands for a preview of what the student finds when they get to their new home. The door as a symbol is incredibly powerful: it holds opportunity beyond, a new stage, a unique experience. Being open invites us to step through it. The frame around the door is a map-marking pin: in our mind, not only the house but the student’s experience will be defined by the location of the apartment.
If you’ve got a good eye for this thing, you’ll also spot Uniplaces is now a new shade of blue. We call it True Blue: it’s an old expression for a colour that would never ever fade, no matter how much you used it. It comes from the blue cloth of Coventry made in the 1600s. Today, we say a person who is extremely loyal or genuine is “True Blue”. These are our qualities: the new Uniplaces is true to its students, loyal to its customers and genuine to itself.
The change – what we call the rebranding – isn’t just a new logo or a different website. It’s not just a facelift. Uniplaces as a company grew up into bigger shoes. It matured, without losing its young and adventurous spirit. The team grew, the results rocketed and the company needed a physical change to match. Today, we have a global, trusted brand for student accommodation: that’s what the new logo, the new website and everything about the brand transmits to the user.
There are many ways to look at a rebranding. It’s not just a new name, or a logo or a slogan. It’s a new way to communicate with the market. It’s also embracing a new self, sometimes even a new culture. I guess it varies from case to case – and sometimes you’ll see all of the above combined. The important thing when rebranding is to be open to changes. That’s what happened here.
We realised that what we were yesterday was good – but what we would be tomorrow was great. So we changed.
And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.com.