Webz.io: Our Rebranding Story
A brand serves as a guiding light in everything we do. But when Ran Geva and I started working on our product, creating a brand identity was a challenge.
In the early days, we were really excited by the prospect of our new product. Not only because the fast lane we opened to high-quality web data suddenly attracted the attention of customers from a wide range of industries – from media monitoring to healthcare. But also because we knew we were creating a paradigm shift in the web data extraction industry. We built highways that finally connect between the world that needs data for its operations and the infinite and complex universe of web data.
Yet while it was easy to come up with an exciting vision for this new product, we also knew it’d be hard to translate the magic into a clear brand. Because, unlike other SaaS startups, we had a very technical but abstract product – without a cool and interactive UI.
I remember the long discussions into the night on how to create a brand that would excite the imagination and engage our target audience. But as Ran and I always do, we were able to find the balance between these two ends and create a story which we could first tell ourselves and then communicate it, in simple words, to the world outside.
At first, we didn’t put together a marketing and branding strategy, at least not by the book. Far from it. Because of a busy schedule, tight budget, and limited staff, we created, internally, a lite marketing plan with a brand identity and key messaging and set off.
The world’s most comprehensive provider of structured web data
Our vision and corresponding messaging were simple but challenging – to be the world’s most comprehensive provider of structured web data.
In the early stages, we mainly targeted programmers and kept our messaging close to our product’s USP, like our wide coverage or its ease of use. Later we fine-tuned our messaging to target decision-makers who could see how our product can play a major role in their scaling process. While our original vision remained mostly the same, we kept refining our messaging according to our positioning and the value we gave to our customers.
We worked closely with them and learned what our product means to their businesses. Whether it meant saving valuable time, freeing up valuable resources, or offering a value for money solution. We have been part of their journey as they continued to scale.
At the same time, they have also been part of our journey as we kept scaling. We have grown. We have created six different types of data feeds serving over 300 customers from multiple industries across the globe. Our office has expanded, reaching nearly 50 employees.
Throughout this process, every time we hit the mark, we expanded our vision and refined our story accordingly.
About a year ago, we felt that the company had evolved and reached a turning point. We realized that the highways we built years ago have become a key junction of web data for hundreds of companies around the world.
But in our day-to-day, we worked in a noisy market – where there was a lot of confusion between terms, methods and use cases.
Internally, we increasingly felt that our story, messaging and positioning did not really reflect the position we have grown into – as a category leader in the web data industry. We also felt at times that the tools we once used like our messaging, terminology, and even brand were not enough to explain what we do.
As the gap kept growing, we knew we needed to adapt our branding and marketing strategies to better reflect where we are and what we do.
We also realized that we outgrew our name and the transformation needed to be felt at the very top of the brand structure. What’s more, the number of times we discovered an odd connotation in a new language was staggering. Whether inappropriate in English (well, you know), strange in Spanish (egg, etc.), or just random – in German (pants) – Webhose definitely carried some meaning – to different people. But it didn’t reflect the space we have now held at the top of our industry.
Yet the decision to rebrand still came with some concerns. The amount of time, resources, and considerations that came with the process can not be understated. But the biggest concern was that the brand we established over the years, Webhose, was already considered an industry leader with a successful track record and a positive reputation.
But we knew that it was time to grow into the new brand we have slowly created, unknowingly.
Once we decided to go for a rebranding process, we started working with Atreo, a top branding agency that specializes in B2B tech companies. We worked closely together to research and understand our position in the market today.
The results of the research confirmed our need for a rebrand. It was time to rewrite our story in a short, clear, and confident way. It was time to define our brand pillars and identity, refine our marketing messaging, and create a new logo and graphic design that we think reflects our new brand identity.
Google for Machines
During our research and analysis stage, the best insights we gained came from our customers and their responses to questions like “What is Webhose to you?”
Many responses compared us with Google. “You query and get back the data just like you search something on Google,” one customer said. Another said: “I think of them like Google.”
Because Google, they said, helps people access the web at scale. And Webhose, now Webz.io, helps machines access the web at scale.
Their input helped us focus on a simple and clear messaging – that we provide a unique solution that helps machines access the data they need, in a language they understand – web data for machines – at scale. From that point on, the rest fell into place.
We looked for a short, simple, and of course – accurate name that relates to our story. We entertained different ideas. Some related to our repositories like Repo.io, others reflected elements of the product like EndPoint.io or Queryz.io. We also considered some good old descriptive names like DataFeed.io or Striim.io. After debating for some time, we agreed on Webz.io. A short and catchy name that still sounds like Webhose in some way but with a new hook and vibe.
The idea behind the visuals is that we are the missing link, connecting and moving data from the vast web to machines that process it and turn it into real-life insights.
We tried to reflect it by using fonts and typography that look like tubes and reflect that dynamic movement.
We also visualized this idea through a dynamic logo, where the dot symbolizes the information, moving through the logo, appearing each time in a different part of the logo.
New Look, Same Powerful Data Feeds
Over the next few weeks, you will be seeing a few changes. Here on our newly launched website, on our social media channels, and in the look and feel of our emails. But in the end, what this rollout means for our existing clients is that it’s business as usual – only with a facelift that reflects the place we are at, thanks to your support.
The level of professionalism and technical capabilities that have brought us this far, which you’ve come to experience, is the engine behind the exciting plans we have ahead of us.
Looking ahead, we can see how web data will only continue to grow exponentially. The immense change the world has seen since the day people were able to freely and easily connect with web data, was just the beginning. Today, we find ourselves on the edge of a brand new revolution, where instead of people connecting to web data, this time we let machines finally access the web data they need – freely and naturally.
We have become a superhighway, bridging machines, and web data. Powering this new revolution. And we are not alone. We have the perfect partners, our customers, and employees, to go on this exciting journey with. We invite those who haven’t yet, to join us.
Have a look at our website and social media profiles where we have and will continue to roll out our new brand. We are really excited to hear what you think about our new changes so get in touch and let us know.
As we start this process, we’d like to take some time and thank our loyal clients and employees. Without you, this would not be possible and we look forward to exciting times ahead with all of you.