Launching a Rebranded OLX: Why Now?

“The world is burning, let’s respond with a new logo and nicer fonts!” — nobody, ever

Let me spend a quick couple of paragraphs on what happens behind the scenes when a large company deeply invests in a rebranding, and then, unexpectedly, is faced with a completely new reality. I thought it would be worth sharing. #BeOpen

Over a year ago the process of a rebranded OLX for Europe started. To be honest, it was way overdue. Not only does the “old” OLX look dated, it also has a lot of design debt and inconsistencies across channels (desktop, PWA, native apps). Rebranding was an opportunity to clean a lot of stuff up. The planned release: April 1 2020. After a lot of preparation work, the last 3 months we almost entirely dedicated to this rebranding effort. All our native app developers, and almost all front-end developers, and a bunch of back-end developers worked their asses off to get this done quickly and efficiently, and clean up some technical debt along the way as a bonus. Excitement was building, marketing campaigns planned.

And then… the Corona crisis hit. 

And the question arose: is this the time to push our new brand live? Is this appropriate? Won’t this look a bit… out of touch?

After many discussions, we decided it was best to start rolling out anyway. Without a big marketing push of course. The alternative (postponing the release for a few months for when things go a bit more back to “normal”) would be wasteful:

  1. Internally we’d have to maintain two branches of our UI at all times. We’re working hard to actually adapt our product to our ever changing reality — especially now, and maintaining two versions of our UI would… definitely not help.
  2. The rebranding actually comes with plenty of UX improvements, so the experience is actually better, not just nicer looking.
  3. With our new brand we have a completely new design system that will actually simplify a lot of the implementation work, so we can actually release things faster with the new brand.

Plenty of reasons to get this brand and everything that comes with it rolled out, and continue cracking.

So, that’s what’s been happening. We’ve been rolling out rebranded sites over the last month or so, and today released the big one: