Today is a big day at Rinse — we’ve officially unveiled our new look and feel! It’s been amazing to watch our brand and service evolve over the past five years, and now is the right time for us to elevate and refine our brand. Below is a quick reflection of our journey leading up to this announcement.
OUR BRAND: THE FIRST 5 YEARS
I started discussing Rinse with my co-founder James in January 2013. Well before we completed our first order, we laid out the core tenets of our service — high-quality cleaning, reliable and on-time delivery, world-class customer care. We rarely discussed our “brand.” That said, we both knew building a strong brand was one of the most important things we could do.
A great quote that has stuck with me is “brands are not optional…whether you choose to manage them is.”
With that in mind, our implicit approach to brand was very straightforward: anything from Rinse that touched the customer would feel simple, clean, and professional. If we could maintain that focus and provide an amazing service, we knew we would be taking steps towards building a strong brand.
This approach was evident in our early touch points. We used SMS as a medium of communication because it was so simple and clean; we sent polished, itemized pickup confirmations to each customer so they knew what was in our care; we made sure that every item we delivered to the customer felt clean and professionally serviced. We also gave this direction to our first designer to make sure our initial moodboard reflected those core principles.
When it came time to put up our launch page, we spent hours looking for the perfect picture to represent simple, clean, and professional. We found a crisp, white, button-down shirt that became the picture we’d use on our website for more than 2 years!
As we continued to scale and expand (we opened up Rinse Los Angeles in 2015), we knew we had to devote more attention to evolving and improving our design so it would keep up with our rapid growth.
We closed our Series A round in late 2015 and brought on our first designer to help us remove some “design paralysis” that had set in due to lack of creative resources. With a designer in-house, we improved our aesthetics, introduced new photography (and retired the white button-down shirt), and made a bold brand move…we filled in our droplet (it felt like a big deal at the time!).
Although we invested more time and effort into our look and feel, our main focus on building the brand remained providing a great service to our customers.
WHY REBRAND NOW?
Providing a great service will always be the biggest driver of how customers feel about our brand, no matter how large we get. As we have scaled, though, it’s become clear that it’s the right time to take our brand look and feel to the next level.
Today we are in 7 major markets (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Chicago, Boston, Oakland, and San Jose), have hundreds of employees and Valets across multiple locations, and many cleaning partners in each of our regions. We’ve also brought on several new hires over the past 12 months that are improving all of our customer-facing interactions (e.g. rinse.com, mobile app, marketing, Customer Care communication, Valet interaction at your door).
With the significant developments and growth happening at Rinse, it felt like the right time to make sure our brand was strong enough to unify the many parties that make Rinse what it is today, and to ensure consistency of design and voice as we continue to scale regionally, nationally, and ultimately globally.
We met with several potential brand agencies and decided to move forward with CBA — they are relatively new to the world of startups, but a powerhouse in terms of design for amazing consumer companies like Nestle and Haagen-Dazs. Given our business is consumer facing and has elements of packaging (e.g. our laundry bags), we felt they were a very good fit. More importantly, their team gave us confidence that they would care for our brand with the same level of commitment as we would ourselves.
INTRODUCING THE NEW RINSE
We’ve updated our look and feel (including our logo) and are refining our voice, but Rinse’s core values and what we stand for remain the same.
Our main goals with the new brand were three-fold:
- Establish a brand strategy and identity system that could unify the many moving pieces that make Rinse what it is — our internal team, our Valets, our Cleaning Partners, and all of the touch points and services we offer our customers.
- Ensure strong consistency across all of our touch points in design and voice.
- Introduce a logo and color palate that would elevate our brand and differentiate us from all the other service providers out there focused on clothing care.
Introducing, the new Rinse:
There are a few key things to call out in the above:
- The colors — our new logo and style guide will use a deep orange to accentuate our brand and complement our designs. The color itself “pops” and is very different than the traditional blue we’ve used for years. It is also different than what consumers see in clothing care and service providers in general. The teal color will be prominent in our design going forward and provides the clean and fresh feeling we all expect from Rinse.
- The logo — the logo is symbolic of how many moving pieces have to work together fluidly to create an amazing experience for our customers. The logo also takes on the shape of a ribbon, which symbolizes the extra care we put into every order to make sure it’s just right for you as a customer. You will see an extension of the logo in the form of a ribbon in many of our designs.
- The font — it’s a subtle but important change. As we work to differentiate ourselves and elevate our brand, and continue to provide an exceptional service for our customers, all of the details matter, including the font.
We are very excited to introduce our new look and feel. As a company, we will continue to evolve and make sure you have the best experience possible. We hold ourselves to an incredibly high standard when it comes to our service, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t hold our design and voice to the same standard.
At Rinse, we are pushing forward a new generation of craft. To that end, I’ll leave you with a narrative we used to help drive all of the work you will see in our rebrand:
A true craftsperson is one who has their own tricks, their own methods developed over years of experience. They pass this on to their apprentices, their successors, the next generation. We’ve inherited this accumulated knowledge and have now brought it forward to the 21st century. Resourceful, we take overlooked skills and swing them back into fashion to create ingenious answers that surprise in their familiarity and audacity.
We hope you love Rinse’s rebranding as much as we do, but more importantly we’re excited to continue to create an amazing customer experience for you; one that feels familiar but is truly bold in its simplicity.