Treehoppr Embraces a New Brand Identity. Meet Roots.
Founder and CEO, Kevin Corliss realized he had an issue with his company Treehoppr’s name when he would talk to leading investors about the vision for his business and unlike him, they wouldn’t be able to move beyond the individual Slack apps the company had created.
He and co-founder Doug Franklin had launched Treehoppr in 2017 as a Slack-app business with the intent of making work-life more pleasant for everyone involved. Human Resources (HR) touches every worker around the world in some form or fashion, and Kevin and Doug believed there was no better avenue through which they could positively impact people’s lives.
The need for a new brand
Fast forward to 2020 and the company was 3 years young with the same vision, but a super-charged ambition. Slack apps remained an important part of the business - they had established a successful lineup of HR Slack apps that included PTO Ninja and Referral Booster - but new verticals were being built and most importantly, proprietary new smart technology was being developed that would ultimately provide new utility for the management and deployment of HR tools and the analysis of employee data and health. It had the potential to transform the entire space.
Kevin and Doug recognized that the time had come to take a fresh look at the Treehoppr brand and make it better aligned with the expanded vision of the company.
Taking the lead from customers
Early in 2020, Treehoppr began running focus groups, asking customers what they valued most about Treehoppr products and what they were hoping to see from the brand and company moving forward. They came to learn that not only was there a lack of understanding around the Treehoppr brand, there was a lack of recognition and cohesion between the company name and the products that were being used. While customers loved the functionality in the products, each product had its own individual name and character, and most customers were struggling to see a connection between the products or how they were related.
The Treehoppr team set out to use a combination of design listening and design thinking to clearly articulate a new brand map for the company and its product offering. They sought to identify what, how and why the company does what it does – delivering a north star that could both inform design and help in charting the next phase of growth within the business.
Fostering employee growth and success
The brand today exists to help companies foster employee growth and success. Too often, employees are bogged down at work by bureaucratic processes and systems, especially with regard to HR.
The business is rooted in the idea that HR tools should be freeing for employees, not cumbersome. So the platform is designed with the individual employee in mind, with consideration to how a particular HR process or tool can add value to the employee experience, rather than become a burden. The company set out to kill bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy, to help organizations move faster, and to bolster the new line of thinking that HR is a revenue center not a cost center.
With those considerations in mind, the company formerly known as Treehoppr conceptualized a new brand name and identity. Meet Roots.
Roots is a noun, referring to the sprawling support system that every plant needs in order to grow. Roots are often underground, invisible to the naked eye, but critical to the health and success of the plant.
The HR function shares a similar sentiment. Often operating behind the scenes and forgotten, HR is critical to the health and success of every employee and organization. Without a strong base - that emphasizes culture, communications, belonging, and wellbeing - an organization is bound to topple.
It felt all too perfect for the product and company Treehoppr was trying to create. Put simply, they wanted to become the foundational HR layer on which all successful organizations would grow.
The Roots elements
Word Mark: The logo uses a slightly customized version of Futura – a nod to Roots’ aspirations to become a key component in the “future of work”. The font is strong with an open, friendly, playful feel - representing Roots’ emphasis on an open-line of communication with customers and being transparent and approachable. And the green coloring is strongly tied to the concepts of growth and success, which Roots hopes to help every customer achieve.
App Icon: While simple at first glance, the icon emblematizes the new chapter in the company’s journey. The three branching roots within the center represent the three established apps that Roots is launching its new platform with - PTO / Time Off, Referrals, and Silo Measurement. The open spaces in the circle represent room for growth and more apps to be added. The circling “seed” represents the Roots platform, consisting of an interconnected web of lightweight, employee-friendly HR tools that together make up one cohesive unit. And the “sprout” breaking through the surface represents all of Roots’ customers, living breathing organisms ready to blossom with the right support system beneath them.
Product: The brand update from Treehoppr to Roots will be rolling out across all apps shortly. Each app will shed its individual character and adopt a self-descriptive name with the ⚡ by Roots moniker. The platform will also be released including new functionality to help admins manage users across Roots plugins and consolidating app data into one central location for admins to sort and analyze.