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Hotjar is a company with a global team that serves customers all around the world, with a mission dedicated to helping people make websites their users love. Hotjar is now rebranding itself in all aspects, with a focus on having immediate recall from consumers, users, and the public when they view the name “Hotjar” itself.

Their argument is that even though they are a Business to Business (B2B) company, it is equally important for them to put as much effort, emphasis and investment in branding as  Business to Consumer (B2C) companies, all because they have a desire to stand out, gain recognition like brands you use when working online such as: Figma, Zendesk, Hubspot, Salesforce.

How the rebrand was divided

How Hotjar expresses itself as a brand: to gain a strong use of their website and blog to portray their stance, the general tone of their company’s message and purpose, and finally their logo on merchandise like tote bags, digital banners, t-shirts.

How users experience Hotjar: While using Hotjar’s product customers will form an impression determined by the experience.

How Hotjar shares its brand: It shares and communicates stories of people they know which includes case studies.

Three areas where Hotjar wants to created long term brand identity

  1. Product Vision: Hotjar’s vision was to place users in the middle of each product. To pivot using user insights into business outcomes.
  1. Target audience and users: Involve users and audience in how they themselves visualize and expect the brand to be.
  1. Hotjar’s purpose: To create and inspire change through empathy, with a hope for a place where companies and businesses treat and handle one another with love and kindness.

Creative rebranding aspects

The logo is a combination of three different lines with multiple meanings. The first part is inspired by the emotive line which represents their users and their individual journeys. The second part consists of duplication and symmetry to represent human connection and Hotjar’s “Just Cause” as the put in efforts for climate justice and it guides the vision and values of the brand. And lastly, the flame is a way to honor their past and serves for those users who associate the flame with Hotjar’s prior identity. The three lines when combined represent the “new” Hotjar.

Other brand decisions include elements of fonts, graphics, and illustrations, which embraces clear, playful, and accessible fonts in “Ambit”, and the color palette involves colors derived from flames, the prior logo, with a combination of cold and hot hues. The “trace lines” in the logo represent the behavior of people online with the portrayal of the heights of human emotion ranging from soft, smooth lines to show calmness to harsh lines to highlight frustration. And last the “orbs”, together in sync with trace lines are the orbs of color that portray the representation of actual heat of the flames and metaphorically speaking the warmth of human connection. Together the trace lines and orbs produce an ideal illustration that reflects the rebranded Hotjar, highlighting the brand's values, vision, and purpose within the creative graphics and process.

Establishing user centricity

When Hotjar entered its rebranding phase, the company decided that they truly aspire to make all the users not only part of the brand, but in a way the center of it when it came to rebuilding it. To reach that direction, they conducted research, including qualitative and quantitative research. The first batch research conducted involved approximately 300 people, mainly non-users to receive non-biased opinions to use as the main source of assessment regarding the brand. The feedback they received was highly positive, especially regarding the illustrations, that “the orbs reminded me of user journeys within insights”, highlighting successful interpretation of the illustration that was intended by Hotjar.

Afterwards the second batch of research was conducted for Hotjar users specifically. A rebranding exercise was given to them with the key question asking how “Hotjar makes me feel…”. This exercise allowed Hotjar to gather ground-breaking feedback to assess whether they achieved any improvement prior to rebranding. Many users provided feedback along the lines that “Hotjar is for start-ups”.

This was ideal feedback, as prior to rebranding, Hotjar was criticized as being a brand unable to support entrepreneurs, Small and Mid-sized businesses (SMBs), mid-market enterprises, students and more. Apart from not only becoming more comprehensive to help support start-ups and smaller businesses, Hotjar has triggered many start-ups' rapid growth.

Overall, Hotjar has evolved to become more user centric and inclusive and has contributed to helping various product teams with different scales and ranges. From businesses consisting of only 50 people or less to massive organizations with a team of up to 10,000 people.

Photo from Hotjar website.

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