UKG: Bringing together two HR leaders for a unified future
How do you guide two distinct category leaders through a merger into a dominant new brand? In the case of Ultimate Software and Kronos, the HR solutions leaders shared strong cultures and reputations as two of the country’s top places to work. They also shared the challenges of merging in the midst of a pandemic.
Company leadership chose Lippincott to create a brand, UKG, that would imbue the key aspects of both legacies into a strong foundation and would generate immediate momentum going forward.
Building a fresh, modern and purpose-led brand required close partnership with the Ultimate Software and Kronos teams on every dimension of the new brand: name, tagline, brand platform and architecture, visual system, and brand voice, along with an activation plan that would bring these elements to life. Through the discovery process, we found that the unique strength of the combined organization came from its position at the intersection of humanity and rigor.
The visual system and brand voice embed UKG’s people-first mentality across every touchpoint. The new brand voice fuses warmth and energy with rigor and reason, allowing the brand to highlight its expertise when necessary, but to flex for a light-hearted tone when appropriate. Incorporating a smile into the logo speaks to the culture the brand aspires to create for its people and the partners it works with. The primary typeface has round forms that reinforce UKG’s personality, and the smile supergraphic acts as a special extension of the core identity. Altogether, the new brand system is a unique expression that conveys UKG’s people-first purpose in every brand element.
To launch the brand, we worked hand in hand with the UKG team to craft an activation plan that would create excitement around the new brand in a time when traditional in-person tactics wouldn’t suffice. This included a teaser campaign, logo and name reveal with a compelling launch video and virtual Town Hall to rally a critical group: employees. The brand was revealed to this key audience with an overwhelmingly positive response, leading to UKG being ranked #2 on Forbes America’s Best Large Employers 2021 list.
“Lippincott helped us navigate an important evolution in our business, and we’re so pleased with the end result: an authentic and powerful brand that will serve us well into the future.” -Darlene Marcroft, Vice President, PR and Communications.