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How WPP’s Landor, Wunderman Thompson transformed Monster to foundit

A behind-the-scenes view of Monster’s rebranding that signals a new meaning and direction for the brand.

By  Saumya TewariDec 6, 2022 6:45 PM
How WPP’s Landor, Wunderman Thompson transformed Monster to foundit
In the earlier avatar, Monster has been a job platform for over two decades. A lot has changed since then. With the rapid digitisation and influx of platforms such as LinkedIn, job boards and listing platforms have to be redefined especially for younger workforce.

Homegrown jobs platform Monster.com recently announced that it would be transforming into a full-fledged talent management platform as it rebrands itself as ‘foundit’ in the Asia-Pacific and West Asian regions.

The massive revamp was done by WPP’s design agency Landor & Fitch in partnership with creative advertising agency Wunderman Thompson. The creative agency also rolled out a television campaign that features young job seekers finding the right fit and purpose for their career on foundit.

In its earlier avatar, Monster has been a platform matching employers and prospective hires for over two decades. A lot has changed since then. With rapid digitisation and the growth of platforms such as LinkedIn, job boards and listing platforms have had to be redefined, especially for the younger workforce.

In an exclusive interaction with Storyboard18, Lulu Raghavan, managing director, Landor & Fitch, says that one of the main reasons that a brand goes in for a refresh is where the business has gotten ahead and brand perceptions are lagging.

“Another reason is if a brand is starting to look a bit faded, is losing energy or losing some relevance with its target audience. And, therefore, you go in for the brand refresh to appeal to a younger audience to appeal to a different demographic,” she adds.

Landor & Fitch has worked on the revamp of iconic brands such as Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), Mahindra and Kerala-based V-Guard stabilisers.

Behind brand revamps

Raghavan explains that during a brand revamp, one has to keep in mind that there’s a lot of equity that is well-established in the brand name. In these kinds of exercises, it’s very important to understand how the brand is perceived by the target audiences, the direction of the business strategy. Then brand attributes need to be identified—what are the good attributes (reliable/innovative, etc) that need to be retained and what are the bad attributes (fuddy-duddy/dated, etc) that need to be got rid of. She adds that the agency then identifies different graphic elements, the typography and the symbols associated with the brand. Then a call is taken whether the rebranding should be significant or cosmetic.

“A lot of brands go in for evolutionary change where it’s just a little bit of a change. It’s been modernised and refreshed. Many brands will go a step further, to really bring in something new. And then in the case of Monster, where the name changes, it is a completely new identity system. It’s a revolutionary change, which is truly signalling a new meaning for the brand, a new direction for the company and, in a way, a new promise to all stakeholders,” she notes.

The cost of a rebranding exercise can range from as low as Rs 1-5 crore to Rs 500 crore, depending on the extent of change and scale of revamp. For instance, the cost of an oil company or an airline rebranding can be massive as it involves not only the identity change but also revamping fuel stations across the country or the entire fleet of aircraft.

“Some companies will have a soft launch, some will have just a press release and then it’s business as usual. Others will have a customer event, still others a big bang, so there’s no one size fits all,” adds Raghavan.

Reimagining Monster, making it relevant

For Monster specifically, the rebranding exercise lasted six months, says Ronita Mukerjee, executive director, client services at Landor & Fitch. She highlights that although Monster.com was a pioneer in job boards in the 1990s, with new players entering the market, it was starting to lose relevance.

The cost of a rebranding exercise can range from as low as Rs 1-5 crore to Rs 500 crore, depending on the extent of change and scale of revamp.

“Brands like Glassdoor and LinkedIn are more community- and conversation-driven. Additionally, job seekers today are not looking for traditional 9-to-5 jobs, they are looking for purpose and fulfillment. In order to stay relevant, Monster had to reposition itself. Additionally, with the change in ownership, Monster had rename itself as well,” she explains.

The Monster brand revamp was done after applying a rigorous process of primary and secondary research to arrive at a new brand positioning—“Path to possibilities”.

“This is an internal rallying cry for the company. It acknowledges the needs and aspirations of today’s job force. They want more from their careers. They don’t want to be limited in their choices. Monster is going to be the new online destination for anyone looking for guidance, resources and opportunities to fulfil their professional goals,” Mukerjee notes.

According to her, foundit embodies that feeling of joy and contentment when seekers and recruiters find exactly what they are looking for.

“The identity system takes into account how every seeker is different. Hence, the emphasis on “u” and the strokes represent the many possibilities that everyone can explore. The purple colour is a nod to Monster’s rich legacy. The new colour palette is fresh, vibrant and energetic, like the new generation of job seekers,” she concludes.

The Monster brand revamp was done after applying a rigorous process of primary and secondary research to arrive at a new brand positioning—“Path to possibilities”.

The new identity was strategically promoted on LinkedIn with a large number of senior Monster India employees putting up resignation posts on their profiles with #changeisgood. As this built buzz on the platform, three teaser films were shared on social media showing different professionals quitting their job in an unusual style. The films gave a hint of the new branding towards the end, and finished with a common message, “Find the job that’s perfect for you”. This was shortly followed up by the launch and reveal of the brand name and a television campaign.

Talking about the campaign, Priya Shivakumar, senior national creative director, Wunderman Thompson, comments, “We’ve all been hearing about layoffs across many organisations and it has been making news across media, social conversations and forums. What better time, then, to balance things a bit and launch Monster’s new identity with an audacious campaign that creates intrigue around people quitting. The job scenario needed a new way of doing things and foundit is not only the new name but a new approach to recruiting.”

First Published on Dec 6, 2022 10:00 AM