Transforming a Beloved Brand, Product and Company Into Its Next Iteration….with Gusto!

Building a brand people love is challenging in and of itself — much less when the product is a B2B payroll product like Gusto (né ZenPayroll). The scrappy startup was indeed beloved by customers and the media for its easy-to-use product, commitment to customers and approachable, charismatic founders. But as the product evolved past payroll into benefits and workers’ compensation, Gusto’s leadership realized that they would soon outgrow the brand they worked so hard to build.

They needed a new name, look and feel to take it to the next level and encompass the myriad of businesses they would soon be serving. To add to the communications challenge at hand, there was one, very big competitor already established in the space. That company, too, has “zen” in its name.

So how does an agency like Bateman Group communicate the change, make space for the new brand in a crowded market, and maintain or even increase trust with customers and the media? Staying authentic to the company’s core values was key — ZenPayroll had distinguished itself as a company that truly cared about its customers. Benefits and workers’ compensation are extensions of that same value, so this laid the foundation for an extension of the customer first story, as opposed to a pivot. We leaned on customers, as well as each of the company’s three founders, to tell this story. We developed detailed messaging to help explain how Gusto was differentiated from its competitors, both in terms of product and values.

The result was 14 in-depth features in publications like Fortune, Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch. The news was syndicated in more than 60 outlets, and served as the catalyst for follow-up meetings and a “behind-the scenes” take in First Round Review. Most importantly, Gusto emerged as the company disrupting the disruptor. And they are still known, first and foremost, for their unwavering loyalty and dedication to customers.

Want to know more? You can get the full scoop in the case study.