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Case study

How a market-leading EV charging company rebranded in house

Over the course of a year, the brand team at EVBox executed a rebrand almost entirely in house. 

It was a massive undertaking, but the results speak for themselves. This is the story (and a step-by-step breakdown) of how we did it and why we made the decisions we did, interlaced with insights by the most important players on the team. Please note: Whilst we’ve tried to make a linear timeline for this article, the reality was anything but that. With a small team and lack of time, many of these activities overlapped.

1. Who is EVBox

EVBox is an electric vehicle charging solutions supplier. Founded by an ex-Formula 1 driver, what began as the classic startup story quickly evolved to become a successful multinational scaleup. You can loosely consider it a “heritage brand,” as much as that exists in the nascent industry, with over a decade of experience in hardware, software, and services. 

Today, headquartered in Amsterdam with over 700 employees worldwide and backed by French energy multinational ENGIE, EVBox is a European market-leader in the EV charging solutions market.

2. Setting the scene

The EVBox brand

In late 2019, EVBox was experiencing growing pains after explosive growth. The company was going through a period of change and there were a few key factors that significantly affected the starting point of the rebrand:

  • Level of maturity: After being acquired by the French energy multinational, ENGIE, there was a new management team, a period of consolidation, a new international strategy, and new direction for the company. This meant that the company was shifting from an energetic scaleup to embody more of a corporate entity.
  • Merging the software platform: EVBox’s software offering, ‘Everon’ (an independent company with its own brand identity), was about to be integrated into the main EVBox brand. This meant that there were multiple brand identities competing for prominence which had to merge to create a more coherent experience for customers.
  • Expanding product portfolio. With a new product range about to be launched (Livo, Liviqo, and Troniq Modular), the EVBox hardware portfolio was no longer aligned with the visual identity. This created an inconsistent experience for EVBox’s end-users when they interacted with our products.

The challenges

As a result, when we started the project, there were already some major challenges that needed to be addressed:

  • The brand identity had been sporadically updated since its inception without a single philosophy guiding the changes.
  • The product design of the charging stations lacked alignment with the brand identity
  • The color palette had been chosen without much strategic forethought and as a result, didn’t reflect the current maturity of the company.
  • The brand story was internally focused and didn’t address EVBox’s customers or end-users.
  • The employee values (reliable, human, passionate) were used to define our tone of voice.
  • The company’s semi-independent event and podcast series, which had a brand identity of its, was to be brought back under the EVBox umbrella.
  • Across the visual identity, there were inconsistencies that were the result of multiple small fixes, rather than a holistic upgrade.

As a result, there was much confusion amongst EVBoxers about who we were and what we stood for. Quite evidently, a recalibration of the brand was in order.

The team

When it comes to an in-house rebranding, it’s important to have a team that brings critical skills into the company’s orbit. Whether in a full-time or a freelance capacity, having a team that is invested in the long-term success of the company is essential.

This is a breakdown of our core team:

  • Brand Director: Overall custodian of the brand, lead in terms of research, and the communication between the team, management team, and relevant stakeholders.
  • Studio Manager: Organizing timelines, project managing the day-to-day initiatives and ensuring deadlines are met.
  • Creative Director: Leading the design direction and ensuring that visual identity and brand strategy were aligned.
  • Freelance Brand Strategist and Lead Copywriter: Ensuring high-level strategy and verbal identity were aligned and leading in terms of copy.
  • Senior Designer: The bulk of the design work, including everything from ideation to implementation.
  • Communications Specialist: The bulk of the writing style, tone of voice, and company glossary.
  • VP of Marketing: The project was overseen, and important decisions were validated by the VP of Marketing.

Aside from all these lovely people, we took over a vacant floor at the EVBox headquarters. At first, what looked like a semi-deserted office in need of renovation turned out to be the perfect creative space. Without this space to retreat, it might have been a more arduous process to get to the result that we did.

The scope

In the beginning of the process, the scope was to deliver a new visual identity, a fresh coat of paint to make the structural issues less obvious.

However, as the project went on, it was clear that we needed to take a step back before launching into design. And so, with approval from key stakeholders, we were able to widen the scope of the project and began a deep dive into the current brand strategy.

Many within the organization started to see the project as a fresh start: an opportunity to recalibrate the brand itself from the core outwards.

We outlined our goals:

  • Solidify EVBox’s brand foundations and align the company with a common vision and storyline.
  • Align the quality of EVBox’s visual and verbal identity with our products and services
  • Create consistency across all touchpoints: from our charging stations to our software, our website, and everywhere in between.
  • And perhaps, most importantly, to ensure we have the brand we need to stand out as an industry leader in this rapidly maturing industry.

3. The timeline

The whole rebrand process took a year in total. However, there are still some assets being remade across various regions. When you undertake a project of these proportions, it’s essential to accept that you’ll never be able to do everything at once. And that in reality, you’ll probably never be done with the rollout.

  • Phase 1: Discovery — Month 1-2
  • Phase 2: Strategy — Month 3-4
  • Phase 3: Visual Identity Exploration and Concepting — Month 5-6
  • Phase 4: Deliver Final Concept — Month 7
  • Phase 5: Asset Creation and Implementation — Month 8-9
  • Phase 6: Internal Launch — Month 10
  • Phase 7: Rollout — On-going
  • Phase 8: External Launch — Month 11

4. The process

From strategy to inception, here's a step-by-step breakdown of how the new EVBox brand was born. 

1. Discovery

Our rebranding journey began with the discovery phase, this included an in-depth review of the current brand strategy, an audit of key brand assets, competitor analysis, and internal and external stakeholder interviews. Armed with our insights, we could then navigate the competitive landscape and identify strategic opportunities that lay hidden in plain sight.

a) Brand audit

Our first point of action was to build out a comprehensive brand audit of the old EVBox. This involved a hands-on approach, where we printed out key brand assets, pinned them on the wall and categorized them into different groups. This enabled us to step back and fully absorb the current state of the brand. Suddenly, it became much easier to see what elements were working well, what was falling flat, and where exactly the areas for improvement were.

As we reviewed each element, we asked ourselves a question: 

“Does this collateral/item/asset support our vision for the brand moving forward?”

b) Stakeholder insights

While the team was already forming conclusions about the state of the brand, we needed to start looking outwards and understand what our key stakeholders thought. This meant engaging our customers, partners, employees, management, and sales teams—to uncover their perceptions.

We wanted to understand all sentiments, be that positive or negative and find out their aspirations for the future of the company's direction. Our approach used a range of methods:

  • Face-to-face insights: We conducted face-to-face interviews with the executive management team (mainly the CEO and CCO). These conversations yielded invaluable insights into their perspectives and future vision for EVBox.
  • Voices from our customers: Over-the-phone interviews with our customers allowed us to tap into their candid feedback, ensuring that their voices were heard loud and clear.
  • Employee sentiment: Our online surveys with employees served as a pulse-check for our internal ecosystem. We valued their perspectives as integral to our brand's essence.
  • Sales workshops: In collaboration with our sales teams, we held workshops that brought forth actionable insights and perspectives from the front lines of our business.

With over 600 responses, the verdict was clear and our assumptions were validated: inconsistencies were being felt.

EVBox emerged as a brand that was passionate, ambitious, future-oriented, and intelligent—a reflection of our relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation. However, we were also confronted by the unvarnished truth: there were common perceptions of EVBox as corporate, outdated, messy, immature, and, dare we say, boring.

You may even notice that these words contradict the positive associations people have with EVBox: which yet again points to the fact EVBox’s current branding were causing conflicting associations and leading to multiple interpretations.

And that’s really the last thing any brand would want...

This candid feedback laid the foundation for EVBox’s transformative journey—a journey where we harnessed our strengths, addressed our weaknesses, and channeled these insights towards a brand identity that is not just consistent but distinctly, undeniably EVBox.

c) Competitor analysis

Next, after completing all our internal research, we ended our discovery phase with a competitor analysis. We chose to investigate key players in the industry and companies that had also recently invested in updating their branding. We looked at the words they used, their visual identity and the way they communicated with the market. With this comparison, we wanted to ensure that any concepts we explored would differentiate us from the competition or were not too dependent on current trends.

2. Brand strategy

With the insights from the discovery phase, we moved on to the next step: redefining EVBox’s brand core.

What is a brand core? 

A brand core is made up of a brand’s mission, vision, tagline, values and promise.

After many hours of investigation, we realized that because EVBox’s brand had grown so rapidly, its brand core was no longer fit for purpose. It quickly became clear that this format was no longer sufficient for the growth stage of the organization. We then began a revamp of the mission and vision that would be a solid foundation for future growth.

The new brand core looks like this:

  • Purpose: Why does the company exist?
  • Vision: What future does the company exist to build?
  • Mission: How is the company going to build that future?
  • Tagline: Our brand distilled into a slogan

You may notice that the answer to each of the question following purpose, vision, and mission above serves as a stepping stone to the following question. This was intentional: we wanted to bring these fragmented concepts together.

3. Brand characteristics

Next, we moved on to defining EVBox’s brand characteristics

What are brand characteristics?

Brand characteristics are a brand’s personality traits, so to speak. They act as a guide for how the brand should look, sound, and feel across every touchpoint. Essentially, they’re a bridge between the core and the identity.

By the end of this phase, we wanted to have three to four characteristics that we could always refer to when in need of guidance.

Essentially, this would make our judgements less subjective and help us align as a creative team and make more strategic decisions.

How did we get there?

We ran a series of workshops with the marketing team and included key stakeholders including the Director of Strategic Development and the VP of Marketing:

  • Brand archetype exercise: Here we aimed to determine which of the twelve brand archetypes EVBox identified with.
  • Brand persona exercise: We created a detailed description of the brand as if it were a person, including characteristics, values, and behaviors.
  • Brand trait mind-map: In this exercise, we pooled frequently occurring phrases that came from stakeholder insights into a mind map.

The results

We took our results to EMT to see which resonated with them most. Ultimately, three themes emerged: boldness, sophistication, and simplicity.

However, aligning everyone around these characteristics would be more difficult than we initially imagined. Each of these meant something to different each person. To knuckle down the meaning of each, we decided to move from a single word to a phrase: Be bold, think sophisticated, and keep it simple with an accompanying description. This helped us communicate exactly what we meant succinctly.

EVBox’s brand characteristics

  • Be bold. We empower businesses and drivers to embrace change to realize the sustainable future we imagine. Our mission is inherently bold, it’s time our brand identity lived up to it.
  • Think sophisticated. We build intuitive solutions. We leverage our wealth of experience and passion for design to create top-of-the-line products and services. Our product design is even award winning. It’s time to celebrate this.
  • Keep it simple. Finally at EVBox, we must strive to make complexity simple. The EV industry can be quite technical and at times, complex. If our aim is to reach as many as possible, then we must break down the barrier to entry. It’s our job to make the transition as easy as possible.

4. Visual identity

Once we had defined our brand’s characteristics, we started the next step in the process: visual identity exploration.

Using our newly defined brand characteristics as a guide, we wanted to generate as many concepts or “moodboards” as we could.

At this stage we didn’t want to be overly precious or hung up on the details. By casting a wide net at first, we could quickly eliminate concepts that weren’t resonating and home in on the ones that had potential.

These early concepts were just a starting point. We used them to generate discussion with stakeholders and get feedback early in the process, without anyone feeling too attached to any one direction.

After exploring a wide range of ideas, we nailed it down to two distinct concepts. Each were presented to the company’s executive management team along with the story behind both.

Concept one

In the first concept, you will see there is a stronger lean towards sophistication, simplicity, and sustainability. The result is a slightly more calm and corporate aesthetic which ultimately speaks to EVBox as a reliable and mature player in an emerging market.

Concept two

In the second concept, we adopted a bolder and futuristic aesthetic, whilst also leaning into the technology and energy sectors EVBox finds itself in. We created this feeling by using high contrasting colours, an electric green-blue gradient and a futuristic typeface.

There’s also a strong link between the hardware and brand design here. Ultimately, this concept aimed to stand out from the crowd and grab people’s attention.

The end result?

The EMT felt that were elements of both concepts that resonated with the vision for the future EVBox brand. Our job was figure out a way to merge both in a cohesive way.

This next phase of the design process was the most challenging yet.

We had to integrate the feedback we’d received, align with both the hardware and software teams, ensure legal was on board with the new direction, and prepare one final presentation for EMT to get their official go-ahead.

How would we present the new direction to them? We decided the most effective way to communicate the final concept was a mini-brandbook, which showcased the new EVBox brand.

The EMT’s unanimous approval marked the end of this crucial phase of the rebrand... and the beginning of our next challenge: to bring this brand to life.

5. Verbal identity

In parallel to the final visual identity concepting, we began work on the verbal identity.

These guidelines aimed to create consistency across EVBox’s interactions with its partners, customers, and employees. This was split into four distinct sections: Strategic narrative, tone of voice, writing style, and company glossary.

  • Strategic narrative: A strategic narrative is a high-level story that can be used to align sales, marketing, public relations, and human resources around a common strategy. This story would then be used to introduce the new EVBox to the market.
  • Tone of voice: Our tone of voice is how our brand's character shines through in words, both written and spoken and it carries the weight of our vision.
  • Writing style: Our writing style is the parameters that ensure consistency across our written communications. While our tone may change with the medium, our writing style should stay the same.
  • Company glossary: An all-encompassing lexicon for the company to align on industry terms, EVBox vocabulary, and legal definitions.

a) Strategic narrative

Next, we needed to define EVBox’s strategic narrative going forward.

A strategic narrative is a high-level story that can be used to align sales, marketing, public relations, and human resources around a common strategy. It should emotionally frame a company's existence, what it does, and how they do it. It wraps a product offering and a brand’s position in the marketplace in a story that has context, gives rise to stakes, and shows a vision.

By definition, a company's strategic narrative should:

  • Be customer focused.
  • Define the journey that’s taken with customers.
  • Align with strategic goals.
  • Evoke emotion over rational thinking.

Why EVBox needed one:

Industry leaders (read thought leaders) have a story to tell. As EVBox was positioned as a leader in the rapidly evolving electric mobility industry, it was essential to have a vision for the industry that goes beyond their own business. A story that gives context to the company’s product and service offering.

How did we write it?

We got together with key stakeholders including the VP of Marketing and Strategic Director, as well as multiple marketing functions, to write this story.

After multiple workshops which showcased the need for a story like this and multiple rounds of review, we landed on the following narrative:

  • Context: Electric mobility has entered the mainstream and new EV drivers aren’t as rich, technical, or accepting of risk as early adopters.
  • Stakes: Supply these new drivers with the same EV charging technology as the early adopters and your business will struggle. But if you help them charge with confidence, you can grow with this rapidly evolving market segment.
  • Customer vision: Become a leader in the new era of mass electric mobility.
  • Features: Our product DNA and our innovation direction: We’re building solutions that are fit for mass adoption of electric mobility.
  • Proof: Over 550K charging ports shipped. Over a decade in the business. New generation of more intuitive, reliable, and convenient solutions. Sustained industry-leadership. Product awards. Sustainability awards.

b) Tone of voice

Next was to define EVBox’s tone of voice. We started this by translating our new brand characteristics into guidelines: How are we going to bring these to life in our verbal communications?

Here’s a summary of the tone of voice:

EVBox’s tone of voice reflects our brand’s characteristics: Bold and sophisticated, yet simple. We say what we think, we avoid jargon and deliver our message with conviction, and we don't speak over our audience. Together, these elements will help us achieve our vision of a world where electric mobility is the new normal.

We then dissected the three characteristics and wrote specific examples for how we would live up to each.

  1. Be Bold: Driven, courageous, out-of-the-box.
  2. Think Sophisticated: Experienced, refined, clear and expressive.
  3. Keep it Simple: Accessible, humble, and digestible.

c) Writing style

Next, we created a writing style guide that helps EVBox maintain consistency in written content. It consisted of four major parts:

  • General rules: Including our language and sentence structure and company, product names, and general terms.
  • Grammar: How do we write numbers, dates, abbreviations, symbols, and punctuation.
  • Legal rules: What are the restrictions and limitations when describing products, features, and milestones.
  • Green claims: How do we talk about sustainability in public, without making claims that could be perceived as greenwashing?

d) Company glossary

Lastly, we began the process of creating a single source of truth for every term in all external-facing customer communications. Electric mobility is a jargon-heavy industry, and with no alignment between regions or companies, this creates a lot of confusion. Especially when it comes to communicating as a company. We created a lexicon with a general definition of each along with examples of the term used in a sentence as well as alternatives to avoid.

e) Brand guidelines platform

These brand guidelines were then set up on Zeroheight, which you can find at

6. Implementation

a) Internal launch

On February 2, we held an internal event to reveal the brand to EVBoxers.

This was also the time the company was to hold the Winter Summit; a win-win for the brand team’s budget. Over four hundred employees joined us in Amsterdam and two hundred more online to finally see the new brand identity.

To get the company excited, we decided to wrap up the entire brand identity in a 90 second brand reveal video, which we created with the help of the agency, Woodwork.

We also sent the brand book to employees so they could start getting familiar with it. And finally, we announced that the brand would launch externally in April. The date was set.

This event was a big boost for employee engagement.

After the launch, there was a noticeable increase in morale amongst EVBoxers. A reinvigorated sense of pride. It really felt like a big milestone to assume our position as a mature, professional, and established company.

b) External launch

After the internal reveal of our new brand identity, we prepared for the external launch.

Initially, we expected to launch with key assets—like the website, social media, and critical templates.

But our readiness surpassed our expectations.

We found ourselves juggling around ten concurrent rollout projects, varying in size and complexity. For example:

  • The web team had to update templates for hundreds of pages, blogs, and products.
  • We also partnered with the facilities team to update both permanent and temporary signage.
  • Meanwhile, the studio worked on creating comprehensive brand guidelines.
  • Our employer branding unit hustled to refresh our employee merchandise and stationery.

Managing this rollout demanded significant effort, but it paid off: On April 25, we successfully unveiled the rebranded EVBox.

At the flick of a switch, a new logo on the office entrance appeared. The website went live. The baby blue transformed into electric green.

And just like that, we began a new chapter for EVBox.

c) Post-launch rollout

Over the next few months, we began to educate the organization internally on the new brand and start creating assets with this new direction. Six plus months on, we’re still going. Here are a few highlights of the brand rollout:

  • Brand Film: The film, Charging the Future, is a visual interpretation of EVBox’s strategic narrative. The goal? To introduce the era of mass EV adoption (the shift in the world we highlight in the narrative) to EVBox's prospective customers, partners, and investors and bring everyone into the new era of electric mobility.
  • Brand awareness campaign: With cutdowns from the brand film, we created an advertising campaign to increase brand awareness.
  • EVBox Liviqo: The first new product, EVBox Liviqo, began to rollout of the production line with the new logo.
  • EVBox Everon: EVBox’s charging management platform, EVBox Everon, was rebranded to reflect the new look and feel of the company.

5. The verdict

So, did it work? Was the rebrand a success? It’s a bit too early to tell.

Our next steps are to closely measure and monitor the new brand. We are currently working on uncovering some concrete results and quantifiable proof of the effects of this project in three areas:

  • Sentiment: One way we are measuring success is by utilizing Meltwater (a listening tool) to monitor sentiment around the brand closely, looking at social media and other media as well.
  • Reach: One of our key KPIs for measuring success will be the reach of the brand awareness campaigns, Charging the Future, that we’re currently running.
  • Engagement: Here we are looking to see how people interact with our branded content. Do they like? Share? Comment?

For these three areas we have given weights to each data point to create three simple gauges in Tableau. That way we can quickly see if our branding efforts are moving the needle.

However, branding is a long-term play. While the full impact of this project may take time to appear, so far, the initial responses we’ve had have been extremely positive.

We can confidently say the rebrand significantly reinvigorated the company internally and has contributed to building interest in EVBox from potential clients, partners, and investors. It has aligned stakeholders around a common identity, which in turn makes future brand building efforts more streamlined and efficient.

We encourage you to come back and check in a few months' time for the EVBox Rebrand: One Year On article.