In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, businesses must keep up with the times to remain relevant, competitive and to showcase growth. Undergoing a brand refresh can signal to stakeholders that the company is looking to the future and is committed to growth and innovation. It can also help businesses differentiate themselves from the competitors and build stronger brand recognition and loyalty.
In the travel industry, where technology and consumer preferences are constantly changing, businesses must adapt quickly to remain relevant. At Rome2Rio, we recently went through a brand refresh, with an update to our logo. This new logo pays tribute to our heritage while celebrating our community of global travellers, signalling the next phase of growth for us. But what went into the brand refresh process, and what does this transformation mean for our future?
The state of the travel industry
Let’s take a look at the travel industry as a whole first, delving into how the current state of it shaped our decision. It’s fair to say that in the past few years, the industry has undergone significant changes, with the pandemic causing major disruptions, including lockdowns and travel restrictions. However, as these were lifted, there was a rebound in travel intent with people itching to scratch their wanderlust. Last year, McKinsey & Company predicted that the travel industry will recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024. Our recently released Mobility Report shows we’re on track to achieving this, with searches on the website having increased by 133 percent between Q1 2019 and Q1 2023.
With the current global economic downturn affecting many industries, the transportation sector included, we’re bound to see changes to the way people travel. Whilst we don’t see a slowdown in travel, we will see consumers begin to prioritise saving costs, transport providers having to adapt to rising fuel costs, and pilot/driver shortages. At the same time, technology is altering travel habits and sustainability as a travel consideration is gaining more weight. It’s up to businesses to now shift their perspectives to stay ahead of the curve and cater to the evolving needs of the industry and its customers.
Why did we choose now to go through a brand refresh?
In 2010, our founders landed on the name Rome2Rio because it accurately described our original core purpose – helping travellers to get from one place to another. After over a decade of providing travellers with easy and hassle-free planning, we believed now was the right time to make a change and celebrate our milestones at the same time. In 2022 alone, we achieved over 50 million monthly visitors, 200 million monthly page views, and over 475 million yearly visitors.
However, while our footprint was larger than ever, our research told us that brand recognition wasn’t where it should be. It found that users were unable to read and understand the logo easily, particularly due to the previous cursive font that was used. The brand refresh is the catalyst to announce Rome2Rio’s next phase of growth, as we look to launch a range of new features and further enhance the user experience.
Thinking behind the new logo
Honouring the company’s roots while also celebrating our global community of travellers, the new logo was created to be an instantly recognisable look, associated with the easy travel planning experiences of Rome2Rio.
It is designed to be simple and effective, using two interlocking pins on a map to reflect the start and endpoint of a traveller’s journey and how Rome2Rio connects them. The tick in the middle provides positive reinforcement and reminds users of the satisfaction of checking off an item on a travel planning to-do list. The logo’s geometric shapes mirror the company’s ethos of providing a simple, hassle-free travel experience to users.
The move away from the previous cursive script was a deliberate move to maximise the logo’s readability for our diverse global user base. As more than 50 percent of Rome2Rio’s users are not native English speakers, the new logo’s simplicity and readability are paramount.
Yesh Munnangi is the CEO of Rome2Rio.