3 Lessons We Learned From Rebranding Gusto

Why a successful rebrand should be a collaboration

Jason Marder
Published in
5 min readJan 27, 2020


A new sign-in page that celebrates humans at work.

July 22, 2019, was a big day for Gusto. We launched a completely overhauled brand and a massively improved product experience.

What happened seemingly overnight started with nearly two years of tough questions: Who are we? Who do we want to be? What do we have to do to get there?

The answers kept pointing to the idea that our brand is our product and our product is our brand. This meant that a new identity system would have to be built by brand and product, together.

Pro tip: Get leadership input early. We led workshops for our leaders to visually interpret our brand identity, which directly informed our creative choices. Images courtesy of the author.

So what’s a brand? And why does it matter?

Well, it turns out to be incredibly elusive, so buckle up. Is a brand a logo? A mission? Your website or customer support? The last interview your CEO did?

It’s every one of these things and so much more.

Brand is in every choice a company makes and how people experience those choices.

The irony of such a concise definition is that it shows you just how big the scope of brand really is.

So let’s make it a little more tangible.

  • If you’re a clothing company, your brand is not just the style of your garments. It’s the fabrics you use, where they came from, your packaging, your website, the return process…
  • If you’re a restaurant, your brand is not just your food. It’s the plates and silverware, your staff, your physical space, your menus, your bathrooms…
  • If you’re a physician, your brand is not just your license to practice medicine. It’s your communication style, your empathy, your office’s interior design, your staff, how often appointments start on time…

Does it make more sense now? Brand = product and product = brand.

The drama of ‘another rebrand’

If you’ve heard of Gusto, you might be asking, “Didn’t you just rebrand?” Well, sort of.



Jason Marder
Writer for

Design @ Stripe. Previously redesigned Gusto. Life enthusiast. Lover of all things delicious. www.jasonmarder.com