Evolving an Iconic Brand for a New Era

Under new leadership, eBay Marketplaces has evolved. The experience is now cleaner, more contemporary and more innovative. Yet, the logo had not been updated in more than a decade, with employees and customers still experiencing an identity that felt outdated and out-of-step with eBay’s future vision. eBay Marketplaces asked Lippincott to help redesign the brand’s story, personality, visual identity and content strategy to reposition the brand and signal a new chapter.


eBay is an iconic brand that people know and love, so changing key strategy and design elements was a decision not made lightly. While strong in brand equity, many consumers associated eBay with auction-style listings, used goods, and quirky items. Yet, audiences failed to realize that eBay had evolved greatly, with the majority of items being new and “Buy It Now” instant purchases. Moreover, eBay had become a mobile commerce leader, with apps downloaded over 100 million times. This current progress and bold future vision of continued innovation was not being properly reflected in the brand story and identity—from eBay’s work environments to its core site.


Properly designing the eBay Marketplaces brand strategy and identity required a deep knowledge of customer needs, trends, company culture and leadership’s vision. We synthesized research and led workshops with executives, employees and agencies to more clearly identify the strategy and articulate the brand’s story and personality. To reimagine the meaning of eBay and better position the company vis-à-vis competitors, the team developed a streamlined set of personality attributes, a brand narrative telling the story and a brand essence that better conveyed the reconceived brand strategy.

Lippincott also designed a refreshed logo, design system and content strategy to better convey eBay’s new brand strategy. The logo exploration focused on reflecting the right amount of change in eBay’s new logo. The design is inspired by today’s vibrant marketplace and sleeker experiences, but carries forward the iconic color arrangement and approachable form to reflect eBay’s heritage. Utilizing the refreshed colors, including a brighter blue and darker yellow, the broader visual system creates streamlined arrangements to enhance visual harmony. This personality comes to life in words and copy, with a focus on approachable, smart and dynamic expressions.

To best unveil the refreshed brand identity, we created a launch approach, core messaging and a micro-site focused on placing the logo evolution in the broader strategic context. The website, which contained the new logo, a letter from the  president of eBay Marketplaces, a look book, an info-graphic, a social feed and Frequently Asked Questions, encouraged the media and customers to reconsider eBay today and better understand the future vision for more personalized shopping, both global and local. For eBay employees, the Lippincott team provided visual applications of future concepts, such as billboards, shopping bags and iPads, which were displayed on digital monitors around campus and on the Facebook page.


eBay successfully launched a refreshed brand identity highlighting the current improved customer experience and dynamic future vision. The international press, including Reuters, Businessweek, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, highlighted the logo evolution and the strategic rationale. Moreover, the brand microsite received hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world, with many discussing the logo on Twitter, Facebook and other social channels. On campus and with customers, there is currently strong momentum for eBay’s bold future vision.