How Hub Group Paved the Way Ahead With a Rebrand and Website
An intermodal shipping company grows its reputation as a tech-forward innovator while remaining true to its service-oriented roots.
If you’ve taken a road trip — or just a trip across town — you’ve probably passed a Hub Group semi-trailer or train car. The intermodal shipping company’s bright green containers have criss-crossed the country since 1971, and during those 50 years, Hub Group has been in constant motion.
A variety of acquisitions strengthened its offerings and allowed for new capabilities, while the development of industry-first technology created end-to-end visibility for every shipment.
Increase in site performance post-launch
growth in first-time visitors YOY
Increase in search impressions
But you can’t tell any of that from looking at a green container. While the Hub Group company had grown, the Hub Group brand and website failed to communicate its full range of capabilities and modern sophistication. When the Fortune 1000 company approached Walker Sands in search of a rebrand, we wanted the new brand to position Hub Group as a supply chain technology leader, but also remain true to its founding values of service, honesty and integrity.
This intersection of innovation and relationships is a rarity in the intermodal shipping world, and one Walker Sands knew would resonate with Hub Group’s core audiences. Competitors mainly spoke to their own expertise and capabilities, not customer benefits or new technology. This led us to our guiding strategy: With Hub Group’s founding values in mind, build a brand that reflected its current status as a customer-focused innovator and also allowed for future scalability and growth.
Legacy served as the cornerstone of our team’s verbal brand inspiration. Hub Group has a strong internal culture guided by the idea that, “The Way Matters” — how you do something is just as important as what you do. So how did that idea sound as a modern message?
“The Way” could serve multiple purposes. “The Way” shipping containers reach their destination. “The Way” as the path to innovation. Hub Group’s new external-facing tagline, “The Way Ahead,” captures these meanings, placing an aspirational focus on the future. Hub Group’s voice is trustworthy, approachable and straightforward; audiences range widely from investors to drivers to employees, and these characteristics allow the new brand to universally reflect their needs without pandering or pretension.
Over the years, Hub Group’s vibrant green shipping containers have become a symbol of their identity. Because they enjoyed equity as the only competitor in the space using green within their brand, we developed a sophisticated, monochromatic green palette to further build on this association.
Inspired by the angles within their hexagon-shaped logo, a signature visual device, deemed the “focal point,” frames images and content to represent Hub Group’s relentless focus on customer success. And custom photography and video shot on location along the California coastline serve as a breathtaking reminder of Hub Group’s supply-chain reach.
Prior to the rebrand, several Hub Group acquisitions still operated as separate entities, creating confusion and misalignment both internally and among its customers. Walker Sands defined an intuitive product architecture, converging all brands and capabilities under the Hub Group name. This product architecture served as the foundation to the new website’s sitemap and navigation to better position Hub Group as an end-to-end solutions provider.
The success of this project was defined not by the new elements we added to the Hub Group brand, but through the long-term equity we retained. The modern Hub Group that emerged is a natural evolution: a customer-focused leader whose cutting-edge technology and solutions define the way ahead — both for itself and for the industry.