When we started Aspire in 2013, modern influencer marketing was just starting to ramp. 8 years later, it’s clear we’re still just in the early innings of this revolution.
Today’s leading brands are realizing traditional ads don’t work like they used to. The brands consumers engage with reflect something about who they are and the communities they aspire to be a part of (whether that’s Supreme or more recently, The Bored Ape Yacht Club). As a result, leaning into real relationships with creators and communities of brand fans has become table stakes for the modern brand. People are at the heart of any brand’s success — ask any creator or founder, and you’re sure to hear stories of the importance of their early community.
The future of brand sits at the intersection of creators, communities, and commerce.
Since day 1, it has always been our belief that the empowerment of people was at the root of everything we were building. 8 years into our journey, we’ve paid out over $100M to creators from all around the world and from all walks of life (artists, musicians, athletes, designers, moms — the list is endless). We’ve built the largest sponsorship marketplace in the world, alongside the leading set of SaaS tools for brands to build and engage their communities to drive sustainable growth.
As we enter a new phase of our business, we’re excited to announce a new name, enhanced visual identity, and a redesigned website to match who we have become. These changes reflect our journey towards becoming a more mature, approachable brand and product that can meet, and grow alongside our customers at any stage of their journey.
Our subtle name change, from AspireIQ to Aspire, represents the simplicity of our focus on real human connection to empower brands and creators to reach their goals. We deeply believe the future of commerce must be grounded in real relationships first.
While this change seems small, it reflects our mission to make commerce more human. Commerce is about more than a simple exchange of goods and currency. It’s also about trust and identity. Consumers want to support brands and creators with whom their values align and these connections will form the foundation of a more sustainable, diverse, and rich economy. In the way Shopify eliminated the barriers to entry for merchants to set up their online store, we’re excited to empower those merchants to share their stories and build their communities.
More than ever, as ad costs continue to rise on traditional digital performance channels, helping brands find sustainable and owned alternatives for growth is a core part of our mission. Beyond influencers, brands are finding success working with every type of community member that orbits their business including customers, ambassadors, affiliates, and many others. Everyone can have an impact on a brand today and the ability to build real relationships at scale will be key in differentiating the next generation of breakout brands.
As the pioneering SaaS tool for all types of consumer brands, we’re excited to unveil our new brand to our community. To us, it represents our own maturation as a business and a more confident, grounded, and approachable presence in service to brands and creators of all types. We hope you love it as much as we do.
Becoming Bold, Confident & Human
With our rebrand, there was an opportunity to stand out in the sea of B2B tech sameness — an opportunity to be bold, grounded, and human.
The visual and verbal tone we wanted to express in our new brand came to light with four principles.
- Effortless. We aim to help our customers accomplish great things while making it as simple and streamlined as possible. We want to empower our customers to grow through powerful technology that allows them to stay focused on their relationships with their community through great design.
- Transformative. We've built a platform to operationalize word-of-mouth for emerging brands. This toolkit can empower businesses to scale growth rapidly through their community, empowering them to grow in a cost-effective and sustainable way.
- Trusted. Referrals and recommendations are the foundation of building a lasting brand. Consumers today don’t want to transact with nameless, faceless corporations. They want to engage authentically with brands they care about.
- Human. The move from transactional to relational commerce is here. Consumers are opting out of traditional advertising and are eager to take back their privacy. Brands that are built to last are investing in relationships with their people, not just their channels, to drive sustainable and owned growth.
As we expand our focus to empower small businesses to grow sustainably (with a specific emphasis on Shopify merchants), we’re incredibly excited to be able to do so with this more approachable brand.
This was the result of months of work from several teams across our org coming together, including marketing, design, product, sales, as well as the all-star team at Staff Only. David Myers and Naim Sheriff are incredibly talented and were instrumental in bringing all of this together.
Beyond the visual design itself, David and Naim also helped us create a more intuitive website as well. The goal of our new site is to ease discoverability and surface all the educational content we have created in our over 8 years in market. Now, on our product pages, you will find in-depth information about our features. And in our new library, you can find collateral you might not know had existed before, such as our courses and toolkits. Just as our visuals have matured, so have our resources.
Great brands are co-created with their communities, so your feedback is very welcome. Connect with us on Linkedin to share your thoughts!