Rebranding ‘Exxellence’: behind the scenes of new brand ‘xxllnc’

A unique and memorable brand is not just important, it is essential. It consolidates the company proposition, effectively enabling an easier sell of products and services. An inside story on the rebranding of government software group Exxellence.

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Main Capital Partners
25/06/2021

A unique and memorable brand is not just important, it is essential. It consolidates the company proposition, effectively enabling an easier sell of products and services. A memorable brand creates unity, which is especially important during a buy-and-build strategy. Since 2020, Exxellence Groep grew rapidly with 6 add-ons. By rebranding Exxellence to xxllnc, we want to create a solid foundation for future growth, with a brand that is able to evoke a spark and slowly disrupt the status quo.

Laying the branding foundation
The corporate strategy and our high ambitions in the Dutch governmental software market defined the framework of our new branding. While the new business plan covered all facets of the new xxllnc, we decided to focus on three different sections for the branding foundation:

  1. The mission statement: nr.1 Government Technology in The Netherlands
  2. The company vision: the xxllnc Ecosystem
  3. The core values: Craftsmanship, Innovation, and Venturous

Creating a new brand takes more than a logo. It is the embodiment of our company’s mission, vision and company values. Branding is therefore deeply rooted in marketing and often appropriated by this department. Yet we wanted to approach it more holistically since our ambitions exceed just being a brand for marketing purposes: the rebranding project focused on the interplay between user experience, design and (market) communication.

Improvise, adapt, adjust and overcome
We also needed to take into account the active buy and build strategy. Our group grows rapidly because of the add-ons acquisitions and a smooth integration plan – also regarding branding – is key for success. So it was not only about finding the right brand color, nor a unique brand identity in the matrix of competitors, but about blending current and future companies with their own unique history, business philosophy, culture and experience. Avoiding, and here’s the challenge, to continuously set new precedents as add-ons always differ from its predecessor. By creating a solid foundation, a template, we were ready to take the show on the road.

Just keep it simple
For the main transformation we focused on the two pillars from the business plan and merging the buy and build strategy:

From Exxellence to xxllnc
We decided to alter the letters of the brand name, by omitting the vowels from the name. By doing so, we created a more tech-looking and distinctive brand name.

Future-proofing terminology and definitions
One other thing we tried and implemented was carefully choosing the terms we use in further communications. For example, instead of ‘software’ as our primary line of business, we chose ‘Apps’, which is more modern and fits the mission statement and vision better. Similarly, instead of the umbrella term ‘other services’ we talk about ‘Support’: this  relates to app-specific help, or support for a business-specific problem.

The xxllnc template
Regarding the new add-ons, we focused on finding common ground and thinking in templates. This would make integrating them easier and give them a clear spot in the new brand. We looked at what the new companies would add to the xxllnc ecosystem. For example, T&T, our data specialist company, adds their CompeT&T software to the network of apps. We changed this name from CompeT&T to xxllnc Gegevens [Data]. Similarly, the Zaaksysteem.nl platform changed into xxllnc Zaken [Cases]. This template thinking makes it easily recognizable and extendable to future business activities, whether we make the app ourselves or add it through buy and build.

For the upcoming months we still have plenty of big challenges to face, but the biggest one, setting the foundation of our new brand, is done. We’re excited for the launch of the new website xxllnc.nl in July. In the meantime, you can check out brand.exxellence.nl.

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