In 2021, Headline went through a transformative rebranding process, transitioning our own firm’s branding from e.ventures to Headline. Having experienced the power of brand first-hand, we now help our portfolio companies rebrand at pivotal moments in their business’ journey. In this blog series, we're sharing a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into a rebrand through the founder's lens.
For many, a diamond is the most pivotal – and expensive – purchase of a lifetime. It’s a symbol of clarity, conviction, and promise. And yet, the process of buying diamonds has always been fraught. In fact, even gemologists with decades of experience struggle to fully trust and understand the stones they handle daily. And because diamonds are so high stakes, jewelers keep their inventory to a minimum, often limiting the sales process.
Nivoda, a B2B marketplace for diamonds and gemstones, has built close relationships with diamond suppliers around the world, and tests every stone before sending it to the purchaser. These relationships and processes allow Nivoda to deliver a global supply of stones – and their stories – to retailers, in just one week. For jewelers, this access builds momentum to the ultimate popped velvet box moment, when their customer meets eyes with the perfect, most dazzling stone for them.
Impressed by Nivoda’s growth and the founders' vision to unify the fragmented and opaque $30 billion diamond industry, Headline led Nivoda's $11M Series A in 2023. As part of their journey to becoming the leading online diamond marketplace, Nivoda embarked on the rebranding process.
Built around reclaiming the senses of partnership and brilliance at the heart of every successful diamond exchange, Nivoda shifted its positioning from a transactional diamond marketplace to a romantic, gallery-inspired experience. The company’s digital storefront is the ultimate display case, featuring hyper-realistic, zoomed-in photographs of stones, and showcasing the intricacies of cut, color, and clarity. Their consumer-facing product was designed to feel elegant, vast, and graceful, enabling jewelers to impress their customers from the outset, and establish the momentum for that wow-factor finale. Their wordmark features a sturdy weight and complimentary geometric shapes that evoke a stone and its setting, and the certainty required as a diamond changes hands.
Q&A with Dave Sutton, Nivoda Co-Founder & CEO
Rebranding is always a leap of faith. Why did you choose to do it?
Our decision to rebrand was a strategic step, influenced by feedback from customers who were surprised by the level of service they received, given the disparity with our previous branding. It's safe to say they were judging a book by its cover, and their assumptions couldn't have been further from the truth. We decided to go ahead with the rebrand in hopes of elevating our brand to accurately reflect our identity and the quality of service we provide.
What advice would you give to other founders who are considering a rebrand, but might be apprehensive given they’ve already been in the market for years?
My advice would be to initiate the rebranding process sooner rather than later. When we started the process, our primary focus wasn't on changing our existing customers' perceptions of our brand; instead, we were more concerned about setting the foundation for the future and ensuring that our branding accurately represented who we are.
Did your definition of “brand” evolve at all as we went through this process together? In what ways?
It did. This process was a bit of a marketing masterclass in visual identity for me. Throughout this experience, I came to realize how the Nivoda brand extends to every facet of our organization, reaching every department and team member, and ultimately extending to our customers. While our brand indeed mirrors our identity, fundamentally, it's about the lasting impression we want to leave with our customers.
What aspect of the new Nivoda are you most excited about?
I'm most excited about the look and feel of it. I really like how it finds a harmony between the world of modern tech and the time-honored operational excellence synonymous with the jewelry industry. The new Nivoda brand seamlessly integrates these two critical facets of our business, which is something I really wanted it to reflect, as so much of our work and success relies on inter-industry collaboration and creative problem-solving.
Strategy, Copywriting, and Creative Direction: Molly Martell, Headline
Identity Design: Poulsen Projects
Digital Design: Wildes District
Digital Copy: Katelyn Seaton