Autotrader Unveils New Brand Identity

Autotrader logo

Fresh logo reflects evolution underway in the company

Nearly 16 years ago, Autotrader created the online automotive marketplace and began a transformation in the way cars were bought and sold. In the years since, Autotrader has evolved into a digital solutions company offering a suite of tools that make car buying and selling easier for consumers, dealers and manufacturers, and attracts the largest audience of any third-party automotive site. Today, the company affirms that progress with the launch of a new logo and brand identity.

“This new brand identity reinforces the transformation underway in our business,” said Autotrader President Jared Rowe. “We’re building on our legacy as the most comprehensive online automotive marketplace by expanding on our strengths, stretching into new territory that aligns with our mission and creating an emotionally engaging experience for both buyers and sellers.”

Autotrader’s new logo and brand identity were developed in partnership with Lippincott, one of the leading brand consulting and design firms. The logo is a dynamic icon that can be interpreted in many different ways: the road ahead, an arrow pointing forward and a subtle “AT.” The design draws inspiration from vehicle badges and intentionally translates well to mobile, web and print applications to reflect the growth of multi-device usage in car shopping. Autotrader’s signature orange is still present to reflect optimism in the car buying process.

In written communications, Autotrader will now be treated as a single name with a lower-case “t” for “trader”, rather than looking like two individual words combined. This change is a reinforcement of the brand’s existing position in the minds of consumers, as Autotrader is commonly used and recognised as a single term.

“This new logo visually represents our role in the car shopping process – Autotrader is the guiding force that leads consumers to the vehicle that’s a perfect match through an experience that’s personal, immersive and surprisingly enjoyable,” said John Kovac, senior vice president of marketing for Cox Automotive, the parent company of Autotrader. “We’ve come a long way since our brand was born 16 years ago, and this new identity perfectly captures that journey by giving a subtle nod to our history while literally pointing forward toward our future.”

The new logo will soon be a star on the racetrack, as Autotrader and Team Penske will debut a new paint scheme for Joey Logano’s No. 22 Ford Fusion at the Ford City 500 on 19 April. The company will also evolve its highly successful advertising campaign featuring TV icons the “Dukes of Hazzard,” with refreshed creative featuring the new logo.

“The new identity evokes a fresh optimism and confidence that speak to the company’s passion for cars,” says Michelle Matthews, partner, Lippincott. “As important, the design also represents the journey — the possibilities that propel a car buyer along the exciting road to finding the right car.”

The new logo complements a series of enhancements and new products and services Autotrader launched recently, and sets the tone for new additions to come. In 2014, Autotrader added dealership reviews, streamlined the search experience, and made a number of updates to its mobile tools. Autotrader was also the first third-party automotive site to offer an alerts feature that notifies shoppers via text or email when there are updates to their saved vehicle listings or searches.