Hootsuite’s 2022 rebrand wasn’t just about a new look; it celebrated their journey in social media management. With billions of social media users worldwide, Hootsuite’s role in connecting brands and audiences is vital. Their custom merchandise, popularized by #hootswag, built a community united by brand love. From a refreshed logo to Owly’s role as Chief Connection Officer, every aspect aimed to deepen engagement. Sustainable merch partnerships with Fairware highlighted Hootsuite’s commitment to social responsibility. Award-winning for creativity, the rebranding drove business growth. By embracing sustainable merch, Hootsuite isn’t just branding; they’re nurturing a community sharing their values and leaving a positive impact on the planet.

The Merch and Online Store

Establishing a merch store simplified the process of ordering branded items for Hootsuite team members and enhanced the ease of gifting experiences through an accessible online platform. Products ranged from the custom-branded Bella + Canvas Unisex Jersey T-shirt to the charming Die Cut Owly Stickers. 

Thoughtful Merch

Hootsuite expanded their merchandise offerings beyond the usual with items like the Owly Baby Onesie, demonstrating thoughtfulness for team members expecting a child. Beyond its undeniable cuteness, this gift adds a personal touch. Similarly, the Cooling Fitness Towel may seem like a typical item, but it’s particularly handy for active team members, aligning with their lifestyle and promoting well-being. These unique merch items reflect a deeper understanding of the team’s diverse needs and interests, going beyond the standard branded merchandise to offer practical and thoughtful support.

Custom Stuffies

Stuffies have long been a beloved staple for Hootsuite, but with Owly’s fresh appearance, they’ve become the star of the show. These stuffies are truly artistic creations custom-crafted to embody each of Owly’s emotions and adorned with an Owly tag for a retail feel.

More on the Hootsuite Rebrand

Hootsuite’s 2022 rebrand marked a milestone in the company’s evolution that reflects its commitment to leading the social media management space with creativity and innovation. The rebranding initiative was not just about introducing a new visual identity but also about reinforcing Hootsuite’s position as a pioneer and market leader in the social media domain. This case study explores the role of custom merchandise, and how these efforts contributed to announcing their new brand to the world.


Since its inception in 2008, Hootsuite has been at the forefront of social media management, providing tools and insights that help brands harness the power of social media. Hootsuite’s Press Release shared that with over 4.6 billion social media users globally, the platform’s significance in enabling brands to connect authentically with their audience is undeniable. The rebrand aimed to renew Hootsuite’s commitment to innovation and customer support in this rapidly evolving landscape​​.

Historically, the hashtag #hootswag played a crucial role in amplifying the impact of their custom-branded merchandise. By incorporating this specific hashtag, they leveraged the power of social media to create a unified place where users, employees, and fans can showcase their branded items, such as t-shirts, mugs, stickers, and more. The strategy was a great tool for engagement, encouraging the Hootsuite community to share their own experiences and connections with the brand – while creating a visual testimonial of brand loyalty and affinity. 

Key Points 

Visual Identity and Messaging: The rebrand introduced a refreshed logo and a bolder visual identity designed to make Hootsuite stand out in a crowded social media Software as a Service (SaaS) space. This new identity encompasses a more dynamic and expressive version of Hootsuite’s mascot, Owly, symbolizing the platform’s adaptability and the diverse moods of its customers on social media​​​​.

Strategic Communication: The rebrand was communicated through a comprehensive marketing campaign that utilized both earned media and paid advertising. Within 60 days (about 2 months) of the launch, the campaign reached 19 million unique users, generated over 1.7 million brand lifts (awareness), and resulted in more than 94 million impressions. This strategic outreach was instrumental in effectively conveying the new brand identity to a global audience​​.

Custom Branded Merchandise

Custom merchandise in brand launches is a great way to create tangible brand experiences. Hootsuite was no different; their merch assortment, featuring the new logo and brand colours, can help reinforce the brand’s new identity internally among employees and externally with customers and partners. By partnering with Fairware, a B Corp and diverse-owned merch supplier that specializes in sustainable promotional products, Hootsuite was able to reflect their commitment to social responsibility and community engagement. Those who engage with these products will become brand ambassadors, spreading awareness and loyalty within their communities.

Community and Customer Engagement

Central to the rebrand was the enhancement of Owly’s role as the Chief Connection Officer. This informal promotion was aimed at fostering a deeper engagement with the Hootsuite community and guiding brands to participate authentically in social conversations. The rebrand emphasized the importance of social media as an equalizer, encouraging brands to leverage it for good​​. Plus, Owly makes for some awesome merchandise.

Impact and Results

Recognized for its creativity, Hootsuite’s rebranding efforts were awarded in categories like “Best Branding” and “Enduring Impact” at the Fast Company 2023 Innovation by Design Awards, among others. The campaign also demonstrated a measurable impact on business metrics, including increases in product trials and organic brand searches​​.


Hootsuite’s 2022 rebrand is a testament to the power of strategic branding and customer engagement in the digital age. By refreshing its visual identity, enhancing its mascot’s role, and leveraging strategic communication, Hootsuite has reinforced its commitment to leading the social media management space. Launching a brand with a strong merchandise collection is integral to embedding the new brand identity into the community’s consciousness. 

In essence, Hootsuite’s approach to incorporating sustainable merch into its rebranding efforts isn’t just about creating products—it’s about fostering a deeper connection with its audience, building a community that shares its values, and leaving a positive impact on the planet.