Project Summary

Bringing together two HR leaders for a unified future

The ask
To navigate the merger of Kronos and Ultimate Software, company leadership tapped Lippincott to solve a critical challenge: how do we create a new brand that would imbue the key aspects of both legacies into a strong foundation and would generate immediate momentum going forward?

Building a fresh, modern and purpose-led brand

How do you guide two distinct category leaders through a merger into a dominant new brand? In the case of Ultimate Software and Kronos, the HR solutions leaders shared strong cultures and reputations as two of the country’s top places to work. They also shared the challenges of merging in the midst of a pandemic. Enter Lippincott.

Through close partnership with the Ultimate Software and Kronos teams on every dimension of the new brand: name, tagline, brand platform and architecture, visual system, and brand voice, along with an activation plan that would bring these elements to life. Through the process of discovery and interviews spanning both internal and external audiences, we were able to capture our driving insight: the unique strength of the combined organization came from its position at the intersection of humanity and rigor. This pivotal perspective laid the foundation for the new brand’s positioning.

UKG Brand Voice

UKG Icons

“Lippincott helped us navigate an important evolution in our business, and we’re so pleased with the end result: an authentic and powerful brand that will serve us well into the future.”

Darlene Marcroft
Vice President, PR and Communications
UKG branded office

We then developed the purpose statement, “When you put people first, inspired results follow,” evocative of how the combined business would create success for itself and for its customers. The statement also echoes brand language from each of the legacy companies, strengthening continuity even as they move into a new future together.

In parallel, we explored different name options that would rally employees and signal the unity of Ultimate Software. The chosen name, UKG, or Ultimate Kronos Group, did just that—a short, straightforward solution that recognized the two legacies yet signaled change. Incorporating the word “group,” further amplified a human tone and bolstered the idea of a collective.

UKG branded stationary

UKG branded mobile phone screen

Since the chosen name was an acronym, it was also important to underscore the brand with an emotionally resonant tagline that reinforced their new positioning and expression. “Our purpose is people” embodies the ethos of the company, while elevating who they are and what they stand for. It also gives employees a sense of pride around their unique ability to prioritize people, while bringing everyone, both employees and customers, together around a common goal.

The visual system and brand voice embed UKG’s people-first purpose across every touchpoint.

UKG laptop

UKG golf sponsorship

UKG branded billboard

The new brand voice fuses warmth and energy with rigor and reason, allowing the brand to highlight its expertise when necessary, but to flex for a light-hearted tone when appropriate. Incorporating a smile into the logo speaks to the culture the brand aspires to create for its people and the partners it works with. The primary typeface has round forms that reinforce UKG’s personality, and the smile supergraphic acts as a special extension of the core identity. Altogether, the new brand system is unique expression that conveys UKG’s people-first purpose across every touchpoint.

UKG branded office space