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OLX unifying brand strategy & identity case study DesignStudio London Design Studio

Making second-hand the smart choice

OLX is one of the world’s most successful online classifieds businesses, operating in over 40 countries. Despite huge growth and dominating many of the markets it operated in, its brand and digital experience were a long way from best-in-class. And this was putting the long-term defendability of the business at risk. 

Facebook’s rapid growth into community classifieds and Amazon’s dominant position as ‘the cheap option’, meant OLX needed to connect with people around a new sentiment – something that took them beyond classifieds.

To truly understand the challenge first hand, we had to go deep. We embarked on a round-the-world immersion, visiting three of OLX’s key markets: Argentina, Ukraine and India, working with their teams, hearing from customers, and speaking to locals.

We started to understand the scale of OLX’s challenge and the nuanced cultural contexts in which the business operates. And yet despite these nuances, there was one consistent theme. In almost every market, buying and selling second hand has a negative stigma — it was seen as shameful, unhygienic or uncool. 

Buying stuff second hand is like using someone else’s toothbrush


I don’t want my neighbours seeing me buying second hand

Buenos Aires

It became clear that OLX didn’t just need a shiny new visual identity. They needed a brand to unify its markets, define a resonant and universal customer proposition and, ultimately, help shift a worldwide negative perception. 

To create a positive sentiment around second-hand trade, we tapped into the practical side of things — using OLX just makes sense. It makes it easier for people to sell almost anything, and make some extra cash. It saves money, keeps it in local communities, supports small businesses and saves the planet. Ultimately, it’s the smart thing to do. 

Our strategic proposition ‘We exist to empower everyone to make smart choices’ puts power in the hands of buyers, sellers, businesses and employees, positioning OLX as the savvy way to buy and sell almost anything. ‘Smart choices’ became a way for us to connect buying and selling second-hand to a new feeling: one of savvy confidence and pride.  

From this foundation, we created a visual design system that represents the idea of making choices — flexing and shifting between options. From the logo to graphic elements, it’s dynamic, confident and bursting with energy — expressing all the optimism and eccentricity that’s true to OLX. 

Distinctive custom typography and a vibrant colour palette helped OLX launch the refreshed brand in 16+ languages, across 40 countries. Photography shows off savvy local users, and tone of voice principles inject a healthy dose of attitude. We took our collaboration one step further and created marketing playbooks to help local teams capture the OLX spirit in colloquial ways. 


With the new brand established, the digital platform was key to living up to OLX’s new promise everywhere. We worked closely with OLX’s central product teams, establishing a new digital vision and creating an exciting new design system, product features and an extensive component library.

The final challenge was building tools that supported consistent localised execution and allowed global teams to collaborate. We built a bespoke brand hub that helps every team in the business understand the spirit of ‘Smart Choices’ and encapsulates every tool needed to launch the brand around the world, including brand guidelines, digital guidelines, articles, voting mechanisms, an avatar generator, a layout generator and plentiful visual inspiration. 

Since launching in 20+ countries, the new brand continues to imbue the spirit of ‘Smart Choices’ and inform bold and brave new campaigns in every local market, making OLX more distinctive, tangible and inspirational. We’re proud to have helped OLX find its point of view and become a leader in shifting the negative perceptions of second-hand trade around the world. 

Smarter consumption is at the heart of classifieds - being able to own that and take it up a notch, defining the future of trade through the strategic and visual platform that DesignStudio created, is nothing short of awesome.

Alex Hutley
Global Brand Director, OLX


The new brand is rolling out in 20+ countries across the world, and local teams have already begun to capture the spirit of ‘Smart choices’ with bold new campaigns. With a powerful new brand and digital experience to match, OLX can go from strength to strength, shifting the negative perceptions of second-hand to something smart, positive and fun.