Introduction

The LendingTree brand is like a unique person.
It's not like anybody else. It has personality,
motivations, beliefs and that something special
that makes it tick.

Our brand guidelines are all about getting to know the cool human we essentially are – both inside and out - so you always know the reasons why and how we: look (bright, minimalistic, polished), sound (straight-forward, confident, smart) and act (approachable, pro-consumer, sometimes pretty funny). So keep these guidelines on hand. Refer to them often. Get to know them well. The more familiar we all are with them, and the more we’re all on the same page, the more recognizable and valuable our brand will be.

*Because this document is organic and dynamic, it’s not supposed to last through the next ice age. The thing is, brands, just like people, tend to evolve over time and what may be set in stone today could seem tired and stale next year. So even while we always fundamentally know who we are, we’re not afraid to change a little along the way, either. Just like those mom jeans. I mean, come on.

Colors

    • LendingTree Green
    • 7ac142 / 629f43 / ebf6e3
    • Primary Color
    • Neutral Purple
    • a3509f / f3eaf6
    • Secondary Color
    • Clickable Blue
    • 00aeef / 2f86d4 / d9f5fd
    • Everything Interactive
    • Action Orange
    • ffa800 / ff9900 / fff2d9
    • Main call to action
    • Alert Red
    • ff4d07 / ffe4da
    • Action required
    • Message Yellow
    • fff7c8 / fffcee
    • Temporary system messages
    • Dark Gray
    • 333333
    • All text and dark elements
    • Light Gray
    • a3a3a3
    • Light gray text
    • Inactive Gray
    • e1e1e1
    • Inactive elements
    • Background Gray
    • f5f5f5
    • Tables/legal box
    • Background Blue
    • edf5f8
    • Site background
    • Background Mint
    • eaf4df
    • Email background

Logos



Please note:

  • All tree logos should include a ®
  • LendingTree should always be 1 or 2 colors.
  • Try to always use the green leaf vs. resorting to knockout (white or black)
  • The ® in these logos are for small to medium use. If logo is significantly resized, please adjust size accordingly.

Powerpoint Template



Although the Creative Group is very impressed with everyone's amazing design skills, (as seen in the dozens of Powerpoint templates floating around) we still thought it would make it easier for everyone if we offered one go-to template that everyone, in every department, can use for ALL presentations, both internally and externally.

But don't feel fenced in too much. Within the new go-to template, there are quite a few flexible options that allow you to cater to your audience and specific needs. For example, most presentations should have the green title slide and subsequent green footer bar. However, if you're presenting to another company and you don't feel like punching them in the face with our brand throughout the presentation, you can use the dark gray or light gray title slide (with moveable logos), then the associated gray footer, etc. for a more neutral presentation.

We've also provided a number of charts, graphs, Lenny images, etc. to spice up your individual presentations and add some uniqueness as you see fit.

Due to the change in monitor and TV layouts over the last several years, we are now following the industry trend and moving to a 16:9 ratio. This is a great thing because it allows us to take full use of modern screen sizes – and, great news, this template is in that new format.

Directions for converting old slides into the new template without image skewing and applying the new typeface (Open Sans) and styles are provided.

Download LendingTree Powerpoint Template



Hi, I'm Lenny



Who's Lenny?

Standing at 26” tall, Lenny is a cute, cuddly, cynical, bitingly honest, ultra-confident and utterly shameless guy. Lenny has no problem saying what we're all thinking.

Lenny is one of those guys who can't bear to see others being unfairly taken advantage of. That's why he's such a highly informed, highly empowered advocate of LendingTree – he loves to see the power being taken away from the banks and put in the hands of ordinary people on the street. That said, being a cute green puppet, Lenny exercises the right to say whatever he likes, whenever he likes, to whomever he likes. Although edgy, Lenny is very likeable and not pushy or mean-spirited.

When using Lenny, keep in mind:

  • Lenny is a huge advocate of LendingTree. He knows the company inside and out, but he is NOT an employee or paid representative of LendingTree. He would never say, “we” when referring to LendingTree. He is simply a huge fan.
  • For all intents and purposes, Lenny is “real.” In imagery, remove Lenny's support sticks.
  • Lenny's not mean. Lenny can be cutting and direct and he loves to poke fun at people, but ultimately, he needs to remain likeable.
  • Lenny shouldn't “straight sell” LendingTree products and services. If there's a very specific message you need to support in advertising, consider making the initial message from LendingTree and then have Lenny “respond” to it in his own inimitable way.

Example:

  • LendingTree: We just launched our new Mortgage Check-up tool.
  • Lenny: I did it in 30 seconds flat – and I only have 4 fingers!
Download Lenny Images

Need larger versions? A different pose or expression?
Email todd.lauer@tree.com

Typography



Desktop

H1 / Open Sans Light / 52px. / -10 tracking

H2 / Open Sans Light / 40px.

H3 / Open Sans Light / 25px.

Element Text / Open Sans Regular / 18px.

Body / Open Sans Regular / 14px. / 24 Leading / 580 max column width
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce suscipit libero et venenatis auctor. Donec sed laoreet felis, in vulputate nisi. Suspendisse faucibus sit amet augue vitae mattis. Maecenas rhoncus nunc sit amet augue fermentum fermentum.



Mobile

H1 / 85px / 100px Leading

H2 / 68px / 80px Leading

H3 / Open Sans Light / 40px

Titles and Buttons / Open Sans Semibold / 34px

Body / Open Sans Regular / 30px / 40px Leading
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce suscipit libero et venenatis auctor. Donec sed laoreet felis, in vulputate nisi. Suspendisse faucibus sit amet augue vitae mattis. Maecenas rhoncus nunc sit amet augue fermentum fermentum.

Bottom Navigation Items / Open Sans Semibold / 25px / 40px Leading

Icons


Coming Soon

Design Guidelines


All visual design elements for LendingTree should meet the following check list:

  • Clean w/ a Strong Hierarchy
  • Is the design airy, light, clean and have appropriate breathing room?
  • Is everything in the design necessary?
  • Is the design minimalist (limit angles, colors, images, etc.)?
  • Is there a strong hierarchy? Does the user know what he’s suppose to do next?
  • Polished
  • Does the design come across as professional and position us a credible source? Is it clear it was designed by a professional graphic designer?
  • Is the design free of silly/ugly images, obnoxious flickering, visually offensive items (i.e. clashing colors, no alignments, multiple typefaces, etc.)?
  • Engaging
  • Is the piece approachable? Do viewers want to engage, read, interact with, click on, etc?
  • Does the design use clear, concise and obvious calls-to-action?
  • On-brand
  • At a glance, does it belong to the LendingTree brand? Would it fit into a LendingTree mood board?
  • Are the appropriate styles, colors, typefaces, etc. used?

Copy Guidelines



This official LendingTree Copy Guide provides you with clear copy guidelines for LendingTree. In it, you'll find the tools you need to create, review and use consistent copy for the entire range of LendingTree's communications.

This guide is your go-to resource that tells you our ONE AND ONLY choice for the way we spell, notate, capitalize, hyphenate, define and use words. For at-a-glance scanning, LendingTree ways of doing things are called out in green.

  • LendingTree Terms

    It is ALWAYS LendingTree (one word) NOT Lending Tree (two words)

    • DO NOT make the brand possessive. DO NOT say "LendingTree's"
      Example: we never say "You can find that on LendingTree's website"
      Instead say: the LendingTree website

    2 words or 1?

    • LendingTree not Lending Tree
    • My LendingTree not MyLendingTree
    • username not user name
    • password not pass word
    • townhome not town home
    • email not e-mail
    • website not web site
    • site map not sitemap
    • rollover not roll over
    • top bar not topbar
    • sign up (e.g. "please sign up here" and "our sign up process is easy")
    • sign in not log in or signin
    • sign out not signout
    • setup not set up
    • ZIP code not Zip code
    • Homebuyers not Home buyers

    Body Copy

    • Spell out "per" (instead of "/") when space permits (e.g. [sample]), unless when used graphically in creative:
    • Example: "Ten times per month" NOT "Ten times/month")
    • Use "your" instead of "my" throughout website copy
    • Example: "Change your settings" NOT "Change my settings"
      • An exception to this is the FAQs section. Questions can use "my" to appropriately frame the question (e.g. "How long after I purchase my home…?")
      • An exception to this is within approved navigational elements or site sections (i.e. "My LendingTree")
    • NEVER misspell a word intentionally or write incoherent sentences for SEO purposes
    • Use "he or she" instead of s/he or he/she
    • Example: "Before starting, he or she will have to choose a type of loan."

    Capitalization

    Always capitalize:

    • Company names (e.g. "LendingTree", etc.)
    • Products, services, key features, e.g.:
      • "Mortgage Negotiator", "Loan Explorer"

    Be consistent. If title case is used for titles and/or labels within pages, sections, etc. just be sure it stays consistent.

    Choices within dropdown boxes should be lowercase, but start with a capital (e.g. "Single family home", "Multi-family dwelling")

    Important nuances:

    • References to products are the exception and should use title case:
    • Example: Auto Loans
      • However, when discussing the generic term "auto loans" as an overall topic there is no capitalization
    • References to navigational tab and menu items should be in title case:
    • Example: "Please select the Advice & Calculators tab"
    • References to parameters like form labels, form fields, table headers are NOT to be capitalized in body copy
    • Example: "Enter your username and password"
    • However, if the above example is used as a label in front of a form field, the first letter of the phrase and reference to the field itself should be capitalized.
    • Example: "Enter your Username and Email Address" or "Change Email Address"
      NOT "Enter your username and email address" or "Change email address"
    • The word Internet should always be capitalized. The word web should not.
    • When including a company logo, for example:
      LendingTree, DegreeTree, etc.
      • "A branch of [LendingTree logo]" NOT "A Service of LendingTree" or "Brought to you by LendingTree"
    • Always capitalize the first word in a bullet list
      Example:
      • House
      • Condo
      • Mortgage

    Buttons should always be title case:
    Example: "Refinance Now" NOT "Refinance now"

    Links should always be sentence case:
    Example: "Refinance now" NOT "Refinance Now"

    • Words not to capitalize when using title case:
      • and
      • a
      • an
      • are
      • the
      • or
      • to
      • for
      • in
      • is
      • if
      • on
      • over
      • of
      • with
      • from

    Punctuation

    • What is the Oxford Comma? It's also called a serial comma. We don't use the Oxford Comma (or ‘serial comma’) at LendingTree.
      • Example: Write "A, B and C" Not "A, B, and C"
      One exception: if a serial comma assists in clarifying the sentence, or helps to break up a complex sentence with numerous items listed, it can be used. Use your discretion. Generally, we do not use it.
    • Use a colon (:) after labels Fax:, Phone:, Email:
      Example: Do not use*:
      • ;
      • Just a space
      *Unless graphically stylized (e.g. on a business card
    • Do not use (:) for labels of form fields
    • Bulleted lists should be made up of terms or phrases – not sentences – when possible
      • Avoid using ending punctuations with bullets (a rare "!" is OK)
      • Occasionally, when paragraphs are bulleted, punctuation is needed. However, make sure every sentence and every bullet ends in a consistent punctuation
    • Avoid using punctuation in page titles
    • Avoid the use of exclamation points
      Example: "Getting a great deal is easier than ever" NOT "Getting a great deal is easier than ever!"
    • Do not use ellipses
      Example: Use "Select city" NOT "Select city…"
    • Do not use apostrophes after an acronym.
      Example: Q&As and PDAs Not Q&A's and PDA's An exception: An apostrophes should only be used after an acronym if it's possessive.
      Example: "the Q&A's length became too long"
    • Ampersands (&) can be used in titles or when space is limited. In regular paragraph copy, the word "and" should always be used.
    • Apostrophes/contractions (don't, can't, it's, we'll) can be used in copy to achieve a more casual tone.
      Example: "Can't find what you're looking for?" However, when writing formal or legal copy, do not use contractions. You would say "who is" rather than "who's"
      Example: "…identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of realtors."
    • If bulleted paragraphs start with a title word/phrase, use an en dash instead of a colon to separate.
      Example:
      • The following are different loan types:
        • Refinance – Description of a refinance…
        • Home Purchase – Description of a home purchase…
        • Auto Finance – Description of auto finance…
    • It's OK to use sentence fragments (e.g. "You bet." or "Sound too good to be true?"). However, please limit this and do not stack them one on top of another.
    • Don't use a period after a linked sentence fragment (e.g. "Learn more about refinancing")
    • Avoid the use of a slash (e.g. this/that). Use "and" or "or" instead. If a slash is used, don’t include spaces (e.g. "this/that" not "this / that") An exception can be made if the length affects readability (e.g. "single family home / manufactured home")
  • Calls to Action

    When creating call-to-action links, be specific. This is very important for SEO and also helps the user.
    For example: "More about mortgages" is better than "Learn more"

    When linking an action link, please select an intuitive, but short as possible, linkable area. Use a verb that describes what the user can expect on the coming page. When linking content, avoid using terms like "Click here" or "Go here".

    Here are some examples of what should be linked.

    • Learn more about home mortgages
    • Use our home affordability calculator
    • You can easily access low cost health insurance or life insurance

    Abbreviations & Acronyms

    • Limit the use of acronyms. Only use acronyms that are universally understood or relevant to our business (e.g. 5pm (PT), SSN).
    • If acronyms are lesser known, clarify them in associated parenthesized copy.
      Example: "Find out if you may be eligible for an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan by answering the questions below."
    • Refrain from using military or corporate acronyms like EOD, EOB, OOO.
    • Use "phone" or "ph" if space is limited (not "tel" or "telephone")
    • Use "fax" (not "facsimile")
    • Use "mobile" (not "cell")
    • Use "international" (not "intl")
    • Q&A (not Q & A)
    • OK (not okay or O.K.)
    • U.S. for "United States" (not US)
    • USA (not U.S.A.)
    • P.O. Box (not PO Box)
    • Attn is the abbreviation for "attention"
    • Mgr is the abbreviation for "manager"
    • Mktg is the abbreviation for "marketing"
    • c/o is the abbreviation for "care of"
    • Spell out months in dates>
      Example: "January 2" and "January 2, 2015"br /> Only abbreviate months in dates when space is limited (charts, diagrams) or when alignment is necessary by using first 3 letters and no period (e.g. "Jan 2").
    • Use Q&As (not FAQs)
    • Use (i.e. sample) when you're saying "that is…" Not (i.e., sample)
    • Use (e.g. sample) when you're saying "for example…" When possible, just say, "For example, …")

    Industry and LendingTree Terms:
    • CRM – Customer/Client Relationship Management
    • CTA – Call to Action
    • DFS – Discover Financial Services
    • DT – DegreeTree
    • EDS – Educational Degree Source
    • EV – Expected Value
    • GFE – Good Faith Estimate
    • IO – Insertion Order
    • LF – Long Form
    • LP – Landing Page
    • LT – LendingTree
    • LTL – LendingTree Loans
    • MAC – My Account
    • ORM – Online Reputation Management
    • PII – Personally Identifiable Information
    • PR – Public Relations
    • QF – Qualification Form
    • RFP – Request for Proposal
    • RTB – Right to Buy
    • UGC – User Generated Content
    • UI – User Interface
    • UX – User Experience
    • VMD – Variable Marketing Dollars
    • VMM – Variable Marketing Margin
    • VOC – Voice of Customer

    Numbers

    • Do not spell out numbers (including 1-10) when referring to dates, times, financing samples or LendingTree offerings. Use the actual number.
      • Example: "Get up to 4 offers", "The conference will be held December 5, 2012"
    • However, in body copy different than mentioned above, spell out all numbers below eleven
      • Example: "The following three examples" and "Five days after you complete a form"
    • For thousands, add a comma
    • Example: Write "250,000." Avoid "$250K"
    • To denote millions and billions, be precise about not using spaces and ensure the proper capitalization usage:
      • $2 million or $2MM (There are two "MMs" for million; also it is not $2 Million or $2M)
      • $3 billion or $3B (not $3 Billion or $3 B)
    • Do not display decimals for rounded dollars, unless you’re comparing rounded to non-rounded numbers
      • Example: "$4.00 is less than $4.75") or if the two are presented in the same area or content (table, chart)
    • When using numbers in data tables within the same column, use the same number of decimals for proper alignment
    • 12:30pm (PT), 4:00pm (MT), 9am-10pm (CT), 9:30pm-10:00pm (ET) Always include a time zone for U.S. in two capital letters between parenthesis. Unless copy refers to a local event, please use (ET) as time zone default. Do not include minutes if BOTH times are on the hour.
    • Spell out dates as much as possible (e.g. January 2, 2009)
    • For dates, the preferred format is 01/02/2012. If space is limited, use 01/02/12
    • No European notations (e.g. DD/MM/YYYY as in 24/07/2012)
    • Phone and fax numbers should consist of 10 numbers separated by 2 hyphens (e.g. "415-321-1234" or "877-700-7862"
    • Don't use:
      • (415) 321-1234
      • 415.321.1234
      • 415 321 1234
    • Only for international numbers, use the leading "+" and country code: "+1 415-321-1234"
    • When creating a numbered list within a sentence, use parentheses and the numbers with one space on each side. For Example:
      • By filling out this form, LendingTree will (1) check your FHA eligibility, and (2) match you to appropriate lenders.

    Symbols

    • Use a ™, SM or ® when appropriate only once per page (first appearance) after a trademarked or registered trademarked or service marked product or company name.
    • When in doubt, consult compliance. Don't add ™, SM or ® when you're not sure
    • ™, SM or ® should not be used when referring to LendingTree, etc. on our own website, emails and marketing collateral (with the exception of logos)
    • Never use "@" to represent the word "at" in copy

    Miscellaneous

    Bold

    Use bold sparingly to stress terms or sentences. In case you do, the standard <b> tag should be applied when an SEO emphasis needs to be made. If SEO is not a consideration, the other form of bold <strong> should be used.

    Use bold to highlight the title portion of a bulleted list.

    For Example:

    • Refinance – Have you considered a refinance?
    • Home Purchase – Everything you need to know about a home purchase
    • Auto Finance – An auto loan you'll love

    Italics

    Use italics very minimally on the web.

    Use italics when grammatically appropriate in website, print and advertising contexts (i.e. references to magazines, journals, TV/movie titles, artwork, etc.)

    Quotes

    Use "double quotes":

    • When using colloquial terms (e.g. The more "sample" the more…)
    • Direct quote (e.g. Bernie Madoff commented: "sample".)
    • Do not use curly quotes (and other non-ascii characters) in HTML. So:
    • Right: "Quote"
    • Wrong: “Quote”

    Curly quotes are OK when used graphically on the web or in print (like in this document)

    Avoid using 'single quotes' unless you use a spoken quote within a quote (e.g. "She said, 'I got 4 great loan offers within minutes'").

    Dash

    Use an en dash (–) (HTML code: &ndash) in cases where part of the sentence needs to be separated out. Use parentheses sparingly. Do not use the double dash (--) or the single short dash (-). Please include a space on both sides of the en dash.

    Example:

    • "Sample here – sample here."

    A single phrase of combined words requires the short dash (hyphen). The following examples are "words" that should always be hyphenated:

    • multi-dwelling
    • break-even
    • high-risk
    • short-term
    • pre-approved
    • mid-point
    • state-of-the-art
    • first-time
    • up-to-the-minute
    • under-priced
    • re-enter
    • real-time
    • plug-in

Tone & Voice


Personality, Voice & Writing

Every customer experience should reflect some or all of our personality traits:

LendingTree Personality
  • - Empowering
  • - Confident
  • - Pro-consumer
  • - Engaging
  • - Human
This is who we are:
Empowering

Empowerment is our rallying cry. It’s the very core of who we are and what sets us apart – both internally and externally. We give our partners the tools they need and we give our customers the resources, education and control to manage their loan process from start to finish.

Confident

We're good at what we do and it shows. We are charismatic and direct with our partners and our customers. We stand out. We invented the category. We know what we're talking about, and take pride in helping others learn it too. We're upbeat and bold but never brash or arrogant.

Pro-Consumer

We are the consumer advocate. We always have the consumers' best interest at heart. Our products and marketing are designed from the ground up to be helpful, user-friendly and make a generally tedious process easy to navigate. We believe in an objective market place and are not clouded with biases. Our mission is simply to get consumers the best deals for them. We are pro consumer without being anti-lender.

Engaging

We're intriguing, interesting and approachable. Consumers should want to click our display ads, read our website, open our emails, listen to our radio spots and watch our TV commercials – and enjoy them all. They’ll get a kick out of what we say and how we say it.

Human

We are real people. We use real language. We're not formal, stuffy or overly legal. We explain things the way your friends explain things: with real words, easy to understand concepts, and - when necessary – shadow puppets. Even though our offerings are important decisions in our customers’ lives, we can make the process much more lively, engaging and memorable by injecting humor, playfulness and wit when we can. Be real.

How to write for our audience

Three Simple Rules

Remember, all of our communications should strive to do one thing above all else: to improve our customer's relationship with us.

What's the best way to do that?
  • 1. Keep it simple.
    Keep sentences short. Be clear. Don't use jargon or complex terms. Empower the customer.
  • 2. Put yourself in the customers' shoes.
    Is what you're saying helpful? Are you making it a good experience? What's in it for them? Why should they care? Turn features into tangible benefits.
  • 2. Say it loud.
    Be confident. Be bold, direct, and even a bit playful. Stay professional, yet be conversational. Talk to people like you talk to people. Be real.

We are professional, confident and direct in our communications. However, we do it all in a conversational manner. Our words should be empowering and empathetic. They should always speak to the customer's challenges and frustrations in a knowing way. We should also be uplifting, positive and even a little fun. We make it easy for people to understand us – first time, every time. The average high school graduate should be able to understand 95% of the website copy. Don't assume people know what a "point" or "APR" is. While insights, features and benefits will always vary depending on which audience we’re talking to, our tone should remain consistent.

Variations in voice

There are always considerations when it comes to whom we are speaking (our audience). It's how we behave differently at a formal dinner than how we act at a baseball game with our friends. Never forget your audience. Picture them as you write so they become real to you.

What to emphasize and when:

LendingTree always has the same personality traits: empowering, confident, pro-consumer, engaging and human. But within that personality, there are occasions where it is appropriate to be more – or less –formal. Use common sense. Imagine the person you’re talking to. How would you speak to them face to face? Do that. Be human. Be real. Be charming. Make them smile. Make them want to keep the conversation going.

DON'T DO THIS:
(Too bank-like):

By refinancing your home mortgage, you could reduce your monthly payment, shorten the term of your mortgage, or obtain cash, depending on your individual financial situation.

(Too casual):

Refinance for a lower monthly bill or for some fast cash! Let us be your wingman!

DO THIS:
(Just right – The LendingTree style):

By refinancing, you could lower your monthly payments, pay off your house years faster, or get cash out for a major purchase. Whatever your goals, LendingTree can help you reach them.

And a note about humor:

As important as humor is to our brand, we have to remember to be smart. Adding a little tongue-in-cheek humor to a process that, for most people, tends to be pretty stressful and tedious helps to leave a position impression. On the other hand, if humor is ‘over the top,’ cutesy or irritating, it can have the opposite effect. LendingTree humor should be in line with our personality and should always be clever and witty.

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