The Challenge

We had raised capital for our Cloud Computing startup, but needed to build a brand that communicated our value proposition, defined our company values and gave our customers and employees a reason to believe.

The Process

The team began with these questions:

  1. Who are we?

  2. What do we do?

  3. Why does it matter?

I took those answers and partnered with an amazing Art Director, Shannon Smith, to create a visual identity for the brand.

Guidelines:

  1. Keep it Simple, Pure and Different

  2. Focus, Focus, Focus: It’s better be number 1 in a small category than number 3 in a larger one.

  3. Change the Playing Field: If you can’t be number 1 redefine your category.

Goals For a Great Brand:

  1. Start Inside

  2. Avoid Selling Products

  3. Ignore Trends

  4. Don’t Chase customers

  5. Sweat the Small stuff

  6. Commit and Stay Committed

  7. Never have to give back

The results

Mission:

We are not an “-ER” company

We are not building better, but different

Computer infrastructure rethought from the ground up

Not a faster horse,

A car

Not a silver bullet for all problems,

We are the platform that will power tomorrow’s technology

Brand Identity:

Hack-ER Mentality

For this company to succeed, we cannot make incremental improvements, but rather exponential. Founded by hackers, we search for flaws to exploit that others have overlooked. We are constantly asking why things are the way they are in order to our search for advantages over the competition. Every aspect of our company from marketing to the products must pursue the goal of improving by 10X. It is essential to our survival, because slowly getting better won't work for us. We hack out the “-ER” to create the incredible.

Positioning:

We are Amazon Web Services for Web 3.0.

We call this platform, Open Hyperconverge due to it’s ability to evolve with new server technology as it develops.

Our software optimizes new server models for peak performance upon installation. This ability to automatically adapt gives our customers a significant advantage as they build the world of tomorrow.

Archetype:

We use an archetype to match tone of voice for every touchpoint with customers from tweet to package design.

The Maverick:

We are irreverent to authority when our convictions say we should be. We have moxie and nerve. We are unconventional, but with a purpose. We have a vision of the way the world can be and will work as hard a we possibly can to make it a reality. We aren’t afraid to break rules or cross lines to do what needs to be done. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than request permission.

Real Life Example: John McCain

Regardless of what you think of his politics, John McCain was a badass. Born the son of a wealthy admiral, McCain chose service to his country as his life’s mission. After attending the Naval Academy, he served as a fighter pilot during Vietnam where he was shot down and taken prisoner. Despite his status and offers of freedom, McCain refused to leave captivity without the other prisoners. He endured five years of torture that left him unable to raise his arm above his head. After his release, he became a Congressman and then a Senator. He was known for working across the aisle and regularly defied his party to vote his conscience. Despite this rebellious streak, he passed several landmark pieces of legislation such as the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform act. He set a tremendous example of how a Maverick can change the world.

Tone of Voice:

We chose our words carefully in order to be clear with our meaning. We are confident, not cocky and always promote a better way forward instead of putting down someone else.

 
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Logos:

Primary:

Main

darklogo.png

Secondary

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Square

darklogocloud.png
 
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The primary logos should be used on any light background and the secondary on dark.

Fonts:

The number one priority for our fonts is readability, however it is important to match the right font with medium to accomplish this task.

Nexa Bold for headlines to match our logo font.

Cambria for print body text, because serif fonts are more legible for print.

Arial for web body text, because sans serif fonts are more easily read online.

Quicksand for mobile as it was designed for smart phone readability on a smaller screen.

Color Pallet:

The goal of our colors is to make our messaging (logo, text, etc.) pop on whatever background it’s on.

NT Dark Blue:

White or light colored backgrounds

Pantone: 534 C

CYMK: (71, 49, 0, 56)

RBG: (33, 58, 113)

HEX: 213A71

NT Gold

Dark colored backgrounds

Pantone: 129

CYMK: (0, 16, 90, 8)

RBG: (235, 197, 24)

HEX: EBC518

NT Light Blue

Secondary logo color

Pantone: 290 C

CYMK: (21, 8, 0, 8)

RBG: (185, 217, 235)

HEX: B9D9EB

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