The creators of Ansible saw developers and sysadmins repeatedly solving the same problems in an effort to kill the complexity of systems tasks. So they built a solution. They created a powerful automation engine that makes systems and applications simple (even fun) to deploy.
Because they had a powerfully simple product, they had an opportunity to build a strong message around the solution they had created.
So they invited New Kind to help develop a brand for Ansible that communicated the power of their product. We were excited to jump in. With roots in open source and a passionate community of users, Ansible had a solid platform for building a dynamic brand story.
That foundation would help them turn a startup into a tech brand that Red Hat would acquire for over $100 million.
“ We're simplifiers. We're seeking a whole new technical aesthetic where much of the software industry has been adrift. ” Michael DeHaan - Ansible Founder
We started by conducting research with Ansible customers, partners, and employees. We wanted to learn more about what was important to them. We wanted to understand the strengths they saw in Ansible, and what opportunities they saw for the future. So we hosted a series of surveys and interviews. We took a detailed look at the competition, and we studied the current brand to better understand the possibilities for what it could become.
We then shared what we learned with the Ansible team, and worked together to synthesize our research into a unique story that would reflect the simple power of their product and prepare the brand for a clear new future.
Choosing a pathway
Community members told us about the value that Ansible brought to their work. We discovered that what differentiated Ansible was its powerful ability to hide the complexity of IT automation. The idea of sophisticated simplicity became the core of the Ansible story.
We developed five supporting principles to further articulate the message, and began to re-imagine a visual identity for the brand that would strengthen the key story elements.
“ You should choose an automation tool based on how you think. I wrote Ansible because I didn’t feel any of the existing tools fit my brain—and I wanted to create a tool that I could not use for 6 months, come back later, and still remember how it worked. ” Michael DeHaan - Ansible Founder
Bringing the story to life
Working with the Ansible team, we developed ways to make the story real for people inside the organization, and also for the community it serves. One key strategy was to redesign their visual identity to reflect the company’s new positioning. We created customized typefaces to give them a proprietary logo, and used powerful, clear language to convey the company’s brand story and the impact of Ansible for the IT community.
Pop-up banners, stickers and buttons, business cards, and T-shirts were other fundamental touch points for the refreshed identity.
“ New Kind was uniquely suited to help bring the Ansible brand to life because they understand the power of communities. At Ansible, our community is a large stakeholder in the brand. New Kind did comprehensive research to make sure that we developed a brand message and identity that would reflect the values of the community, while giving our company a strong position in the market. Since launching our new brand, Ansible has grown tremendously and the community is more vibrant than ever. ” Todd Barr - SVP Sales & Marketing - Ansible