Re-igniting a Spark

New Kind helps a passionate community of employees, partners, and customers reinvigorate a successful and established technology brand.


In 2012, the Progress leadership team made a bold decision to pursue a new growth strategy. They would reinvest in the core application development market where the company had built a stellar brand and reputation over its first 30 years in business.

Under the leadership of Progress’ former Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Smith, New Kind was invited to be a part of the team tasked with articulating the story of the new Progress in a compelling way.


“I knew that we had a tremendously loyal and talented community of partners and developers, and millions of end users relying on our technology every day. We had partner and customer loyalty, great technology and a team to be proud of so why weren’t we telling the world about it?

As more than one partner put it: “Progress is the best software company you’ve never heard of.” I liked the first part of that sentence, the second part kicked me and my team into action.

Jennifer Smith, former Chief Marketing Officer, Progress


We started by conducting research with Progress customers, partners, and employees. We wanted to learn more about what was important to them, what strengths they saw in Progress, and what opportunities they saw for the future. We closely studied the current brand to better understand the possibilities for what it could become.

We then shared what we learned with the Progress team, and worked together to synthesize this research into a unique story that would pay homage to the past while preparing for a bright new future.

In our research, we discovered that the core story of Progress was about empowering customers and partners. These customers and partners have big ideas, and Progress provides the spark that helps them turn these ideas into business reality.

The concept of the spark connecting idea to reality became the heart of Progress story, and inspired the re-imagination of the Progress visual brand.

Working with the Progress team, we helped bring the story of the spark of Progress to life, first introducing it at Progress Exchange 2013 in Boston.

Since then, we’ve worked to ensure it has become deeply embedded in the culture of the organization, and a key tool for aligning the vision of Progress that is shared with customers and partners around the world.

“New Kind has been a valuable partner for our company over the 
past few years. The ideas, advice and energy of the New Kind team 
have been critical in helping us tell the story of the new Progress 
both internally and externally. For me personally they have been 
the rock that I needed during a hectic time—I have truly 
appreciated their advice and counsel.'” Jennifer Smith
Former Chief Marketing Officer - Progress



New Kind is a branding agency for organizations that are inventing or reinventing themselves

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