A powerfully simple story
Ansible and New Kind discover a radically simple way to communicate the power of its radically simple IT automation software.
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.
Services: Identity System, Storytelling
Why New Kind?
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.
SVP Sales and Marketing, Ansible
“We’re simplifiers. We’re seeking a whole new technical aesthetic where much of the software industry has been adrift.”
– Michael DeHaan, Ansible Founder
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.
The story helped Ansible better define and express what made them such a powerful solution for prospects and clients. Future work together included a new visual identity system and several other messaging projects at the product and company-wide level.
The results speak for themselves: Ansible has grown to become the most popular open source automation tool on GitHub, with over a quarter million downloads per month and over 3,550 active contributors.
The company was successfully acquired by Red Hat in 2015 for $150mm. Ansible is a vibrant and growing technology and a key part of an open source champion with which we continue to foster a successful relationship, collaborating on projects like the Red Hat Developer identity.