Developing a brand of limitless potential
MemSQL and New Kind develop a brand foundation for a database built for breakthroughs
MemSQL is changing the database game. For too long, innovative companies were held back by legacy databases not equipped to handle their needs. Business breakthroughs, in this modern era, will be built with real-time data and actionable insights. The leaders that emerge will be those that can best use data to create better customer experiences, continuously improve, and outpace the competition.
MemSQL looked to New Kind for help refreshing its visual identity, messaging, and event experience strategy—a complete go-to-market brand foundation equipped to usher in a new stage of growth for the company.
Industries: B2B Technology, Database Software, Technology
Services: Brand experience, Identity System, Positioning, Research, Storytelling
Why New Kind?
I'm in love with the new MemSQL identity. The mark, the palette, the icons — all of it works so well together to differentiate the brand and convey our core traits of being ultra-fast, ultra-modern, and helping our customers break through with data. I've had the privilege of working on over 100 brands between my time as an agency professional and as a CMO, and this is the identity work I am most proud of. No doubt about it.
Positioning, Storytelling, and Messaging
Building consensus across the team
MemSQL came to us with a main message they liked, but didn’t love. For the preceding year, they’d been positioned as “The No-Limits Database,” but knew they needed a compelling brand narrative and layers to allow the merits of their big idea to shine through.
We started by defining MemSQL’s brand pillars: the foundational ideas we wanted MemSQL to be known for.
Most databases, we realized, are too slow for big data enterprise needs. Most won’t scale to flawlessly serve millions of users at once. And none can deliver on the first two while allowing architects to work with the SQL language they know and love. Speed. Scale. SQL. In the end it was that simple.
We crafted a compelling brand narrative around these pillars, painting with rich language a story of how MemSQL is the only database created to deliver the breakthroughs our world depends on. Go-to-market messages emerged in the course of crafting the story, giving the MemSQL sales team a powerful pitch for each of the company’s ideal client groups.
Why New Kind?
Working with New Kind was extremely rewarding. Not only are they extremely talented creative professionals in their own right, but they collaborate seamlessly with our in-house design and marketing teams at every step. This makes our work together stronger than it could ever be from each independent team, and the work gets stronger with each iteration.
Bringing limitless to life
With a brand story in place, we turned our attention to crafting a visual system that would capture the spirit of “limitless potential,” the visual organizing principle we used to guide the creation of MemSQL’s new identity.
But what does limitless look like? Breaking down barriers, opening doors, endless energy, infinite possibility. Through rounds of visual development, we explored these and dozens more concepts—borrowing from science, mathematics, history, the celestial, the impossible. Iterating with input from the MemSQL team, together we decided simple is better.
Above all else, the mark needed to communicate two core ideas:
- MemSQL is the world’s fastest database
- MemSQL delivers limitless potential
In the end, the logo mark took inspiration in equal parts from the familiar database icon and the infinity symbol, coming together to create a deceptively simple logo that packed a world of meaning.
We worked closely with MemSQL’s internal teams to help integrate the new visual identity into their brand systems and workflows. This included introducing a vibrant new color palette, icon styles, and an updated visual element called the “glowing streams,” which represents the fast-flowing nature of data itself.
We worked closely with the MemSQL team to create a script and develop a brand motion strategy, defining the “living” behaviors for key elements. We partnered with our friends at dash to produce a video that brings the brand to life in new and exciting ways.
From concept to conference to race car
MemSQL sponsors dozens of industry events each year. Deals are won and lost on the trade show floor, where competition with other database vendors is fierce. Rising above the noise and capturing customer attention in these moments is a big challenge.
We worked with the MemSQL events team to execute the new brand identity and messaging for the first time at the O’Reilly Strata Data NYC conference.
Designers used the trade show booth like an open canvas to explore how the new brand elements could come to life in living color. Supporting marketing messages splashed across pop-up banners and throughout swag t-shirts and stickers—eagerly snatched up by enthusiastic attendees.
In a first for us at New Kind, MemSQL recently revved up their brand rollout by announcing their brand sponsorship of the No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 racing team, bringing the brand to life at unprecedented speed.