Marketing engagement behemoth Marketo approached us to redefine their brand identity after more than a decade operating under the banner of purple growth bars. Known to every marketer who hasn't been living under a rock, Marketo was rich in brand equity and loyalty but lean on a scalable, modern system. As happens when companies grow quickly, numerous sub-brands and assets had been hastily added over the years with little cohesion. Even the iconic purple suffered from inconsistencies in application. Marketo’s content-rich brand experience needed clear hierarchy and strategic streamlining, and the visual and verbal identities warranted a fresh face for a bold and best-in-class company at the top of its game.

Growth redefined. The future of marketing is here.

Brand reveal video produced and directed by Focus Lab

We quickly exposed the limitations and shortcomings of the existing brand experience during an in-depth strategy process that began with an onsite kickoff in San Mateo with key Marketo executives and stakeholders. This experience helped us to intimately understand the dynamics of the company and the myriad challenges that we needed to address in the rebranding project. It also set a solid foundation for a working relationship that would sustain us in the many long months to come.

Brand Strategy revealed the significance of the numerous components of existing brand equity, from the rallying of the internal team around the iconic purple, to a noted consumer appreciation for the familiarity and approachability of the revenue bars. It was determined that a brand refresh would play on the awareness that Marketo has earned, and compete less with existing living assets. Therefore, our main objectives for the refresh became to mature the brand, create scalable and consistent brand visuals and applications, define and execute communications that felt relatable and inclusive, and to embrace boldness through secondary elements that tell the story of technological advancement, thought leadership, and a passion for the marketer.

Strategy Post-It Notes

I couldn’t be more proud to have you as our trusted partners in all things related to our brand.

Sarah Kennedy, CMO at Marketo
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We endeavored to create an identity that honors the Marketo history but projects a strong vision of the future.

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In recreating a brand worthy of the Marketo caché, we quickly realized the need to modify the revenue bars and the accompanying logotype. Initially referred to as Growth 2.0, we honed in on a story that embraced growth, but retold it in a way that spoke to the next generation of marketing. So the longstanding four revenue bars were simplified, streamlined, and given dynamism and dimension. They were reborn as the Perspective Bars, which served to represent both a shift within the company and the empowerment of the perspective that Marketo insights and resources offer their audience. But the Perspective Bars went one step further: serving as a pathway to the future of marketing, and as a sequence of opening doorways that presented new opportunities to the marketing community.

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A simple yet powerful brand mark allows for a quiet approach when appropriate and a LOUD stance when duty calls.

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To kick off verbal identity and messaging for Marketo, we engaged them in a brand archetype card exercise. Their passion for marketing was already clear in their brand voice: you could almost hear the purple. What needed further definition was the “why” behind their tone—the specific roles they play in their customers’, employees', and partners’ stories, and how best to express those relationships. During the exercise, the Marketo team determined that they were Creators, Mavericks, and Networkers. We made sure these facets of their personality rang true in their redefined brand voice, and in the new company messages we wrote. They sound relatable and inclusive—embracing the company and employee commitment to their audience as well as the community they’ve grown. 

Never diminish the power of words. Words shape stories and stories shape brands.

Brand Communications
Authoring Marketo's 43-page Brand Messaging Platform document
Brand Communications Guidelines

We laid the foundation for custom video and motion. It outlines visual language and target vibes, then articulates unique visual opportunities within the brand strategy and how to shoot for them. Before the on-location shoot, we created a custom free-standing door frame, built out an all-white studio set, location scouted, worked with a talent agency and makeup artists. All to get the perfect imagery.

Nothing brings a brand to life faster than creative production storytelling.

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