Case Study

The birth of Ocient

What do you call an unnamed startup that’s enshrouded in mystery and founded by one of Chicago’s top tech entrepreneurs? An enticing opportunity for brand discovery.

To be completely honest, the startup did have a code name. But even the code name was covered by a nondisclosure agreement. 

The new company was founded by Chris Gladwin, who sold his last startup, CleverSafe, to IBM for an undisclosed sum (widely rumored to exceed 9 digits). That deal reportedly set a record as the largest software exit in Chicago’s history.

We were told his new company would soon be introducing something very big and very disruptive, and that it was critical to perfect its branding before meeting with prospective customers.

Chris wanted to work with a creative firm with a methodical process, driven by a focus on position and messaging. He asked that we transform the company’s goals and values into a brand that communicated intent, evoked emotion, and built trust.

Over the following month, we systematically worked through a competitive analysis, fleshed out their brand profile, developed position and messaging, and moved onto naming. We explored over 650 names en route to the winner: “Ocient.”

Logo, business cards, T-shirts, a PowerPoint template, and a one‑pager quickly followed. 

The original “stealth” version of the website was designed to fan the tech community’s curiosity. It revealed practically nothing about the venture, but encouraged software engineers to apply for employment.

The current version reveals a bit more—just enough to whet the appetites of their target markets. Everyone now knows that Ocient’s technology enables rapid analysis of the world’s largest datasets. (Note the emphasis on “largest.”) The site also reveals that Ocient’s architecture utilizes modern high-performance, low-cost hardware.

Qualified parties only—you know who you are—are invited to inquire for more information.

Identity

Apparel

Web design