• Catherine Carr

Icertis Brand Strategy


How we helped a $1B tech pioneer elevate its brand and claim category leadership to ward off increasing competition, paving the way to a future IPO.


Bellevue, WA

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM)

Focus: B2B, Internal

CONTEXT

In just ten years, Icertis had pioneered a new category of enterprise software and grown to an impressive global scale, partnering with many of the world’s best-known brands to manage even the most complex contracts with leading-edge technology. The company prided itself on its strong, values-driven culture and had recently achieved “unicorn” status with a fresh round of funding. The landscape was evolving quickly, however, with a number of new competitors and an emerging opportunity to help mid-sized companies evolve their contract processes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was the ideal time to sharpen the positioning to fully reflect the founders’ expansive vision. Re-establishing Icertis as a premium brand and the clear industry leader would ensure the company could attract the world-class customers, talent, investors, and partners it needed for a new chapter of innovation and growth.


Re-establishing Icertis as a premium brand and the clear industry leader would ensure the company could attract the world-class customers, talent, investors, and partners it needed for a new chapter of innovation and growth.

VITAMIN C SERVICES

Brand Strategy


Brand and messaging audit

Stakeholder 1:1s with team members and industry analysts

Comprehensive competitive analysis

Qualitative customer research

Articulation of brand purpose, positioning, and pillars

Messaging maps

Brand Activation


Voice, tone, and vocabulary development

Detailed brand expression guidelines with activation examples

Brand-driven case study format

Brand-driven customer testimonial template

Customized self-serve training materials

Brand Expression


Select website copy

Brand FAQ and pitch development

Messaging maps tailored for key verticals



MOMENT OF CLARITY

As we dug into the brand audit and stakeholder interviews, we were impressed by the team’s deep knowledge of the ins and outs of contracts, but struck by how frequently the messaging was contract-centric instead of customer-centric. Our conversations with customers confirmed our hypothesis that they care far more about their business—responding quickly to change, ensuring compliance with complex global requirements, delivering better service to customers—than about the contracts themselves. Shifting the brand messaging to be customer-centric would position them well to reach a wider range of decision-makers including C-suite execs, not just contract specialists.


Our conversations with customers confirmed our hypothesis that they care far more about their business than about the contracts themselves.

During the competitive analysis, it became clear that many CLM providers were promising “end-to-end solutions” that are actually quite limited in scope and technical capability. This pointed to an opportunity to evolve how we talk about the core offering from contract management, which feels static and limited, to contract intelligence, which is more dynamic and open-ended.



As a team, we landed on an exciting new brand positioning centered on contract intelligence as a strategic advantage that helps customers stay out in front, even when faced with rapid change and unexpected challenges. Supported by pillars emphasizing the company’s bold vision, unrivaled expertise, and enduring commitment, the new platform clearly differentiates Icertis in an increasingly crowded competitive space, representing a bold evolution from “Why CLM?” to “Why Icertis?”




CREATIVE INSPIRATION

We learned that the original inspiration for the company’s name came from the Latin root cert, which expresses standing behind your work. This aligned beautifully with the theme of trust, which emerged as a clear theme in our conversations with customers and industry analysts. Icertis builds long-term customer relationships based on its values with trust at the center, and this felt increasingly important to highlight as we discovered how volatile the CLM category had become, with many companies merging, building out questionable “bolt-on” offerings, or even going out of business. This is a high-stakes, multi-year investment that companies need to get right the first time with a partner they can trust. The concept of trust became central to the new brand positioning and vocabulary.


The concept of trust became central to the new brand positioning and vocabulary.

Brand vocabulary emphasizing words using the “cert” root

The new brand platform created a strong foundation for an exciting visual rebrand by Wunderman Thompson. We left the “applied cloud” tagline behind and embraced a dynamic and distinctive new visual identity.



CONTENT CLIP



COLLABORATORS

Wunderman Thompson (logo and visual identity development)


HAPPY CLIENT


Thanks so much...for making this process rigorous, timely, and even more important - fun!! The results are awesome!” Monish Darda, CTO

#brandstrategy #messaging #brandvoice #brandguidelines #brandactivation #brandstorytelling #B2B #internalcomms #Icertis

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