What’s in a name
Our rebrand was never about the name. Our name exemplifies so much more than a loud sound. It represents a close partnership with Salesforce, a relationship fostered since Salesforce’s inception, where Carter Wigell, Thunder’s CEO and founder was one of the first 100 employees. The name represents an energy and enthusiasm that each of our employees have for the opportunity to help our customers love what they do.
Thunder is a word that comes with a lot of inferences. It suggests powerful visuals; the very word represents a disruptive sound. And sounds can be challenging to visualize. Our logo represents the evolution of our brand; one that challenges norms in every solution design.
From the onset, we wanted to ensure our team was well-represented. We selected key individuals from various areas of our young company to help enhance the brand of our future; everything from our values to our mission statement. With this internal team assembled, we sought focused consultation from an outside team to bring a higher level of objectivity.
Enter Ember, a team of brand strategists and designers to help us refine our DNA. In true design-thinking fashion, we spun up a Mural and got busy thinking multi-dimensionally about our customers, employees, and partners, our 20-year roadmap and so much more.
Aside from figuring out how to express Thunder visually, we were faced with the challenge of establishing brand equity. There are hundreds of businesses out there named Thunder, and most of them have a bolt in their logo. We were determined to own our bolt and not have our brand lost in an endless universe of similar visual metaphors.
It’s funny how you go through a process; a discovery on who you’re going to be and what you’re trying to build, an analysis of our competitors, a visual assessment including a dozen logo variations and color schemes, just to end up choosing the very first option.
That was the case with our logo. To put it simply, we loved its boldness and the fact that it stood out against any backdrop. We appreciated that it wasn’t literally a bolt, but a unique interpretation, something that compelled you to think.
Owning the bolt
While our logo didn’t need to be a bolt, we still wanted one somewhere in our brand, because they are iconic, bold, and above all, they look great on t-shirts! Our requirements were not straightforward; we wanted a bolt that could simultaneously stand on its own as a supporting visual brand element, but also one designed that was unique to Thunder.
Loosely-sketched doodles represent another element that describes who we are. A large percentage of what Thunder does is to design solutions for our customers. We like to scribble ideas across whiteboards, notepads, or on the back of a napkin. We test out a concept and if it doesn’t work, we start over. Or, if we really like an idea, we circle it so we don’t forget it.
As easy as Boom
Messaging was another critical aspect of our brand design. Our intention was simple: our team is made up of industry OGs, and we want the Salesforce ecosystem to know that.
While Thunder is a startup, our team is well-established. Thunder’s leadership has been in the Salesforce ecosystem for an average of 13 years. That’s quite a tenure, considering Salesforce was founded only 22 years ago. We wanted our message to contain some chutzpah. We know that we can help businesses implement the roadmap of their wildest ambitions.
Lastly, Thunder unabashedly chose purple because we love the color and really wanted something different. This was the easiest decision of the entire rebrand.
In many circles, blue means trustworthy and comfort. But in the Salesforce ecosystem, blue is everywhere. You get lost in blue. Thunder is a sky above that, and we’re certainly not shy about telling the market who we are and that we’re here to stay.