In 1936, Alan Turing, the father of computing, wrote a paper largely ignored by cybersecurity companies (embraced by the perpetrators of malware and ransomware, a multi-billion dollar industry).
Fact: In 2021 alone, 66% of organizations globally were the victims of ransomware attacks. This vulnerability results from the “malware solutions” used by companies today.
This results in hundreds of thousands of vulnerabilities. And billions in financial loss.
Company Rebrand Strategy: Knowing Where to Look and When to Pivot
So when COMODO came to us with a revolutionary patented technology with an unmatched track record for zero breaches, it was time it rebranded itself for two key reasons:
- The COMODO company and brand had some old baggage, and
- It was pigeonholed in a specific niche that would be hard to pivot from.
So, we started with the fact from that paper written in 1936 that everyone managed to ignore: until malware executes, it can continue indefinitely undetected in stealth mode.
Turing’s paper proved that a piece of malware would be able to lie dormant indefinitely on a system, and no software could detect its presence. How?
One remarkable fact: an algorithm cannot determine whether another algorithm has halted or not.
It’s a mathematical impossibility.
In summary, today’s “detection and response” solutions ignore the above facts.
We Won’t Get Fooled Again (Rebranding for What’s Next)
With this 70-year-old discovery newly brought to light, COMODO’s technology separated itself from existing solutions by clearly stating what the entire industry is based on: “detection and response,” — which itself is core to the problem, not core to the solution.
This insight led to creating technology capable of creating a “zero threat” environment plus one other important distinction as stated by CEO Ken Levine:
“Our founder, Melih Abdulhayoğlu, has had one simple goal of making the internet safe for everyone. This is a very different goal than the cybersecurity space that seeks to ‘reduce threats.’ This is why we chose to rename, redefine, and rebrand COMODO to accurately reflect what’s possible when you challenge an existing standard that falls short of the real goal of making the internet safe for everyone.”
Crafting a Story Your Customer Needs (and Wants) To Hear
COMODO thus became Xcitium accompanied by the slogan, “The Power of Zero. Unleashed.”
How did this show up in the new brand narrative? Using three core points:
- Unleashing the power of zero,
- That every variation of today’s cybersecurity solutions told us what was possible based on a flawed premise, and lastly
- The overcoming of impossible.
To emphasize this final point, we utilized a remarkable quote from the witty and smart legend many consider the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali:
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Malware, You’ve Met Your Match
Here’s how the brand rolled out:
The brand identity was built to be clean, clear, and smart:
The design itself is a study in the “power of zero” excess, eliminating trivial and unnecessary elements so it’s crisp, clear, and distinctive in a noisy market:
Inside the Mind of an Uncompromising CMO
Working closely with Denmark Francisco, Xcitium’s CMO, we achieved this incredible evolution at breakneck speed, reframing the entire brand: from brand story to naming to messaging and the new design.
Denmark and I spoke about the biggest objectives COMODO had that drove the decision to rebrand.
Denmark shared, “The goals were a few:
- to convey this was a brand new chapter not only in the company but for cybersecurity in its entirety,
- to distinguish the company from today’s detection & response solutions, and
- to separate the new brand from its previous category of an SSL company to a new breed of cybersecurity.”
I asked Denmark if there was a breakthrough in the rebranding process that changed everything.
“Yes — a major one packed a one-two punch: discovering our founder’s original intent: making the internet safe for everyone and reducing all the complicated redundant dialogue of today’s cybersecurity companies to a true breakthrough that goes back to 1936 that nobody had managed to implement. All possible through the intensive research you did.”
What about the rebrand’s impact on the company values, culture, and story — internally and externally?
“The new brand story, message, and identity has simplified conversations internally and externally, speeding up the sales processes and early discussions, thereby accelerating interest, proposals, and deals.”
An honest rebrand must introduce something new — in concept, in story, in differentiation, and not merely reintroduce something old by merely sugar-coating it in new language and colors to appear new.
The conclusion is a fresh start and new chapter in a highly competitive space (cybersecurity) with a new story to tell and new dots to connect rather than regurgitating the many aggressive players in this market.
What’s the biggest lesson you got on rebranding from this case study?