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IBM provides a yearly co-marketing budget for companies within Cronos that use IBM technology. Cronos being Cronos, they wanted to unify those companies and unburden them. That’s why we got in the picture. Our clear goal from the start was to unite the companies behind one strong brand and to make sure they all benefitted from it and from each other.

The Challenge

When we talked to the different companies that wanted to participate, we soon established that the objective was to provide fresh and recurrent marketing for everybody. Our own perspective was to ensure that they could focus on their business and IBM technology. They wouldn’t need to keep track of the budget, deal with the administration surrounding it and constantly come up with cutting edge marketing ideas. We’d take care of that for them. More importantly, we wanted to let them support each other as well. You know, the Cronos philosophy/ecosystem. How though?

Our Idea

Basically, we wanted them all to be able to do their thing while uniting them in doing so. Instead of broadcasting a bunch of voices announcing what they’re working on, we filtered the noise. Unmuting doesn’t always have to mean unmuting everyone at the same time. On the contrary, we unmuted only one (strongly and newly branded) voice. Enter: IBM@Cronos! We created the brand and unburdened all partaking companies by taking care of the administrative part. We would also come up with cool concepts like animated explainer videos, an e-book, events and so much more. All the while posting from IBM@Cronos channels and letting each competence centres share those posts to achieve maximum mutual benefits. Anyone who sees what IBM@Cronos has done for RoboRana, for instance, also sees the work we do for FlowFactor, for Integration Designers, et cetera. Talk about an ecosystem!

"That’s just one of the incredible advantages of working within Cronos' ecosystem. You get plenty of opportunities to learn and grow together."

What we did

The only thing companies have to do is give us input in the things we create for them, such as animated explainer videos, an e-book, social media, webinars, presentations, events, you name it. We’ve also conducted quite a few campaigns for everything we made, on Google Display and LinkedIn, to generate leads. Did you know that we had never made animated videos before now? A big part of the Unmute You community is the idea to learn by doing. We’re grateful and stoked to have been able to play around and deliver a kick-ass result, if we do say so ourselves. The videos are minimalistic and simple but for that very reason they convey the message very clearly. On a sidenote: that’s just one of the incredible advantages of working within Cronos and, more specifically, the OECO cluster. You get plenty of opportunities to learn and grow together, and that’s exactly what we did.

Brand new

In fact, this project gave us carte blanche when it came to coming up with a complete concept. We determined the entire look & feel of the united front we wanted to present: IBM@Cronos. To keep it simple yet strong, we designed a logo that was basic and clear. Typographically, it has a fun 8-bit symbol in it (the ‘@’), but the colours are soft black and grey. The beauty in that is it allows for an infinite number of options to vary. When we communicate about a certain subcompany, their company colours can be incorporated in the logo to assure visual cues and recognisability. Every visual that we create can thus immediately let you know which company it’s for. Recognise gradient greens? Chances are we’re talking about RoboRana. Orange? Hey, that’s FlowFactor! In other words, the core identity of IBM@Cronos is subject to the brand colours of the subcompanies but there is always visual consistency at the core.


Another feat we’re proud of, is the fact that we completely translated, designed and campaigned the IBM@Cronos E-Book. The book is remarkable by design. The main black and grey colours don’t dominate, on the contrary. We worked with big pictures, simple illustrations and we were consistent with the visuals. The table of contents was divided per topic and each big topic with all the related articles got its own colour. Again, we wanted there to be visual recognisability and the book to feel fresh, modern and timeless. We can always add to it because the branding allows us to build on what we already have. That last part was important to us as it is a big part of the culture within Cronos.

What do they think?

Speaking for ourselves, this is one of those true collaborations. Thanks to the support of all companies involved, we were able to come up with one big concept, one tone of voice, one visual unit.  What do the companies think about this co-creation:

"IBM@Cronos helped us to introduce IBM App Connect's new features to our customers in a fun yet comprehensible way." Dirk Maes - Integration Designers

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