Case Study | sonar

Unite and shine

Static Code Analysis
enterprise clients
Geneva, Switzerland

How we helped Sonar leverage big-picture branding to lock in a loyal base while expanding their market reach.

Since 2006, Sonar has been dedicated to providing solutions that help developers find and resolve issues as they code. Founded on open-source principles and driven by a “devs for devs” mentality, Sonar’s products have a sterling reputation among developers in the know.

However, despite their cachet with individual devs, wider industry recall among decision-makers and executives remained elusive. Sonar was ripe for growth, but disconnected digital properties, fractured sub-brands, and bland messaging made it difficult to secure an enduring foothold within enterprise organizations.

Over the course of a breakneck two-month sprint, Redstamp unified Sonar’s properties under a fresh banner that resonated with new powerful allies while still reflecting the company's deep roots in the dev community.

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Starting with the “who” at the heart of Sonar’s products.

We began by examining Sonar’s audience. Through collaborative workshops with Sonar’s executive team, audits of their digital properties, and thematic analysis of hundreds of Sonar and lookalike product reviews, Redstamp was able to shine a light on patterns and friction in the buying process.

Typically, individual developers build early word-of-mouth awareness in their organizations by using free Sonar products in their personal toolkits. Technical Leads then advocate for Sonar’s enterprise products by seeking to mandate their use across the entire organization.

Redstamp discovered two issues in this journey that stymied Sonar’s growth potential. First, individual developers were often using only one Sonar product and otherwise unaware of the whole product suite or the Sonar parent company. Secondly, team leads often struggled to convince their company’s non-technical decision-makers to agree to a purchase.

With these insights in hand, we had our path forward: We would unite disparate sub brands under a strong parent brand mark so developers could discover the suite of products faster. We would ensure this new brand was visually appealing to a technical audience but slant messaging toward the objectives valued by non-technical decision-makers.

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Friendly, fluid, and fast. We chose an unlikely little character to be the standard bearer for the brand—one that shares Sonar’s talent for detection and protection.

Whales use sonar beams for targeting and navigation—protecting themselves and their families. Redstamp leaned into this natural phenomenon, using the waves of Sonar’s old logo to create the ventral pleats of this new, unforgettable mark.

The shape of the whale's fins and flukes are repeated within the curved areas of the word mark—resulting in a tech-savvy aesthetic that feels harmonious, orderly, and precise—speaking to the value Sonar provides to developers worldwide.

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Redstamp introduced illumination to the supporting brand visuals—playing off the “dark-mode” aesthetic of a code screen.

Bright bits of code pop off of a distinctively saturated palette. This high contrast palette transforms commonly static symbols into dynamic objects that feel excitingly alive and full of potential. Typography balances futuristic monospace fonts with grounded sans-serif form, resulting in a visual system that feels tech-savvy, meticulous, and cleverly inventive—a true mirror of the developer personality type.

We shifted the brand voice to that of a confident servant leader—a character invigorated by any chance to employ expertise in the service of others. We used this voice to bring our messaging strategy to life. Where key messages communicate Sonar’s ability to serve larger business objectives while the tone remains loyal to the developer base. This verbal brand closes the chasm between technical and non-technical stakeholders by acting as a bridge between each of their interests.

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Website + application

Redstamp systemized Sonar’s new personality–extending the character into a robust icon library, UI elements, illustrations, and swag.

Working alongside Sonar's technical team to re-architect the website experience, focusing on building macro and microstructures that would serve our communication goals within each page, content block, and cta.

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The results

A unicorn struts its stuff


Valuation post brand launch


Additional funding raised


Projected revenue growth in 2022

Spencer & Kelso

Get growing in 1,2,3.

We have a simple 3-step process to help us determine mutual fit, objectives, and ideal engagement structure.

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