Virginia Barash is a long-time friend and loyal client. We’ve supported strategic and tactical brand initiatives at virtually all of her companies in all of her roles: Symantec, Veritas, Equinix and MalwareBytes, and now at Neo4j. This takes a little this post, takes a little trip down memory lane: When the team at MalwareBytes approached us, they were scaling fast and they knew that growing the brand was just as important as growing the company.

The brand stood for good things like trust and quality in people’s minds but it had not been showing up consistently. The brand initiative was not an effort to redefine who they were, rather, to put a sharper focus on how they looked, what they said, and how they said it.


Imagery style, iconography, color palette, messaging, tone of voice, and even use of the mascot were being applied inconsistently.

The investment in the brand refresh was supported by the following principles and outcomes, which are considered key elements of business success:      

The first step was to define the brand platform.  It was a collaborative effort, the result of curated 1:1 discussions and workshops, and in the end we had a refreshed articulation of the mission, the emotional and functional benefits, and the brand personality.  The new Brand Platform:

  • Now serves as the strategic blueprint and foundation for all elements that flow out of it (e.g. name, logo, visual identity, messaging).
  • Defines who MalwareBytes is and what they stand for at their core.
  • Drives consistency and creates financial and operational efficiencies.
  • Informs employees, writers, designers, product developers on how they show up in the world.

Here are some examples of refreshed messaging and visual design:

A new messaging platform shifted content and tone from one that was “finger-wagging” to one rooted in the confidence and ease one feels when they know they are protected.

The new visual identity system leverages the brand’s existing colors, fonts, and logo shape, creating efficiencies and delivering consistency. The radiating rings are evocative of the company’s continually evolving cybersecurity, real-time insights, and multi-layer threat protection that keeps users ahead of the bad guys. The visual identity system also reflects these newly identified brand personality traits: bold, passionate, and fun.

Photography is limited to neutral hues so that images don’t compete with the boldly-colored graphics.

The guidelines deliver a framework with flexibility that can be applied with and without photography, or as “light touch” applications leveraging just color or typography.

Slight differences in color application distinguish communications for different key audiences. Separate messaging was also developed for business and personal audiences.

A detailed brand guidelines document shows content creators how the system works together. 

All system elements work together to deliver a more modern, more story-based, more compelling, and more differentiated system, without overhauling the name, logo or even color palette.

“Global Brand Works’ efforts received high praise from executives. The workflow went well and they kept everything on track. The agency acts more of an extension our team than an external agency. Plus, they are super fun to work with!”

– Virginia Barasch, VP Global Corporate Marketing and Enterprise Demand Gen

Click here for the full client testimonial.

Caroline McNally & Shannon Riordan

Shannon Riordan
Creative Director

John Ledwith
Visual Design

Susan Reid