VMware came to us with a new overarching brand idea they wanted brought to life for the CXO audience. The concept was “Hero today, hero tomorrow.” As an agency, we always strive to “go beyond the brief,” so we looked deeply at the meaning behind the concept and interviewed CIOs to get their perspective. “Hero” really needed to focus on the CIO’s desire to enable the business. “Tomorrow” points to the future, which is what CIOs are focused on 24/7. We took the root of these ideas and applied them to a more sophisticated visual brand. A restrained color palette along with black and white photography differentiates the CXO brand extension from other VMware marketing geared at the practitioner. And while we maintained the legacy VMware parallelogram, we made it thinner and used it as a device to apply to photography, conveying the concept of the shifting landscape as well as forward momentum. Our research showed the “hero” terminology was overused and inauthentic. So we recommended a simple anchoring idea: “Lead Forward.” The new brand elements extended beautifully across event materials, thought leadership content, a content hub, and niche advertising programs.