Okta Unveils Bold Brand Evolution
A brand is a promise. It’s a commitment you make, expressed through sights and sounds and stories, about who your company is and why it exists—your vision, values, ambitions. And over time, as your ambitions evolve, it’s only natural that your brand should evolve too.
This week at Oktane22, our annual conference, we announced our brand purpose: to build a world where Identity belongs to you. It’s a bold goal, an expansion of what Okta does and why we do it. And today we’re unveiling a bold evolution of the Okta brand to match.
A milestone in our journey
Okta’s brand story begins in 2009, when our visionary founders Todd McKinnon and Freddy Kerrest had a key insight: virtually every company struggles with access management, for both their employees and customers. With few SaaS products addressing the issue at the time, companies would have to build their own Identity solutions, or run third-party, on-premises software. These approaches required constant maintenance and introduced all kinds of security risks. Todd and Freddy seized the opportunity to build a better, cloud-based identity solution—and Okta was born.
Okta quickly found product-market fit, as customers discovered that we could help solve their Identity frustrations. Over the next decade, the company grew rapidly thanks to enthusiastic referrals and the strength of our products.
In those early days, our products were our brand; they largely spoke for themselves. They made us a household name among enterprise IT, engineering, and security teams. But Todd and Freddy knew that Identity could benefit more people.
The reality is that nearly all organizations, from global companies to local nonprofits, need Identity solutions, and many of them simply didn’t know about Okta, much less Identity. To reach these potential new customers, we knew word of mouth would no longer cut it. We had to build a modern marketing engine to power Okta’s growth through the next decade and beyond. And we had to give our brand something it had lacked from its earliest days: a purpose.
Defining our brand purpose and strategy
Led by Mimi Chakravorti, Okta’s vice president of brand, we began a thorough analysis of the Okta brand and how it reflected the company’s vision. What did it represent to us and our customers? How did it stand out in the market? How could we evolve from being perceived as a product-led company to something more ambitious, more enduring?
It became clear that Okta’s purpose extends beyond selling products. Rather, it’s what motivates us to come together, to innovate, to support and delight our customers. It’s the driving force behind what we do and what differentiates us from everyone else.
And so, after much thoughtful work and iteration by Mimi’s team, we’re now unveiling Okta’s new brand purpose: to build a world where Identity belongs to you. It’s an incredibly empowering idea: that you—your company, your leaders, your teams, your customers, and you the individual—should be able to unlock the power of Identity to achieve your unique goals. Because when Identity belongs to everyone in your organization, you can more easily grow and protect your workforce and customer base, and accelerate your business success.
Laying the foundation: neutrality, trust, and commitment
In defining our new brand purpose, we thought a lot about the Okta aura. Seven years ago, at Oktane 2015, we unveiled this new brand element. Derived from the “o” in our logo, this circular icon represented Okta’s commitment to being always on. As we defined it at the time:
“It’s a perfect form, an expression of unity, connection, completeness, and integrity. It’s about taking something that’s infinitely complex and making it appear simple and elegant.”
We loved that sentiment. It inspired us, and we built upon it to define the three pillars of the Okta brand:
- Intentionally neutral. Okta designs easy-to-integrate solutions that free everyone to safely use any technology, with the control and flexibility that’s right for them.
- Universally trusted. The world’s most trusted brands trust Okta because our approach to security adapts to their needs, intelligently ensuring that the right people have access to the right things at the right time.
- Relentlessly committed. We’re 100% committed to advancing and innovating Identity, simplifying it so our customers can focus on their business priorities.
Neutrality, trust, commitment—these pillars, combined with our core values, gave us the foundation we needed to start bringing our brand purpose to life. And with that, we rethought Okta’s entire brand expression. We refined our logo, updated our color palette, introduced new typography, and more. All of these changes will be rolling out in the coming weeks.
For more details on how we did it and the new design elements, check out our behind-the-scenes blog post.
I’m incredibly proud of the work our team has done here. It respects Okta’s past, grounds us in the present, and gives us momentum toward the future. But I know it’s also just the first step. To be the world’s Identity company, we now have to live and breathe this new purpose, infusing it into everything we do. It will take dedication and discipline—in other words, relentless commitment. But the world we’re building demands nothing less.