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CDK Global

Crafting a New Story

For more than 40 years, CDK Global has provided integrated technology solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational, and heavy equipment dealers around the world. They are uniquely positioned to understand the specific challenges and opportunities dealers face and offer successful solutions.


Brand, Logo, and Identity
Website Development
Video and Animation
Digital and Social Media
Advertising and Marketing
Infographics and Illustration
Print and Annual Reports
Packaging and Retail
Events and Promotion

The Challenge

CDK Global approached Rule29 to develop a fresh, clear brand voice for them in light of today’s shifting industry landscape. They looked to us to help them capture potential customers’ initial attention and drive the decision-making process.

Man and Woman Talking At a Car
Group of people talking
Man on a Tablet


We began by digging through a comprehensive customer survey already completed by CDK and doing our own internal audit, competitive, and market analysis to familiarize ourselves with the major shifts taking place at the company and the automotive commerce industry. Our recommendation was a refreshed brand voice and story in order to reposition the brand in a stronger, more contemporary way. We pointed CDK toward a belief that they are the “best in the world” at creating solutions that will transition the auto industry to the next chapter. This foundation laid the groundwork for the brand need, essence, drive, charge, story, and promise for both internal and external teams. This also greatly influenced CDK’s tagline, brand voice, and marketing concepts that would propel the organization forward.

Custom messaging is Key Design
Social Media Design
CDK Global Brand Research

The Solution

Rule29 established new brand positioning and helped CDK Global tell its story in a fresh way. We shifted their position from being the “hero” to being a “trusted guide.” This humanized their story and created an emotional connection by emphasizing the positive, efficient, and memorable customer purchase experiences.

CDK Global Storyboard Sketches

Why Video

Once the brand positioning and story were established, we came up with new video concepts to describe “What is CDK?” and “Why CDK?” We created a 60-second spot titled “The Dealer Who Never Quits” that captured this new emotional voice and tone for the brand. We also developed a uniquely stylized motion graphics video that further elevated the brand look and answered who the company is and what they offer. To build brand awareness, both of these videos focused on high-level concepts and emotional connection.

CDK Global Video Graphic

What Video

By leading the viewer on a “what” journey (featuring OneCDK’s seamless solutions to ultimately bring a customer to ownership), we explored the personal aspects of the CDK brand and showed how OneCDK is transforming the buying experience and promoting dealer success. These videos showcase CDK telling a relatable story, which plays a big part in ultimately winning customers.

Rule29 understands how to tell a brand’s story and the importance of capturing emotion in a brand. Their team understands that emotion best relates to capturing an individual’s attention. Other agencies also concentrate on emotion, but I believe Rule29 is the best at connecting the emotion to the brand story.

Chris Farrar Director, Marketing Communications & Brand Marketing

A First of Its Kind: Fortellis

CDK Global’s positioning and story refresh provided a clear path forward for CDK. As a result, the company immediately jumped into action and launched Fortellis, the foundation for an entirely new paradigm in the industry: an Automotive Commerce ExchangeTM platform.

With the birth of Fortellis, Rule29 teased out the brand reveal with a high-end invitation to the launch event called “Aria Interactive.” We designed a “larger than usual” invitation—a box—to capture attention and invite attendees to a Las Vegas event where CDK would unveil a new era in automotive commerce.

Fortellis Invitation Box Design
Fortellis Event Ticket Design
Fortellis Invitation Box

Motion Graphic Launch Video

We also produced a comprehensive motion-graphics video for the event that articulated the new brand.

Brand Extension

As the world’s first and only open-exchange platform, we recommended targeting the Fortellis’ core audience through a variety of mediums, including print and digital. We created a brochure and other assets that introduced the Automotive Commerce Exchange™ platform through iconography, photography, and core messaging. Providing a comprehensive overview of all of the Fortellis’ services in a digestible format effectively invited the world’s innovators and visionaries to create future-shaping automotive products.

CDK Global Fortellis Brochure
Fortellis Ad
Fortellis Ad
CDK Global Sell Sheet

Visual Clarity

To effectively communicate a new era of streamlined workflows and flexible data streams, we developed an infographic that systematically reflects the next chapter in automotive commerce. Through this graphic illustration, we were able to explain how Fortellis enables connections between the Marketplace and the Developers Network, which allows dealers, OEMs, and suppliers to enjoy a new level of efficiency with solutions that meet their needs.

Fortellis Infographic

Global Brands Impacted


Measured Increase in Brand Recognition

Our CDK Net Promoter Score

A New Lightspeed

Building off successful projects with CDK Global positioning and the Fortellis launch, we had the opportunity to guide an updated story, messaging, and rebrand of one of CDK Global’s core sub-brands: Lightspeed. As with all brand engagements, we started with the various research needed to help write the strategic voice focused on their core personas. After an audit with key decision-makers and competitive analysis, we brought to life a new voice and brand style that became the foundation of the new, revitalized Lightspeed.

Picture of an RV
Man Riding a Dirtbike
Boat Moving through the Water
Grey and Navy Lightspeed Logo
Lightspeed Avatar

Implementing Design and Strategy

A brand’s power increases when it is consistently and faithfully applied across all of its various touchpoints, both internally and externally. We led the application of the Lightspeed brand to internal communications, core business identity, web, social, HTML communications, and more.

CDk Global Lightspeed Website Landing Page
CDK Global Lightspeed Magazine
CDK Global Lightspeed Emails