The challenge

Reaction Design, which developed fuel combustion simulation software used to model engine design, was spun out of Sandia National Lab, an institution that had provided a free version of the software to academic and research institutions for many years. The audience for these technologies was tiny; the software had only 300 to 400 users in the world. Many of them worked for leading energy producers and auto manufacturers and were forbidden to publicly reference the technologies they use. Reaction Design planned to commercialize the modeling software with additional technologies and services, and turned to Publitek to build a marketing strategy to convince the market of the value offered from its paid version.

What we did

We began by holding a brand identity workshop with Reaction Design, followed by a positioning and messaging exercise, to build an understanding of the company’s highest level value propositions. Using these findings, we created a new visual identity for the company, and launched a brand narrative program to build its credibility in the market. Our custom strategy included PR via industry publications, thought leadership positioning through white papers and contributed articles, plus creation of a program called the Model Fuels Consortium. This members-only organisation was controlled by Reaction Design and offered access to the latest, most accurate fuel models. We used the halo effect gained by managing the consortium to boost Reaction Design’s standing and credibility to the group’s elite audience. Then, through the auspices of the consortium, we produced a supportive video from General Motors that showcased Reaction Design’s expertise without requiring an endorsement.

We used a similar strategy to craft a one-of-a kind social media persona campaign using LinkedIn networking groups to grab the attention of influencers, industry leaders and potential customers.


By making Reaction Design’s LinkedIn channel a curated space open only to a targeted group, Publitek transformed an off-the-shelf social media discussion group into an exclusive, members-only forum. In the process, we raised awareness for Reaction Design with a key audience, and positioned the company as technology innovators and thought leaders in their industry space. After working with Publitek for six years to boost its credibility in the industry, Reaction Design completed the journey from spinoff to a merger with ANSYS in 2014.