Blog #02. Turning start-up learnings into start-up brands.

by Evan Oliver

July 24th, 2023

From a start-up team to a start-up studio, we’ve flipped our experience inside out to apply the lessons learned in-house to start-ups and similar at the earlier stages of their journey.

We spent over three years scaling a start-up brand across the UK, implementing our ideas and strategies across hardware, software, online and in successful OOH campaigns. As a result, we’ve come to understand the unexpected twists and turns that a start-up’s journey will take. 

All too often brand values, principles and any level of consistency gets thrown out of the window, or constantly changed to suit the course of growth a company is on. Worse still, many simply don’t invest in brand and are left to bite the bullet many months and mistakes later.

So, we’ve pulled together the key learnings from our time in-house, all of which we’re using to shape the brands that we build as a studio.

1. Be resilient, disciplined and believe in your vision

Building a brand that amplifies your personality can be a challenge, but it’s even harder to stay disciplined and apply that same personality throughout your business and in your marketing.

When you’ve created your brand, stay resilient and avoid making changes, maintain authenticity and don’t deviate from your chosen look and feel, it embodies who you are and only through consistency will you reap the benefits it brings.

Believe in your vision, it will be tested by every external force you encounter. Stand by the identity that you create and you’ll achieve far greater longevity than chopping and changing at every challenge.

2. Stay customer centric

Recognise the personality and values held by your team and then apply them to your audience. How do your customers think? How can you be the solution to their problems?

We produce brand identities using design led thinking, putting the customer first. Despite the many distractions that can lead you off course, when it comes to growing a business, your customers should always be your focus. 

So when you build your brand, think about who you’re using it to impress and appease?

3. Be adaptable, flexible & reactive

When living and breathing your start-up business, staying adaptable, flexible and reactive, all at once, is more or less imperative.

At the studio, we work with the same start-up energy that we had in-house. It’s a way of working that matches the tenacity of entrepreneurship and ensures that we’re creating work and designing brands that are able to withstand the pressures that come with operating at start-up pace.

4. Never compromise on quality

With the constraints and pressures on bootstrapped and early stage start-ups, brand is often bumped further and further down the priority list. 

Your brand is the foundation from which your business, product and service will grow, and it should be embodied in all that you do. Underinvesting in quality at the earlier stages dents your chances of success and almost certainly means reinvesting further down the line.

Invest in quality brand design, ensure quality brand application and lay the foundations from which you’d like to grow.

Brand and design need not be complicated, scary and sat firmly at the bottom of your list. We can make it easy for you, because we’ve been there too. The lessons we learned within a start-up have forged our approach to working with them. We’ve got energy to burn and we work at your pace, staying adaptable, flexible and reactive to the challenges you face. 

We’re building start-up brands that are resilient, that are a testament to your personality and values. They’re brands that are in line with your vision and that are capable of helping you realise it, whatever twists and turns the world throws your way.

We’re building things in Brixton. Come and say hello, the coffee's on us.

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