brand OPTIMISATION for Start-ups and Scale-ups

Dear Founder,

Welcome-calibration

Dear Founder,

there's nothing quite like running a start-up. You're operating on a heady cocktail of excitement and ambition, things change all the time and yet everything feels possible.

It's all too easy to get carried away and buy all the cool marketing farkles.

But with resources tight, you need to be smart and strategic about building your brand.

When you’re ramping up operations, brand challenges usually come in three different flavours:

There’s the need to develop all your resources, the necessity of proving what sells (and to whom), and the importance of not losing your way in all the endless possibilities.

Oh, and growing your team? Yeah, that's on the cards too, so you'll also be thinking about culture...

… whew! That’s A LOT of important decisions to make.

When you’re ramping up operations, brand challenges usually come in three different flavours:

There’s the need to develop all your resources, the necessity of proving what sells (and to whom), and the importance of not losing your way in all the endless possibilities.

Oh, and growing your team? Yeah, that's on the cards too, so you'll also be thinking about culture...

… whew! That’s A LOT of important decisions to make.

What you need more than anything is clarity on your brand direction, so you have the confidence to go all in.

All in with awesome design that's totally you, all in with a visibility strategy that puts you in front of the right people with the right message, and all in on hiring a team that feels like family.

Brand Optimisation for Strategic Growth

Good design is important. It makes you look like you’ve got your shit together. But good design alone won’t sell your idea.

A logo is just a symbol. It’s a container for meaning. And the greatest logo in the world won’t help you if your story doesn’t mean anything to the people you’re trying to reach.

Shaping your brand story, communicating your USP, showing people why what you do should matter to them (and wrapping it all in slick design) – that is how you grow a company when you have no track record and limited resources.

Your thoughts and ideas need to get out of your founders’ heads, and into the heads of your audience.

And that's where I come in.

Over the last decade, I’ve helped countless startups clarify their brand direction, establish trust and reputation, connect with customers and investors, and design a team culture that retains their identity.

Could we get together and make magic happen with your brand? Only one way to find out:

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Testimonials_James Daniel
5/5

James Daniel, Tell It Your Way

Testimonials_James Daniel
5/5

James Daniel, Tell It Your Way

I worked with Marina to develop a brand for my new publishing business Tell It Your Way. Her work was simply incredible. She asked all the right questions to draw out ideas that were struggling to form in my mind, and articulated them in a way that had me screaming ‘Yes, that's what I was trying to say!’

Once she knew we were on the same page, aiming for a certain emotional impact, she switched to another gear and created a stunning visual identity. At the heart was a logo that said it all in one tiny space - summing up the joy of reading, and the sense of wonder and possibility that's there in every book. It was a true case of a picture speaking a thousand words (and believe me, as a writer, it pains me to admit that!)

So what can I say? If your brand personality is struggling to break free…if you can't quite capture the spirit that’s inside you…talk to Marina. If you can get her to work with you, the world is finally going to see you in your truest light.

How we can boost your brand

There’s the obvious stuff: you can get a fresh logo, a brand bible and all the official collateral you’ll need. We can talk about websites, copywriting, exhibition stands, pitch decks and marketing strategy.

But more importantly, you and your team get:

Clarity on how to stand out in a crowded marketplace,
A professional looking and sounding brand platform from which to launch your next big thing,
A structure for getting people to care about what you do,
Trust in your USP and the knowledge of how to best communicate it, even if you have little or no track record,
A clear understanding of what marketing is worth investing in (and where to save),
A messaging strategy that’ll help you and your team say the right thing to the right people in the right places,
A self-affirming and authentic way to communicate your expertise and value proposition,
A basis for understanding and building your team culture, and
A specialist partner (me) who knows your brand inside out and can help guide your brand decisions for years to come – until you’re ready to hire someone in-house.
Testimonials_Mohamed Binesmael
5/5

Mohamed Binesmael, Route Konnect

Testimonials_Mohamed Binesmael
5/5

Mohamed Binesmael, Route Konnect

Marina has been involved in building our brand right from the start. In the early stages, it was all about figuring out what Route Konnect stands for, and how we can show that in a visual identity that's distinctive and professional as we grow and scale. In a startup, there are so many ideas and quite a few different points of view. It was incredibly helpful to have someone who could guide us through the process of finding ourselves as a brand, not just a bunch of founders.

Nowadays, Marina's involvement is much more strategic, helping us to continually evolve the RK brand, both externally and within the team, while keeping an eye on our brand consistency. Her work has no doubt contributed to our success in raising investment.

The whole team loves working with Marina. It's always fun, and always insightful. We feel that she really 'gets' us and there isn't a question we can't ask. And we can just upload all our ideas on her and she magically turns it into something awesome. That's why we like to call her our brand magician.

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on where you want to take your brand. This is why all my projects include a calibration phase that helps answer these questions (and more).

I’m your flexible fairy brandmother (which is not as kamasutra as it sounds). I have clients who just bring me in for specific projects, and others who keep me on the books for a few hours each month so they can outsource some of the creative stuff and focus on growing the business. I can help train new team members in marketing, or facilitate team workshops around brand and visibility strategy.

Rebranding projects start from £2,799 for Calibration plus logo design (incl full IPR) and brand bible.

The calibration phase involves your team, irons out your positioning, streamlines your message and gets everyone aligned with your vision.

For a quote including specific design work, we’d first have to work out exactly what you need. If you’d like a non-committal chat about your project, please get in touch.

Every time you ask someone to help you interpret your brand - whether that’s for marketing, web design, exhibition design, merchandise… you name it – they’ll need a guide.

A brand bible is that guide: a document that summarises all your brand stands for, all your brand is (and is not), and how it looks, behaves, sounds, and smells. This helps you stay ‘on brand’, whatever you decide to do next.

Yes, but only for clients who have been through my (re)branding process. Let me know if you’re interested in updating your website.

Why you should not buy this right now

Yes, you read that right. No matter how great the idea of an amazing brand sounds, here are some reasons why this could be the wrong move for you right now.

There is no instant ROI.

Brand building is a long-term strategy, not a quick fix. It is very hard to measure, and hard to quantify (like, how much more "brand" do we have compared to last month?). Your accountant won't like it. It's an expensive commitment to the future of a company that may not have proven itself yet. If you're bootstrapping your organisation, you're most likely better off investing in sales training or dedicated marketing.

This is not 'done for you'.

If you expect to be able to simply outsource brand building, I'm sorry to disappoint. Doing this right will require a good chunk of your time. If you have a leadership team that is closely involved in strategic decisions, it'll require their time, too. Time to sit in sessions with me, and time to do the work behind the scenes. If you are run off your feet with RnD or operations, you're most likely better off investing in admin help.

It will require ongoing investment.

Once you go from "this is a bit shit but we're getting away with it" to "we're doing this properly", there is no way back. You've set an expectation. Everything you put out into the world from then on out will have to look and sound a certain way. You are raising your own bar, and to build people's trust in you, you'll have to keep meeting that quality line again and again and again. No more cheap and cheerful - it's time to put your graphic designer on speed dial.

If any of those sound problematic, get your ducks in a row first. When you're ready, you know where to find me.
In the meantime, you can have some free brand building advice.

Still want to talk? Then...

1

Book an initial free call

2

Together, we develop clarity, inspiration, and structure around your most pressing brand challenges

3

Confidently take your brand to market - or to the next level. 

Whether you’re getting ready to launch, or to take on the world, I’ve got the right clarity boost for you and your brand.

Testimonials_liz flint
5/5

Elizabeth Flint, KOTAD & Flint Innovations

Testimonials_liz flint
5/5

Elizabeth Flint, KOTAD & Flint Innovations

Going into the process I was a bit unsure about what to expect, but Marina provided clarity right from the start. The deep drive into my values, my customers, and the distinctions and overlaps between me, my main business and my new business were really helpful. I found Marina very insightful - she asked brilliant questions and dug deep into what I wanted to achieve and why, and she also had some fantastic suggestions which have really helped advance my thinking.

I feel she added a ton of value to the core project ideas as well as to how I brand and promote them, which I hadn't expected and was delighted by.

Marina-clarity-call-3

Is "branding" worth it?

Spending money on something as seemingly fluffy as branding at this critical time can feel like a risk – but you won’t scale until you can convince prospects and investors alike that you're the real deal.

Can you afford the risk of doing nothing?

Book your free strategy call today.

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