Save the Dates: February 19–23, 2018

Startup branding identity

Do you actually have a brand?

It happens all the time here at the agency – we sign a new marketing or PR client who’s looking to increase their bottom line, and when we ask them to send over their brand assets, brand brief and any other brand-related items — we find a logo in our inbox.

Worse yet, it’s a logo in JPG form.

So many startups are so eager to launch that they frequently overlook the most fundamental elements of establishing a brand. Instead, they hop on Fiverr for a quickie, made-overnight logo and then mark their startup’s branding process complete.


A brand isn’t a single, graphic element. It’s the entire human experience surrounding your company, products, customers, space, employees and overall messaging.

Let’s take a look at a retail shop, for example. When we create a retail brand, it involves considerably more than just a simple logo. What’s the brand’s color story? Better yet, what’s the brand’s story, period? What does the exterior signage and window-merchandising look like, and how does it help you business appeal to your target market? What’s the desired temperature and aroma chosen to permeate the retail space? How is it all tied together through lighting, music and merchandising fixtures? What message shows up on your sales receipt, and what graphic is emblazoned on your shopping bags? What’s the tone of voice used for social posts, and how do the the graphic and photography styles complement one another or otherwise coexist? What’s the script and greeting for answering phone calls? What’s the overall tone of the marketing emails or blog posts? What happens if you expand and add more business locations, or move an existing business out of state?

When it comes to branding, as you can see, there are near-endless components – and also ample opportunities for branding blunders. All the aforementioned deliverables are the end result of a strong, well-thought-out brand, and one that creates a cohesive, consistent experience throughout its many elements.

And yes, a good branding agency can help with the process, but you can also make some high-impact moves on your own. Once you have your story and target customer in your sights, start with a DIY brand board.

You may have the most innovative idea or customer experience of all time at your disposal, but you’re unlikely to make many waves with it without first finalizing your brand. So ask yourself – do you have an out-of-this-world concept? Is your branding indicative of its strength? If not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board until you can dream up a branding campaign worthy of your commodity.


This post was contributed by Ty James Largo, Owner + Creative Director at AWE Collective

College dropout-turned top of his game, two-fold minority business owner Ty James Largo pilots his award-winning creative PR, marketing, branding and social media agency, AWE Collective, which reps some of the biggest hospitality, retail, finance, restaurants, startups, events and real estate brands in the Southwest. Once described as the “Top Brass of Badass Ideas,” engage Ty to deliver the “mic-drop moment” and dream up impossibly creative ideas that truly inspire awe. Follow him at @JuxtaPalate or



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