For twenty years, we’ve worked alongside businesses, from the big guys with big budgets to the new starters with a vision.
From the outside, you may think they’ve got little in common but from the inside, we’ve found they’re more similar than you’d think. At Wales Week in London, we invited you to step into our shoes. Three innovative business leaders, from three completely different industries, discuss brand, business and the challenges that prompt change. Read on for the highlights.
What we wanted to share
The event was a structured conversation. Drawing insights from three individuals at different stages of their journeys, all with a wealth of knowledge and unique experiences to share.
The whole point was to identify the stages where the question of ‘what a brand is’ matters to businesses. And the steps business owners take to build, grow and develop any notion of their brand.
To many, London is the epicentre. A place where the bravest and boldest head to fulfil their ambitions. Where great minds gather to share ideas. I wanted to show that London is indeed a great place, but great minds and experiences can come from further afield. The annual celebrations that take place during Wales Week London was the perfect opportunity to do just that.
We listened to:
Mandy Powell, The Goodwash Company
CEO and Founder
Mission: To create a proudly luxury Welsh skincare brand with a social conscience.
Wesley Rashid, Accountancy Cloud
Mission: To be the number one online accounting partner for startups
Adrian Sutton, (Ex) Vortex
Investor, Mentor, Co-Founder
Mission: To help organisations unleash the impact of real-time data and predictive analytics. Established - 2017
What did we learn?
For all their differences, it was their similarities that shone through in the discussion. Their relationships to the concept of brand evolved as their businesses did:
In the early days, efficiency was the biggest priority. They needed a logo, stationery, a simple web presence and they needed it quickly... and at little expense. In short, it was a single factor on a million-point to-do list.
When Mandy Powell struggled to find an agency willing to work with her budget, she faced the problem head on. With a clear vision and impressive scribbling skills, she drew her logo on the back of a paper napkin before gauging the opinions of strangers she met on the street. That identity still serves the business today.
As the Accountancy Cloud began experiencing growth, they outgrew their original identity. They needed it to work harder for them with added context.
With a clearer idea of their direction, founders in general make time to think about what’s motivated them to-date, what problem they're solving, how they're positively affecting the world and how all this becomes part of their story.
When the team grows, the brand is used to draw focus to the company's mission. The importance of developing a strong brand becomes more critical. Brand values shape behaviours and manage expectations within. If a visual brand is developed that represents a premium offering then the business and all within it must reflect that.
The brand needs to go even further. It needs to carry value. This comes when all of the components of a successful and ambitious operation are running smoothly. It’s proven in the loyalty of clients and staff. It’s seen in the quality of the output, whatever that may be. A visual identity, designed to reflect the ultimate exit valuation can bear a lot of fruit during negotiations, as was certainly the case with Vortex.
It's always great to hear from business owners and have relatable, in-depth conversations about their experiences. Regardless of their industry or mission, these discussions always highlight the importance of developing a strong brand as a business grows.
At Toward, we're fortunate to have regular opportunities to have these conversations with clients. This was the same discussion we had as a team over a year ago when we embarked on our own journey towards change.
We extend our thanks to all who attended, to the contributions of our great team, and to the generosity of Llanerch Vineyard, VOG Brewery, Penderyn Whiskey, and Burns Pet food for providing an eclectic range of goodies. Finally, we extend our gratitude to Mandy, Wes, and Adrian for sharing their candid insights.