You’re building a company. When to invest in the brand?

When should a founder invest in brand?

It’s just one of the myriad questions, concerns and unknowns you have to wrestle with in starting and growing a company.

Is it too early? Too late? What if you’ve stood up the business with a “good-enough-for-now” brand? When should you upgrade to something lasting? What is brand, even?

At Wild Shore, we’ve worked with founders of startups and companies of different sorts, at different stages. We’ve had in-depth conversations about brand with many more.

We’ve talked a lot amongst ourselves about this…

Building Wild Shore, from the sand up, 2 years in

We’re approaching 2 years into founding Wild Shore. We started with a lot of ambition and few guiding ideas:

  • We could build an agency to our own code: courage, integrity, self-reliance, California spirit
  • Creativity must be expanded: to include more perspectives, different sorts of people, other influences, broader ideas
  • Modern brands are expressed across the holistic customer experience, not just a set of campaigns and tactics
  • That as a creative company we could and should create our own products and touch the culture directly
  • That we should reject labels and…

Bringing a new kind of nourishing remedy to life

When Astrid and Byrd came to our offices to tell us about their business, Good Medicine Co., we couldn’t wait to help them bring it to the world.

Astrid and Byrd had brought together a diverse set of ideas — Ayurvedic medicine, nutritional science, culinary craft — to create a line of accessible everyday foods (think cookies, teas, spices and shrubs) that act as health remedies for problems like poor sleep and uncomfortable periods. (Also, they’re delicious.)

Brand, product and creative for an activist-startup

In 2007, Brandon D. Anderson lost someone he loved to police violence (in Brandon’s own words here) This started him on a path that brought him to found Raheem, an independent service for reporting police conduct.

Raheem’s mission is to bring in the community’s side of the story, building a body of data that can inform policy, hold police accountable and drive change.

The beach-head of the project is in Oakland, where Wild Shore is based, a city known for bad policing.

To establish a presence here, we worked to create brand, product…

A glittering assortment of smaller projects…

Part of what we’ve wanted to do with Wild Shore is put ourselves into a place where we can say Yes to small, interesting opportunities.

Everything from quick sprints to help design teams, to creating concept and identity for events and experiential, to solving discrete marketing problems, developing MVP brand for founders on a deadline, pitches (lost and won), investor decks and envisioning stuff that just doesn’t exist yet.

Peer into the tidepool…

A deep dive into creating our own brand

Nothing has given us empathy for the people we work with — founders, entrepreneurs, folks trying to do something new — like building Wild Shore.

One thing we’ve learned: Making your own brand isn’t easy.

When we (Molly, Chelsea, Larry) decided to launch Wild Shore we had a few values we wanted present to the world: courage, outsider perspective, California spirit.

We also didn’t want to feel anything like a design studio or ad agency.

Nature — particularly the untamed California landscape — loomed large in our discussions. The notion of the…

An urgent brand for a progressive venture capital pioneer

NMV is a women-led venture capital group that invests in progressive startups. They bring together ideas from from philanthropy, political activism and venture with an innovative fund structure.

Combining ideas in new ways is a fundamental creative act: while what they do is very different from what Wild Shore does, we felt an affinity with Christie George (President, NMV) and her team.

In the wake of the 2016 election, new progressive startups of all sorts were springing up. NMV wanted to capture the energy of the moment. We started with a…

True stories for of people making in the USA for American Giant

American Giant’s greatest asset is its honesty. There is no secret algorithm. Only the hard work of un-shuttering factories, training sew teams, sourcing materials, designing and delivering well-made apparel.

We needed to harness that truth and connect it to an audience that would value its clarity and authenticity.

Envisioning a cohesive experience for a new weed lifestyle

Murmmr founders Erika Olson and Greg Long have an ambitious idea. A new consumer cannabis brand, centered around simple, beautiful devices and a remarkable lifestyle. We found ourselves drawn in by their vision.

Taking an eCommerce brand to brick-and-mortar

When American Giant founder Bayard Winthrop learned that the old flag factory below the company’s HQ was available, he knew he couldn’t miss the chance to open the DTC apparel company’s first brick-and-mortar storefront.

But they had to do it quickly. Wild Shore dove in to help.

Never mind that none of us had ever designed for retail store before, exactly. We worked with their design-build team to ensure that this wasn’t just a store but a place that distilled the brand to its essence and immersed people in its central ideas.

Wild Shore

A creative company. We work alongside founders and their teams to build modern brands. Based in Oakland, California.

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