I’d always told myself that if I ever started a business, I would go about things the right way. I’ve helped a lot of companies to find their brand direction over the years—certainly, I thought, I could put that experience to work for my own company.
But, like a lot of startup agencies, we were quickly swamped with client work, and I rushed a bit through Upstart’s branding. It was a rough concept to start. The tenets of the brand were ill-defined, the website was thrown together, social media accounts never got off the ground, and because my position at MarketPlace had evolved into a business role years before I left, I had to launch with an embarrassingly thin portfolio of less-than-current work to convince prospective clients that Upstart Food Brands was for real.
Two years later and Upstart Food Brands has taken shape. Some initial plans and assumptions were proven right, while others met unexpected twists and turns (both good and bad—fortunately, mostly good). After finally coming up for air and reflecting on the journey thus far, it became apparent that it was time to strip the Upstart brand down to the studs and rebuild it anew; to better showcase the fruits of a lot of hard work, and to realign the story with today’s reality. We’ve updated everything, from our foundational brand statements and story to our logo and website. We’re finally launching our social media properties and getting more engaged after years of focusing our energies exclusively on our clients.
Turns out, a rebranding effort is time-consuming, emotionally draining, and rather costly. I now empathize deeply with my clients who often feel apprehensive at the prospect of upending everything they’ve built. But brands are meant to evolve, and introspection and refinement breed stronger, more resonant, and more effective brands. I had to trust the process that I advocate to my clients, and I’m glad I did.
If this is the first time you’re visiting the new site, spend a few minutes clicking around. Have some fun with the filters on the home page, leave comments to let us know what you think of the work, or send us a message through the contact form. Try it out!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Aaron Belz for his help in refining our story, Chris Malacarne for a ton of incredible photography throughout the site, and Sudon Choe for his conceptual direction on the logo…not to mention all the incredible clients, whose faith in Upstart Food Brands has been absolutely humbling and inspiring – this is only the beginning, and I can’t wait to see where we all go from here!
Make sure to check back often. We’re ready to engage, and we have a lot to share! If you own a food or beverage brand (or know someone that does), and you’re at that point in your brand’s life where a bit of a rebuild would better represent where you’ve grown to, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to help!