Branding 101: Smart Wall Paint to Smarter Surfaces

Smarter Surfaces box branding

The story of how our company started 5 years ago is our most popular video ever (check out “Meet Ronan” if you haven’t already).

So, we thought we would share how our business has evolved since then. This is one for all the entrepreneurs, brand evangelists and marketers out there.

Ronan Clarke, founder of Smarter Surfaces, came up with an idea for whiteboard paint during his old business. At that time, he had a construction company and a customer asked him to fit out an entire meeting room in whiteboards. Knowing that would be ugly as well as expensive, the idea for whiteboard paint, Smart Wall Paint, was born.

Naturally, Ronan called the company Smart Wall Paint after its only product. 

Our eCommerce store looked like this:

image6

All good so far.

The following year, we introduced a transparent whiteboard paint so you could have a whiteboard wall in any colour – just paint the transparent coating on top of any colour paint or wallcovering or digital print. This continues to be a big hit with designers and developers.

2014 was a fantastic year that really cemented our success. We won a lot of awards – Start Up of the Year, Emerging Exporter of the Year (when you come from a tiny island like Ireland with only 5 million people, the importance of exporting is bred into you from an early age), some innovation awards and product awards. We had a blast!

Logos and Taglines

So we smartened up our branding and logo:

branding logo

And our website:

branding image 2

Our R&D team got busy again. This resulted in the launch of Smart Magnetic Paint in 2014 followed by a paint that turns any wall into a projection screen, Smart Projector Paint.

The new products didn’t stop there. In 2016, we launched a pre-mixed Magnetic Plaster product. With 67% magnetite content, it’s a very high-performance product.

The continued success of our R&D team and our new product introduction process meant we now not only had a brand new range of products, but also three functionalities.

So we decided to update our branding including our logo and company name to fit this new image.

Goodbye Smart Wall Paint, Hello Smarter Surfaces

Back to the drawing board to come up with something future-proof and that hinted at what our products do. So, we officially said goodbye to Smart Wall Paint as a company name it’s still the name of our original product, whiteboard paint), and said hello to Smarter Surfaces:

Smarter Surfaces Logo - High Res

We also wanted to create a print friendly version of our logo so Smarter Surfaces has evolved into:

Smarter Surfaces Logo (1)

Top 5 Tips for Branding

So here is what we have learnt about branding:

  1. When you come up with a name for business, make sure its futureproof.
  2. It’s not a good idea to name your company after your first product.
  3. Doublecheck your business name to ensure it cannot go out of date, regardless of what product or strategic directions your business might go in the future, that you cannot possibly predict right now.
  4. Go easy on the need for ink!
  5. Ultimately, try and get it right the first time round so you don’t have to spend time and money reviewing your branding again.