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:
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:
And our website:
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:
We also wanted to create a print friendly version of our logo so Smarter Surfaces has evolved into:
Top 5 Tips for Branding
So here is what we have learnt about branding:
- When you come up with a name for business, make sure its futureproof.
- It’s not a good idea to name your company after your first product.
- Doublecheck your business name to ensure it cannot go out of date, regardless of what product or strategic directions your business might go in the future, that you cannot possibly predict right now.
- Go easy on the need for ink!
- Ultimately, try and get it right the first time round so you don’t have to spend time and money reviewing your branding again.