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HOW WE WORK WITH START-UPS

When we work with start-ups, we close Word and PowerPoint and begin where they need our words-and-thinking combo the most: the front page of their website. 

So we sum up what they’re about in a wireframe, not a Word doc (it forces you to write in a different way), and play with how we can pitch their business. It’s like the branding version of rapid prototyping. It’s quicker, there’s much less agonising over crafting the ‘perfect’ positioning statement, and you get a landing page and a brand sorted for the price of one piece of work. Because if you can sum up a brand and what it stands for on one scrollable page, you’ve cracked the hardest bit.

What we did for Wild Radish: the recipe kit that knows you know how to chop an onion.

A new recipe box startup, Wild Radish, launched today. When they came to us, they’d already done a lot of work researching their market and trying to pin down what they were about. But their first go at creating the brand looked and sounded like everyone else. Bright colours, cheesy studio shots and a salesy tone.

Most recipe kits are positioned around convenience and price – for people who don’t have time to cook.

And, like most start-ups, money was tight and launches were looming. 

So we worked on their pitch and wireframe at the same time.

It soon became clear that their original starting point – that the recipes were created by Michelin-star chefs – was too limiting. It overlooked what set them apart too. Wild Radish’s audiences aren’t really looking for convenience. They all read cookbooks and they like cooking. What they appreciated about Wild Radish the most was that they got to make a meal from scratch with great ingredients (there are no pre-chopped onions in sight).

Pitched at an audience who wouldn’t buy a recipe kit in a plastic tray, Wild Radish is like a chef’s raided a farmers’ market and left a hamper on your doorstep – with step by step instructions so you know exactly what to do with it all.

We put Wild Radish’s chefs and ingredients first and made their pitch about the love of cooking, not convenience. More like a restaurant, less like a kit. Tonally, the words are calm and understated, not ‘sell, sell, sell’. They match the photography, which takes its lead from chefs’ shots on Instagram, rather than staged, bright studio snaps. All together, it’s more grown-up, more premium and more foodie. And it was all worked out in a wireframe, writing and testing it as we went along. 

Once we’d got the site looking and sounding the part, we were ready to sum up our thinking in a brand book and explain the tone of voice in a few snappy pages, so Wild Radish could take it on themselves. Their brand – and launch – was good to go, and they had all the thinking to back it up. It’s a nimble, agile way of doing branding and how we’re working more and more with start-ups that head our way.

Wild Radish launched today. There were clean plates all round after the Gratin of Celeriac, Potato and Pear we cooked this weekend.

And it was good to be in the kitchen again with our friends at & SMITH, who are behind the design and visual identity.