A CEO’s guide to building a lasting brand

an image of a ancient boat setting sail in the sea

A CEO's guide to building a lasting brand

Branding. For many entrepreneurs and start-up founders, it might feel overwhelming and intimidating.

Before we set sail on this journey, you must have a lot of questions in mind. What is branding? How will this affect my business? Do we have the budget? Do we really need a new logo?

Steering into the unknown is never an easy journey. The branding process, whether a startup, new product launch, or existing business is complex, it involves multiple processes with unforeseen unique challenges that must be navigated carefully. The key to sailing through this dark stormy journey of branding is having the right people on board.

Branding is the culmination of your business' values and the highest ideas of the company in the broadest context of our society and economy. Simply put, a brand is a reputation driven by a collective experience and perception from your customers. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors - Intentional, honest and authentic.

In today’s corporate landscape, the CEO ties many knots. They lead the work that needs to be done and manages the risks that come along with it. They establish the roadmaps for the future and build the blueprint for success.

To survive and thrive, every CEO or Founding member must have a good anchor of understanding why the business exists. We believe that brands must focus on a compelling story by answering 3 fundamental questions or face adrift.

What drives you to be of service to humanity?
How do you add value to your audience?
Who are your beneficiaries and what do they really need?

Brands built in the overlap of those 3 essential questions develop a strong brand presence, driven by their holistic understanding of their audience and their needs. The results are worth the murky journey — a chest full of treasure if you will: a thriving company culture, crucial decisions made easier and a devoted customer rapport. This is one of the CEO’s greatest opportunities to champion their brand values, active employees and a well-designed brand.


Like what you see?

Optimizing Data through Storytelling

The Backbone branding and product design turning challenges into opportunities

Optimizing Data through Storytelling

We often hear the line "Data is King," but there is more to that.

Data is the foundation of any good design. As a brand design studio, we know data gives us insights into our users’ needs and behaviors. But on its own, data can be dry and difficult to understand. The precision and calculation can come out as cold, emotionless, and unrelatable to people. 

We’ve been taught that data should speak for themselves, as we believe it should. Data is the center of every business and organization. It tells us the strengths and weaknesses of a design and shows growth opportunities as well. But how might these numbers become more relevant to your clients?

That’s why the great King needs his partner. 

If Data is King, Storytelling is the Queen.

Storytelling is the art of using words and visuals to communicate complex ideas that are both clear and compelling. It allows us to turn data into something meaningful and relatable to our audience.

When we optimize data through storytelling, we create brands that are not only informative but also engaging and persuasive. We help our users understand the data and inspire them to take action.

When you have good data, the story brings it to life. Storytelling guides your listeners toward making the right choice, or so we call it, “Choice Architecture”.

A brand’s story is supported by data, and data should be combined with exemplary storytelling to resonate with your listeners.

And with their just rule, the kingdom prospers...

Data and storytelling are two of the most potent tools brand designers have. When used together effectively, they can produce informative and engaging designs for a broad audience. By optimizing data through storytelling, businesses can create strategies that help their patrons understand their advocacy and expertise and then inspire them to take action and participate in your story.

A good brand has both - data to validate and a good story that inspires audiences to take positive action.


Like what you see?

The High Five

The High Five: The Backbone’s Design Core Values for Meaningful Collaborations

Collaboration means to work together, to “co-labor”. At least two great minds, two sets of hands, working together to realize something greater.

Having design core values is vital for a design studio to share positive impact and collaboration with a brand. Every successful business or product comes from collaborative design. 

Collaboration requires mutual understanding to create compelling brands and design systems. This is more than just verbal language but an understanding of how design is practiced in a design studio. And for us, this is how our core values guide us in responding to any design challenge that comes our way. 

Our five design core values stand as our backbone (The Backbone’s backbone, lol), giving light to creating meaningful things people care about.

Culture Forward

Culture is a way of thinking; the value brings people together for a common interest.

Good design doesn’t just work, but it matters and nurtures. This thinking taught us that it is always about people and building a community around the brand.

When we design, we aim to represent the people behind the work and communicate their culture to the accepting audience.

When we design we aim to represent the people behind the work and communicate our culture forward.

Keep It Simple But Intricate

Simplicity means easy to understand. Simple designs are more elegant, and the grandest things can express complexity with minimal effort.

We keep brands and designs simple by understanding personal, business, and market perspectives. We put ourselves in the user’s shoes and understand their ideas and feelings, then mirror their expressions in an instinctually understandable way by the viewer. 

In the end, understanding becomes insight and creates meaning.

Relentless Optimism

An open environment encourages creatives to express their ideas without hesitation and allows others to build on them. This enables us to shift our focus from process to personal creative development, creating a space for growth and innovation.

This innovation creates design systems that are unique and effective, and that thrive in the user’s own economic environment. The creative space allows us to find ideas to push forward through the challenges of creating recognition and results for the brand.

Always be Learning

We like to challenge existing solutions and inspire new ideas through constant experimentation. We believe there is no “only way” to approach a design challenge but rather to find the best possible solution for each problem with data and storytelling

This can only be achieved by embracing uncertainty and daring to make a calculated swing that leads to breakthrough thinking and conceptualization.

Be nice and Collaborate

Our strength comes from collective ideas from people we work with and individual experiences from day-to-day life. 

Being able to build on the ideas together makes impressive work. This greatly applies to our relationship with our clients. We invite our clients to be part of the creative team, encouraging them to take imaginative leaps with us, working together to represent their brand or product best.

As individuals, we have our own principles and are limited to our perspectives and body of experience. But when collaborating, we can see from different directions at once. In collaboration, there is an exponential widening of ideas that one could never perceive individually.

Applying our High Five Design Values, we can help create unique ideas, products, and design systems that bring everyone to co-labor towards your goals. 

High Five!


Like what you see?

Let’s talk.

The foundations that drive a lasting brand

The foundations that drive a lasting brand

Good design is an experience- it makes life easier, more enjoyable. For us, we’ve learned that it’s always about people. We believe that diversity—of backgrounds, vision, practices and disciplines—is key to every successful design journey.

Our four-step design process is built to execute ideas uniquely and create impactful brands.


We love to hear stories—especially yours! This is the “getting-to-know-you” stage. It gives us a closer look at your brand, understanding your brand through your lense. Your story will guide us to explore your brand further, identify your needs, and bounce off insights from our shared experience.


Stories grow into ideas and ideas are stronger in collaboration. This phase is where we lay the foundations of your brand. Here we will define what your brand stands for, who you’re doing it for, and why it matters. This acts as the compass leading us forward with intention and purpose.


We will breathe life into our ideas. This is where our research and insight will get to work. We activate this through calculated experimentation that best represents what your brand truly is. In this process, we’ll have a better view of how we communicate with your audience both visually and verbally.


Your new look will be implemented in various compositions giving it a dimensional experience. In this phase, our tangible brand values takes the center stage. This is where we can truly define success for our clients in building a consistent, impactful and relevant brand.


Like what you see?