Sustainable skincare start-up Optiat emerges victorious from the Dragons’ Den to relaunch as UpCircle, with strategic brand support from creative brand design agency Studio More and writing agency Reed Words.
The two agencies worked with Optiat to create a new brand that enables the founders to tell a richer, more consistent story, building a visual and verbal platform that can flex and grow with the business.
In August 2018, Optiat’s founders, siblings William and Anna Brightman, appeared on the BBC programme Dragons’ Den, where two dragons, Tej Lalvani and Touker Suleyman offered them funding of £50,000 for 30% of the business. But the Dragons had one condition: the founders had to improve the branding and packaging of their products, which were seen as inconsistent and confusing.
Optiat had already identified this point and a rebranding project was underway with their creative partners Studio More.
Nikita Yan, Managing Partner at Studio More says: “Our analysis suggested that the brand needed to focus on its positive impact in the world, standing for something bigger to fulfil its growth potential.”
Studio More’s strategy provided the perfect platform and category insight for Reed Word to build the tone of voice and the new name.
The brand’s original name, Optiat, is an acronym for ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure’, but as Orlaith Wood of Reed Words explains, it just wasn’t working.
She says: “It’s an interesting name but only once you’ve learnt what it means. It needs explaining, which makes it too forgettable to anyone who doesn’t understand it.”
To find the new name, the Reed Words team drew on its extensive experience of helping clients find names for everything from energy companies and travel websites, to toilet paper and even new sports. With Optiat’s founders, they carefully considered the brand’s focus on sustainability and promoting a circular economy before settling on the new name.
Wood says: “The word UpCircle captured the idea of positively re-using old things, with the ‘up’ element suggesting an elevated, uplifting purpose.”