branding cleantech business

How a good brand both tells your story and demonstrates your value


How a good brand both tells your story and demonstrates your value


In our experience, focusing on brand is not a priority for most cleantech companies. While that’s initially understandable, at a certain point in your company’s growth this will be a considerable oversight. A brand isn’t just a logo. It is the core of your company: your story, your motivation, your personality.

Critically, ‘brand’ is how your business character can be channelled through the lens of what matters not just to you, but to your stakeholders. Here, we look at how to balance brand story with what customers and stakeholders are looking for.

1. Understand your position

Three of our clients operate in the renewable energy and energy storage space: KPS has developed an alternative form of wind energy; EnergyNest uses thermal battery technology to store and redistribute energy assets; Highview Power’s liquid-air technology can store energy for weeks.

We began working with these companies at a crucial stage in their journey. They’d all been in operation for several years; they had good business foundations and investment partnerships; they had technology proof of concept; and they had even started to get commercial traction beyond pilot projects. At this point, each company was ready to take a major step forward towards growth and start conversations with the big industry players.

But they all had similar challenges. Each was a unique technology not well understood by a wider market. More challenging: their branding hadn’t yet graduated secondary school – and they needed to be speaking to the university students.

branding cleantech business
The Highview Power Pilsworth plant, showing a complex network of pipes which inspired the pipe device in the logo and branding

2. Focus on your sweet spot

With KPS, EnergyNest and Highview Power, we helped figure out what ought to be the main focus of their brand and what would bring them the most value. Each of these should be considered when developing a brand.

  • Tell a compelling company story

Glasgow-based KPS was borne from a dream of its founder and then CTO, Bill Hampton. Enhancing the KPS language with a storytelling tone of voice was an effective way to inspire its audience of investors, who wanted to believe in the reality of Bill’s dream. All brand work that followed fit this narrative: the interactive website we developed pulls you in through the clouds, and its impact is matched by aspirational and elemental imagery. The symbols in the logo tell a story, using a colour palette reflective of Scottish heather, stormy skies and the technology itself. Storytelling is consistent across all communications. 

  • Have a strong value proposition

We spent focused time with EnergyNest establishing their customer segments, understanding their needs. By doing this, we were able to develop a clear value proposition which could support the conversations they were having with customers. Alongside this, we developed a sophisticated and lean website, to reflect their no-nonsense approach to business and technology.

“On behalf of EnergyNest, I would like to thank Life Size for a fantastic website job done. Our new look and feel will have a big impact on bringing our company to the next level.”

— Dr. Christian Thiel, CEO, EnergyNest
  • Make sure the technology is quickly understood

Liquid-air technology has been around for some time, but conceptually it’s hard for media to grasp: comprehension seemed stuck in the 1970s. We modernised Highview Power’s brand, showcasing an identity of a grown-up and sophisticated corporation. With the visual aesthetic refined, we ensured their communications and content was as jargon-free as possible – using lay(wo)man language to explain the technology, while also developing concise infographics for media distribution.

3. See the brand deliver value

With a contemporary brand and new website, KPS were able to show their investment partners a huge progression in ambition, communication and potential, thereby securing Series B funding in 2018.

In October 2018, we enabled EnergyNest to host an event at Europoort Rotterdam unveiling their first commercial thermal battery module. The event was specifically designed for their existing stakeholders, indicating their readiness for growth as well as showcasing their energy storage technology in unique industrial surroundings.

branding cleantech business
EnergyNest CEO Dr. Christian Thiel presents their propietary thermal battery module at the Europort Event, Rotterdam.

In April 2018, Highview Power launched the world’s first grid-scale liquid air energy storage plant in Pilsworth, near Manchester, with utility companies from around the world analysing its operating data with a view to building bigger plants globally. The company’s instantly recognisable branding (with neon pink, aqua blue and white) contributed to the visualisation of the breakthrough of liquid air energy storage, with the market predicted enormous growth over the coming years.

branding cleantech business
Safety first: Team Life Size getting ready for the Highview Power Pilsworth plant launch.

4. Set yourself up for future success

Ensuring that your brand truly represents your company values and vision offers many benefits; and on the flip side, if your brand isn’t accurately representing you, then you are sending the wrong message to your stakeholders.

We understand it’s easy to deprioritise your brand (in fact, we’ve even been there ourselves) but remember that your audience is basing their decisions and forming their opinions of your business on what you outwardly communicate.

With the right brand in place, you’ll be able to build confidence with investors, speed up your sales process, position yourselves in the marketplace, encourage media attention and attract the right employees.

What does your brand say about you?

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