The £1million Logo: How Solo60 used their brand to secure investment before getting their first customer

Written by Danny Matthews

Danny is the Creative Director here at the Studio. Likes drawing on his iPad, cartoons, has an obsession with brand guidelines documents and you can usually find him in a coffee roaster or under a bed of stickers that his son Zac hides him in.

How much money would you pay for a logo if it would increase the value of your start-up to £1million? Is it worth a 10% investment? How about 1%?

Solo60 opened the doors to their first location in Shoreditch, London to a full roster of personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts who have already claimed their 60 minutes using the UK’s first personal smart-gym.

When Ben Alderton, Founder of Solo60 sent us a Facebook message asking for a price to design a logo he may not have been expecting the immediate response he got from us.

We get logo enquiries all the time and we take it as a chance to understand what you want from your logo and from your business, rather than taking the order and designing some concepts.

Because once you put it out into the world your logo becomes shorthand for the values of the company, and the anchor of the visual brand. Once your audience has an experience with the company, the logo becomes a badge, reflecting their perceived expectations.


Ben knew he would need to raise investment over and above his personal cash stake in the business which means he will need to communicate and pitch to more than just a handful of connections.

“I contacted over 500 investors. My plan was simple — speak to everybody I knew and the obvious answer was to try everybody who trusted me first. I was lucky enough to have some client connections who liked me enough to contribute half of our total raise with the other half coming from angel investors I met out of over the 500 LinkedIn DM’s and 20 face to face pitches. Start in your network first and expand out afterward. It’s always easier to raise when you have some traction.”

Like all ambitious businesses, Ben and Solo60 needed clarity and confidence – these things you don’t get by going through the logo design process alone.


Ben had been running a successful personal training business already and understood one thing above all; Your environment dictates your outcome. 

The vision of Solo60 is to create empowering environments that contribute to a changing economy and connect everybody to their true identity. You can only do that in an environment that’s build for you, and only you.

Solo60 gyms would make use of small unused retail and office space, so we needed to build a brand that communicates not only the purpose for the customer, but also for the economy.

We hoped this would attract investors with the promise of sustainability in changing economies.


As the first of its kind in the UK, Solo60 needed clear and concise way of telling someone what they did so that when an investor or prospect asks “What is Solo60?” they have it ready and waiting.

We transform unloved spaces into world-class gym environments that you can book and workout solo, with friends or train clients for 60 minutes through our mobile app. 

An additional benefit of a clear positioning message is that others can recall it too as it maximises organic awareness through word-of-mouth, social tagging etc.

Read more about Ben’s personal story here.


When you are coming up with a plan of action and you are clear on your vision, purpose and message you also need to consider how people will see the message and interpret your vision.

For Ben the intention was to raise investment and secure the first and second location before raising any more funding. So aside from needing to know our target client deeply, we needed something working. Something to ‘play’ with. 

We needed an app.

Mapping the customer journey was an important part of the process in order to:

  1. Understand how Solo60 would eventually get customers
  2. Help apply the visual brand to the website, app and physical premises

Like your logo, having visual mockups and prototypes is a great way to build confidence in your brand.

So we went on to create the visual identity and a working prototype app that Ben would show to investors to help them understand exactly how the business would operate from a customer perspective.


Your logo is often the first thing people see but needs to be the last thing you do if you have big dreams for your business. 

Do not underestimate strategy! Diving into what your business is trying to achieve can help what your logo should be. Without doing strategy I think we would have ended up with something very random, that didn’t speak to the people we were trying to attract. Now, our logo and brand has been built around our mission and values and we use elements of it in everything we do now.

Many of us would love to have a £1million pound business before we even get our first customer, but most people are not willing to invest the time and effort it takes to build a £1million brand.

Ben achieved a £1million valuation for his investment round.

Was it purely down to branding? 

Getting investment at a £1million valuation without any customers is not easy. Ben already had the experience and knew the industry. He’s ambitious and I’ve seen him work damn hard every single day to make his dream a reality.

But by giving Ben and the Solo60 team the strategy and tools to maximise confidence in his brand for him, his team, his clients and potential investors his brand was an important part of making it all happen.

Next time you ask how much a logo is, consider not who you are but what you want to become.

If you’d like to discuss how you can apply our Brand Confidence® principles to your business, you can book a call with us here. 

Your success is dependent on you, your team and your clients’ confidence in your brand.

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