From Startup to Standout: How Brands Find Their Creative Voice at 4-6 Years Old

June 5, 2024

Having worked with companies of many different ages, we've noticed that there seem to be pivotal years where brands get antsy for change, resulting in an elevated creative aesthetic. The 4-6 year mark is the one we want to highlight today, being that Marika Creative is 4 1/2 years old and that many of our current clients/relationships are in the 4-6 year window.

Companies who are 4-6 years old are often still considered startups even after 7+ figure funding rounds, rapid employee growth, and global notoriety.  As a founder of a 4 year old business, I can attest to the fact that in many ways you feel like you are just getting started with what’s possible as you are outgrowing your business at a rate that’s hard to keep up with some times! Despite (or maybe because of?) the chaos, this window of time tends to be a turning point for companies - where they are succeeding, gaining traction in their market, and now have both the confidence and the funds to invest in quality creative advancements.

Just a few of the brands we’ve helped, known, or observed embark on their creative elevation journey include Beam & Versed (MC clients), Crown Affair & Bala (hopefully MC clients one day hehe).

Let’s dive into Beam:

Images creative directed, produced, and executed by Marika Creative for Beam

Beam was founded in 2018, and Marika Creative has been partnering with them since 2022. When initially brought in, we were tasked with creating more elevated assets based on their-then current art direction: bright, colorful, energetic vibes. We did brilliant work (as per usual 🙂) and Beam saw much success in their paid ads and social as a result. Many of our assets were their top performing of all time!

Over the course of the first 18 months of working together, Beam had found their stride in terms of product efficacy and market position (really leaning into the sleep category in particular and becoming a leader in that space), but we hadn’t made the mutual investment yet to sync up their creative aesthetic with their evolved brand story.

At the end of 2023, Beam came to us ready to change things up! With new packaging and new innovative products on the horizon, it was time to make Beam's art direction feel more luxurious and elevated to match both the quality of the products and their price point.

Theoretically, a brand’s creative direction could be timeless so long as they choose to maintain it across new product development, ever-changing algorithms, and consistently raising DTC standards. However, it’s common to spend those first 4 years of your business deciding who you’re going to be in your market. Once you’ve determined this, then the creative can catch up and match the story you’re telling. An elevated art direction endeavor for Beam was most essential for this very reason - to tell the right story that customers would be excited to buy into.

At the end of the day, your creative is all about the story you want to tell knowing that whatever you show will attract a particular customer demographic(s). It’s okay if you’ve outgrown your visual narrative - you simply need to be able to recognize that a shift is needed and allocate appropriate budget to the investment.

Images creative directed, produced, and executed by Marika Creative for Versed


1. You aren’t proud of the creative assets your company is putting out

2. You’re constantly struggling to apply the creative you have access to within your current marketing and brand efforts

3. You’ve received feedback that your products are too expensive before people even try them

4. You’ve received feedback that your marketing and brand materials (particularly photo, video, and UGC) don’t communicate what you offer clearly or well

5. You’re seeing significant inconsistencies in the results of your paid media efforts


1. Get your growth, brand, and organic marketing people together and find the common creative threads that are bringing the business the most success. You can also bring in an objective third party to facilitate this process for your team.

2. Once you understand what tone, assets, and aesthetic perform best for your brand, you can begin the process of articulating the new standard you’re looking to establish. Again, this creative direction phase can be done with the team you have internally or with your agency(ish) partner.

3. With a clear roadmap, you can then easily execute and implement incredible new assets to tell your brand story. The aesthetic guidelines should translate across all media, organic, paid, earned, photo, video, UGC, all of it. Your creative production agency(ish) can bring this vision to life for you, leaving you with assets that you are so proud of!


Restore your faith in creatives