Tess Robinson_smack bang designs

In an age that is swarming with businesses of all kinds and where almost everything is online, there are a plethora of digital establishments competing for our attention across platforms that five years ago didn’t even exist. To create and maintain a successful business, it is now more important than ever to create a strong brand that sticks out from the crowd, especially in design. Sounds easy enough, right? Maybe not so much. We caught up with Tess Robinson, the founder, owner and director of Smack Bang Designs to pick her brains about all things branding.

The work that goes behind creating a brand is not to be scorned at. Anyone can start a business; it takes some real effort to create a brand. In building a brand identity, Tess places large emphasis on understanding the ideal audience, and in doing so, develops a set of business elements that reflect the mindset of that audience. At Smack Bang, the first stage of creation was not to create-it was a series of questions and subsequent answers upon which the brand was born. Asking what the brand is for, what is represents, who it’s for and what problems it solves are something that anyone wanting to build a business should ask in the initial stages, as it is the answers to these questions that will set up a brand identity.

Smack Bang pride themselves on customer experience. Tess believes that it is the personal interaction with clients that is more influential on brand perception and reputation than anything; from phone conversations, to emails and meetings, the Smack Bang team always place utmost importance on enabling their clients to feel amazing. If clients walk away from an interaction with the business feeling great, they will in turn be more likely to recommend them to others, which is something that Tess has found to become prolific throughout the development of her business.


So, what can we learn from this? It is not just the product or service that constitutes a brand. It is the entire customer experience that solidifies the brand identity as a whole. If you exude your brand values both in person and through the way you portray your business online, this will work in conjunction with your actual product or service to create not just a transaction, but an experience. Tess truly believes that “business-especially branding- has always been, and always will be, about feeling”.

So, if we are able to figure out the mindset of our ideal audience and embody the brand values and vision we set out to, we have a successful brand, right? Not just yet. This whole process takes time. Ah yes, that old thing. Tess officially started Smack Bang in 2011, from the rundown apartment she called home at 22. Come 2018 and she has an impressive list of prominent clients and long-term partnerships, and is never sitting around twiddling her thumbs. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the difference between the two was 7.5 years of hard work. But Tess firmly believes that it was worth every minute.

Investing time in your brand is the best thing you can for your business. In a nutshell, Tess likes to think of brands as being “living, evolving entities” that have adaptability to both expand to market changes and withstand trends.

If you’re prepared to work hard for your ideal customer, your brand could be something special. To check out Tess’ hard work, check out her website!

If you are designing a space and could use some guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.



Melissa Louis in Perth, WA, AU on Houzz