How I built my startup in the AI era: branding, website, and beyond

Natalie Lambert

11/3/20233 min read

DALL-E created image: a tablet with a tablet and various business cards
DALL-E created image: a tablet with a tablet and various business cards

As a startup founder, I was clear about the work I wanted to do. Yet, translating that vision into a tangible company name, brand identity, and online presence proved challenging. Despite my extensive background as a research analyst, product and content marketer, marketing leader, and even a web developer for a Ben Affleck fan site in high school, I was no expert in the nuanced fields of naming, branding, and web development.

With my company set to harness AI to empower marketers, I turned to the very same technology to bolster my skills. This post chronicles my journey of utilizing AI tools to name my company, create brand assets, and establish an online presence with surprising ease and efficiency.

Step 1: Naming my company

The daunting task began with naming my company. I enlisted the help of AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard, alongside invaluable input from many friends (a heartfelt thank you to all!). My approach started with open-ended prompts to avoid biasing the outcomes:

Step 3: Determining my color palette

Admittedly, fashion isn't my forte, and choosing matching colors isn't either. Once I had my logo, featuring the primary hex color #4c26a0, the question arose: What secondary colors complement it?

A consultation with ChatGPT yielded a palette:

Once ChatGPT gave me a list of names, I told it the names I liked and followed up with prompts such as “Can you riff on [name1, name2, etc.] and create names that include the benefits of AI or clever AI-related wordplay?” I eventually landed on the name “GenEdge.” Confirming the domain’s availability sealed my decision.

Step 2: Creating my logo

Next, I explored AI logo generators, sampling offerings from Brandmark, Looka, and LogoAI. These platforms provided a breadth of design ideas, translating my mission into a distinctive logo, all without the need for design expertise. The only element I felt strongly about was that the primary color was dark purple—yes, that was the extent of my design contribution. And, given I would only pay after I decided on a final design, I felt there was little risk.

After about 2-3 hours with each service, Brandmark delivered a logo that resonated with me. Following minor tweaks, it was perfect. The $65.00 designer package provided a comprehensive set of brand assets, which included templates for documents, slides, letterheads, business cards, and more—a solid foundation for brand identity.

Step 4: Buying my domain and designing my website

I sifted through several AI website builders before choosing Hostinger for its affordability, positive reviews, and robust capabilities.

For $132.04, I acquired a Premium Web Hosting plan, which included a year of the domain and four years of hosting. The platform's drag-and-drop builder instantly produced a basic yet complete website after a few prompts about my industry and aesthetic preferences. Although its AI-generated content needed tailoring, it provided a helpful starting point for text length and layout.

Over the next few days, I honed the website’s MVP, including essential pages like Home, About, and Contact Us. With this foundation, expanding the site became a manageable task.

Despite deep blue often appearing too dark, the suggested palette resonated with my brand's essence and has been incorporated into my slides and website.

Let AI get you to good today

Innovation is accelerating. If you have a concept or a business you're eager to launch, don't stall for perfection. Use the readily available AI tools to achieve "good" more quickly than you imagined possible. At a modest investment of $197.04—or $217.04 with GPT-4—there's every reason to embark on this journey.

My aim in sharing this story is to encourage other entrepreneurs—or even entrepreneurial marketers tasked with projects like building a microsite—to tap into the potential of AI. These tools can augment your abilities in ways you never anticipated. Embrace them, expand your skill set, and let the technology surprise you.