Branding in the Deep End

In 2015 I took a big leap to fulfil a life goal and establish my own product and brand. From a young age I had always had a desire to create something I could be proud of and call my own, so at the ripe age of 27 I took the branding challenge full-on. 


I had been inspired by a trip to Basel in Switzerland, when I saw some people swimming effortlessly down the River Rhine.

My first thought was, “where’s all their clothes, valuables, there is no safe place here to store them!

On closer observation, everyone seemed to have these floating bags with them as they swam down the river and I was curious.

It turns out the bags were not only able to float, they were safely containing all of the individuals clothes and valuables as they swam

They were called the “wickelfisch“, a unique Basel invention that was like nothing I had seen before:

The Ground Work

Naturally I got excited and thought “there’s something in this, I’ve never seen anything like this in the UK.”

I live in Bournemouth quite near the beach and immediately thought about the safety issues of leaving valuables on the beach.

These ideas then sprung into music festivals and travelling again based on safety but also weather conditions.

So on the return home I did my research and this lead me to waterproof dry bags,  a more basic looking bag than the Wickelfish that provided the same benefits: floats and keeps your belongings dry.

More research went into sourcing, competitors pricing and I thought this is it!

Traditionally used for boating and camping, I could see that with the right branding I could create a product that was more tailored to a younger audience, the festival goer, the traveller, the beach lover.

Let’s go to work.

Brand Identity

As everyone knows the logo, the strapline, the product and ethos all underpin the brand identity.

I wanted to create something that was cool, fun and would get people saying “Hey that’s pretty cool, I like that

After much contemplation over the name including my Dad’s all time classic “funbags” the name “DRYU” was born.

It all started with a logo that was perfected and finalised in a coffee shop in London.

The bright bold colour scheme was set, the strap line “Life Without Limits” was chosen.

A range of 5, 10 and 20 litre waterpoof bags would be the first products and the supplier was selected.

From there I ran.

Days, weeks months, designing, creating, sourcing, realising this branding identity would follow. With the goal of creating something that was bigger than me.

A website, a blog, a product range, package design, social media, a cool promotional video, every marketing material you can wave your finger at would provide credibility and identity to this new brand.

I was going the whole way with this one:

The Journey

The foundations to the journey were laid and we were ankle deep in this adventure.

Once the product came in from the suppliers I was attending blogging events, networking with travellers, getting amazing people on board to help promote.

We were then invited to join a nationwide extreme water sport, thundercat racing on their events throughout the country. We went to Fistral Beach, Liverpool, Clevedon, Bournemouth it was amazing.

We sponsored championship winners Coleman Racing, and one of the coolest boats and female drivers Mette Bjerknaes.

We got the product on Amazon, sold it through our website, introduced a couple of complimentary products (towels and phone cases).

What an adventure.

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A Brand that People Loved

DRYU wasn’t a massive global success. It didn’t make me a lot of money.

So what was the point?” you might be asking.

Yes the point was to make money and get bigger, but in the end I got something that meant just as much if not more.

I created something that people really LOVED.

People believed in the brand I dedicated so much of my time to, and as a marketer and a creative enthusiast you can’t ask for much more.

Little did they know it was little old me and my amazingly supportive wife, scuttling around creating this identity that was larger than life.

To have the support from amazing people and the enthusiasm drove me on day after day and I couldn’t ask for any more than  that.

When you are packing envelopes, updating product listings, dealing with customers, getting angry at suppliers and running round the country trying to get some “traction”, it doesn’t feel like enough.

But when I look back I can say “People loved and believed in DRYU“.

It was probably in that moment that I realised I am really passionate about branding and creating something that makes people fell happy, positive and excited.

Life Without Limits

So a word of advice. Yes start a  business to make money, but never underestimate the value of building a brand, product or service that people love. Use that as your focus point to drive you through the toughest moments, and inspire you when you feel like giving up. With that motivation at the heart of your product or service, any degree of success is possible.

Creating, building and establishing brands is a passion of mine, if you need support with your start up or existing business’ branding get in touch, it would be great to hear from you. 

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