AI startup brands to watch in 2024

By David Card
Branding

Your brand distills your company’s purpose and story into its visible form. The public interacts with your brand before it ever learns more about your offering, with the harsh reality that some may never go past a surface understanding of your brand—unless you give them a compelling reason to learn more.

The AI industry continues to rapidly transform economies, offering limitless potential to change everything from productivity to healthcare on a global scale, with PwC forecasting staggering growth and impact of AI through 2030 (spoiler alert: it’s going to be radically transformative).

You likely already know about AI’s potential; maybe you even work for an AI startup. (Let’s talk!) You’ve been watching the epic boom of growth in the industry, with tons of companies being founded with the promise of changing the world.
But when everyone is a major disruptor dedicated to obliterating the status quo, how do you stand out?

Your competition is not as strong in branding as you’d think.

Your competition is also ambitious, tech-savvy, and hip. But while they’re innovating in the AI space, their websites often speak in the same way: essentially similar five-ish word headlines summarizing what the product, dual CTAs for a tour and/or demo, horizontal scroll of endorsing logos, sections dedicated to product features and the team’s vision, punchy shade of purple-blue, etc.

After you look at enough AI startup websites and other marketing materials, you start to see clear trends and a lack of differentiation.

Why is this happening? This is likely because all the startup’s effort—and spending—is going towards product development and similar investments. We see this all the time: everyone knows that investing in both branding and marketing is important, but it’s often easy to put them off in favor of other efforts that seem to deliver more short-term gratification.

This is good news for you! Partnering with a startup branding agency could quickly land you major gains since there is so much opportunity for AI startup brands to differentiate themselves without even needing a massive budget to get there.

Leading AI startups are making cool brand choices that help land funding and recognition.

Within this explosively growing landscape, a few AI startups have emerged with compelling brand decisions that may inspire your marketing journey. Below, we highlight some of these startups as examples that you can refer to as you map out your strategy.

Anthropic

https://www.anthropic.com/

In a world where ChatGPT has become a household name synonymous with artificial intelligence, the generative AI chatbot landscape is extremely challenging terrain. Any brand faces an uphill battle when trying to establish itself within this space, and many have failed or given up entirely.

And yet, from a branding perspective, Anthropic emerges as the leader of the AI startup pack by far, successfully juggling a distinct identity with visual references that assuage fear with the confidence of utility and design. Instead of overtly throwing around overused jargon like “copilot,” they use their digital real estate to let company actions speak loudest — showing their values, not just telling them.

Anthropic addresses public fear around AI and “robots taking over” without any negative verbiage; instead, it directly highlights their complex security-focused projects while taking a clearly human touch to everything they produce.

From the name of the company through its chatbot named Claude, Anthropic conveys humanity. With everyone else getting lost in the complexities of big data and technical architecture while trying to look like the shiniest new thing, Anthropic never loses sight of its value to and for humans. The use of hand-drawn visuals and flesh-colored tones echo organic and grassroots themes, making the brand more approachable without losing intelligence.

Investors have taken notice: Google’s funding of Anthropic means they clearly took note and liked what they saw. December 2023 saw Anthropic’s valuation reach $18.4 billion—and counting.

AI startup branding

Jasper

https://www.jasper.ai/

Given the incredibly rapid growth of the AI industry, Jasper already feels like a seasoned veteran—but it’s been able to break into B2B and grow quickly. Key to this success is how clear Jasper is about its target audience (enterprise marketing), and how quickly it demonstrates how essential it can be to enhance day-to-day operations. Jasper doesn’t make its audience think about how it could fit into their daily workflows; it shows them.

Brand collateral around Jasper speaks to being a “better, not just faster” solution for enterprise teams. And there’s no requirement to get a demo: front and center, under the homepage hero, Jasper dives into its product, forcing the conversation around “How would you use this?” (of course, getting a demo to talk through this is still an option, but feels more like a choice).

Why is Jasper called “Jasper”? Originally, it was Jarvis.AI, a nod to Marvel comics after Tony Stark’s AI Assistant. After Disney issued the company a cease-and-desist, they changed the name to Jasper – and delighted in the brand personification.

Tome

https://tome.app/

For a generative AI tool that produces polished copy and presentations while maintaining subtlety and nuance, it makes sense that Tome’s branding is to-the-point, and sleek. Smooth animation, simple typefaces, and the balanced use of contrast help tell the story of a put-together brand operating at the caliber you want to aspire to.

Tome illustrates how effective branding can be deceptively simple, starting with its name that rolls off the tongue with allusions to meaningful storytelling and the impact of narratives.

At one of its last pre-revenue valuations, Tome hit $300 million. Within 134 days after launch, Tome hit 200 million users faster than heavy hitters like Dropbox and Slack, signaling that its branding is working.

AI startup branding

Atomic AI

https://atomic.ai/

Using AI to power RNA drug discovery – a complex endeavor requiring detailed expertise and precise protocols – Atomic AI has pared-down branding focused on its primary molecules of interest. Clinical and scientific research focuses on peer-reviewed findings, shifting the focus of any brand evaluation onto studies and credentials.

It makes sense that Atomic AI has a very concise, no-nonsense approach to its brand. Given how quickly research can move and how risky out-of-date information can be for claims of scientific integrity, it makes sense that they choose to use fewer words and avoid diagrams or other high-maintenance content.

This, in turn, boosts their credibility in the eyes of investors, who see that Atomic AI not only has scientific credentials but also knows how to manage a scientific product.

Having been featured in Science and having raised $42M in funding, Atomic AI is successfully connecting with the public to further its mission.

AI startup branding

Shield AI

https://shield.ai/

Shield AI’s pilot is designed for combat warfare and for commercial aviation. There is no greater proof for their product than seeing it in design, which is why their branding focuses heavily on visual demonstrations of their pilot in action. Seeing is believing, certainly in this case.

But even their name, denoting implicit defense and support just by its mere presence, sums up the way an AI pilot takes the expensive training, human error, and high resource demand out of the equation. Everyone can easily grasp what a shield is, even if the technology behind an AI pilot goes over people’s heads.

Shield AI also focuses its efforts on visually differentiating the various classes of aircraft for which its AI pilots are trained. This helps everyone, from investors to the general public, grasp their product more readily.

The typefaces used in Shield AI’s marketing are also important because they overlap with typical AI industry fonts as well as more technical and somewhat old-school engineering fonts, slightly revamped for the modern era. This is not trivial, given their work with aviation and engineering, which are industries with a rich history, which place high importance on evolution over time.

Investors are taking note, with Shield AI raising $200M with a $2.7B valuation.

AI Startup branding

Arthur

https://www.arthur.ai/

Arthur delivers custom AI solutions for businesses, which could easily be dry and esoteric. To combat this, Arthur uses several approaches—starting with its human name and defusing some potential intimidation. We all know that the anonymity of online presences can render people meaner, but there is a potent familiarity to the brand named Arthur that forces you to lend an ear.Arthur’s visual branding borrows from old-school diagrams around data structures and mathematical visualizations.

By incorporating bright colors and modern illustrations of people walking through these data landscapes, they become instantly relatable – without compromising the sizable knowledge and expertise powering the technology.

AI Startup branding

D-iD

https://www.d-id.com/

D-iD lives at the intersection of technology and human interaction, building natural user interfaces facilitating richer face-to-face inputs in digital environments. What’s really interesting about their brand plays is how they juggle the significance of personal, human connection with highly advanced technology.

D-iD’s brand colors are warm and accessible, in line with their brand values of personal connection and natural engagement. Secondary colors are subtle shades of skin color, simultaneously reinforcing elements of personhood and diversity. Subtle animations draw the eye towards human actions and engagement, the very things their product supports.

As their audience digs in further, technical documentation starts to surface via the concept of anatomy, whether of interfaces or faces in general. This is not a standoffish technical white paper but rather an attempt to break down human interfaces into their technical parts – i.e., exactly what D-iD aims to do with their offering.

AI Startup Branding

Tempus

https://www.tempus.com/

Precision medicine uses genetic profiling to optimize therapeutic interventions – meaning it has potential applications in every field of medicine. Many brands would be overwhelmed by the number of points to cover when representing themselves, but Tempus understands that fewer words can drive more connection.

From there, they focused on their core audience segments – providers, researchers, and patients – and sliced their content appropriately for each audience.

There is a use of sleek blues and blacks alongside white, with somewhat abstract animations that feature zoom-outs on systems of large-scale complexity. The idea here is that Tempus stands for expertise in seeing and sharing big-picture takeaways, which patients and providers can then choose to apply. AI is not front and center, although Tempus is an AI startup; its impact (and potential) is.

Clearly, Tempus’ brand messaging is working, as it’s already closed partnership deals with giants like Pfizer, GSK, and AstraZeneca.

AI startup branding

Conclusion

As you can see, there is a theme among the winning brands we choose to document here: they visually present themselves in ways that demonstrate their mission and their offering.

Winning brands highlight who they are with deliberate visual choices, with no detail too trivial. In fact, power often lies in the “little things”, like a particular shade or typeface that taps the subconscious to go somewhere in line with the team’s vision.

Establishing your brand’s distinct voice is a powerful step, but you don’t have to take it on your own. Leverage the experience of a startup branding agency with experience in competitive verticals like AI and healthcare.

Set up some time to speak with us.

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