Crafting An Identity: How Queue Lab Built A Better TeaSquares Brand

Every brand has an identity, but few have one that’s truly effective: an identity that encompasses the company’s goals, personality, ethos, values, and mission. Fewer still are able to communicate that identity to consumers. It’s an obstacle every startup, across every industry, must face: how do you build a brand to scale?


If you’re an up-and-coming CPG startup like TeaSquares, you partner with an accelerator that’s designed around that marketing objective. Or as Jordan Buckner, TeaSquares co-founder and CEO, said: “when you’re looking to revamp your marketing strategy, you talk to the Queue Lab team.”


Some partnerships are forged over years, even decades. But TeaSquares and Queue Lab became a powerful alliance over the span of only a few short months.


It began just last August, when Queue Lab hosted the inaugural Startup Chicago, a pitch competition that called on the best and brightest of the Second City’s thriving entrepreneurial community to present their stories to a panel of esteemed judges. Vying for the prize of Queue Lab’s own acceleration services, the competition featured up-and-coming startups of every size and sector. After whittling it down to five finalists, eventually a clear winner stood out above the rest: TeaSquares.




“When I found out that [TeaSquares] won, I was ecstatic—getting that kind of hands-on marketing work is something that we definitely needed this year,” said Buckner. “Having that opportunity was awesome in helping to drive our business forward.”


TeaSquares distinguished itself from the pack from the jump: their flagship product, Focus Bites, delivers mental energy, focus, and clarity to the consumer—a far cry from the jittery, crash-prone energy you might get from coffee or a Red Bull. With three different flavors, TeaSquares are nutty, crunchy, bite-sized snacks crafted with natural ingredients that are as functional as they are delicious. There was only one problem: if they wanted to continue to grow, scale and shake up the snack food aisle, they needed a smarter business strategy and the talent to execute it.


Enter Queue Lab. TeaSquares’ competition winnings included a full services package from the sales and marketing accelerator, starting with the Lab Lens: a full diagnostic that yields key insights for building TeaSquares’ category growth. At the end of the Lab Lens, TeaSquares had an entirely overhauled brand blueprint, one that cemented their identity and positioned the nascent company for success in the crowded snack landscape. Best of all, Queue Lab had touchstones to refer to moving forward, when we architected a new TeaSquares campaign.


After the Lab Lens, Queue Lab began conducting clinics and consulting sessions, fleshing out insights gained from the diagnostics into strategy, tactics, and eventually execution.




“Queue Lab had the kind of strategy and the team at the beginning to look at our brand and determine what was working, what wasn’t working, and to identify any gaps,” continued Buckner. “But their biggest differentiator was their ability to execute on that strategy as well. So at the end of the project we were able to walk away with new brand strategy, messaging, a website design, social media strategy, and a video that told our story in a way that we haven’t been able to do on our own. We’re going to be rolling out all that material in 2020–it’s going to be the new face of TeaSquares”.


At the end of the engagement, both companies came together for a campaign wrap party, an opportunity to break bread and celebrate the successful partnership. In a champagne toast, Queue Lab founder and CTO Ross Vangalis raised a glass to commemorate the occasion.




“The TeaSquares and Queue Lab collaboration was a wonderful adventure,” said Vangalis. “One of the reasons we love and started working with startups was this direct connection that we could have with the entrepreneurs to help them unleash their vision. To say, ‘We’re going to give your vision strategy and traction in a market. We’re going to personify it with you’. There is no greater reward than unleashing that potential and building that relationship.”