At Upstatement we believe branding is inseparable from product and web design, an approach we call “brand through digital.” The work we deliver benefits both clients and their users by creating meaningful ways for them to interact — and brand is at the center of that relationship.
The Brand Strategy Lead is a hands-on role focused on digital products and websites.
- Lead teams in research & strategy; engage clients through the entire project.
- Define the core drivers for verbal & visual identity systems.
- Plan and run a design process that delivers on core business goals.
- Design solutions that unlock opportunities for teams and clients.
- Explain decisions, win over stakeholders, and fulfill the creative strategy.
- Navigate complex business, user, and team needs with empathy.
- Shape the growth of Upstatement's brand practice.
Last but not least: People who succeed here are empathetic teammates who are candid, kind, caring, and embody our core values. We believe that diverse, inclusive teams make the most impactful work. Upstatement is deeply invested in ensuring that we have a supportive, growth-oriented environment that works for everyone.
Upstatement is a digital product studio with an editorial mindset. We use the tools of design, engineering, and journalism to enrich lives and create a more just society. Our 50-person team works with established leaders (MIT, ESPN, PBS) and emerging companies who are about to change the world.
- Work with ethical and mission-driven organizations.
- Collaborate in a high-trust environment that empowers creative ownership.
- Build a portfolio you can be proud of.
- Blossom in a small studio culture full of top talent and peers who help you grow.
- Find your path at a place that prizes flexibility: We encourage experimentation, support role switching, and help people balance between maker/manager and lead/support.
- Contribute to a progressive, values-driven culture that has deep commitment to DEI, puts people first, and believes in making each other better.
- Experience true life-work balance with a 4-Day Work Week.
What You’ll Do
- Deliver portfolio-worthy work: As a hands-on strategist and team leader.
- Drive research: Develop a deep understanding of each client’s goals, business context, user behavior, and opportunities. Run interviews, workshops, and analysis.
- Define the why: Establish foundational strategy that will unlock goals and drive future creative output. Inspire designers, engineers, product managers, and clients with your ideas.
- Make from the start: Use your strength as a writer and communicator to synthesize insights that inspire any room to believe in your vision — and act on it.
- Engage clients: Demonstrate expertise that builds long-term relationships. Relentlessly explain the why behind every decision, winning over stakeholders, and fulfilling the creative strategy throughout the project lifecycle.
- Navigate complexity: Resolve tensions between clients, users, and teams effectively and with empathy.
Inside Upstatement’s brand practice:
- Continuously improve: Plan, run, and refine the way brand projects go at Upstatement, documenting and sharing best practices so they set the new standard.
- Develop others: Coach our teams to achieve their best, providing space to own tasks and build expertise.
- Expand capabilities: Make every project more impactful than the last. Grow our network of project partners, from freelancers to agencies.
- Integrate brand with digital: Help teams translate brand to products and websites.
- Promote expertise: Collaborate with business development and marketing teams to attract top talent and client prospects.
- 3-8+ years of hands-on brand design and project leadership experience at a digital agency (depending on level).
- Independent strategic thinker with a portfolio of work demonstrating business impact across brands, products, and websites. You think of brand as the experience itself, especially in terms of complex interactions and content.
- Proven ability to lead research programs — ethnographic interviews, workshops, competitive audits — that result in insightful findings and actionable strategies across a wide range of audiences and industries.
- Expert at breaking down complexity and understanding each client’s business context. Actively works to identify the big opportunity. Clearly articulates the why behind every decision.
- Demonstrates craft by writing and bringing new ideas forward. Defines brand positioning, messaging, and digital opportunities that drive all design and technology decisions. Delivers tools and guidelines that enable client success.
- Capable of managing and motivating a multidisciplinary team. Protects the team, ensuring their work is always aligned to the core idea, and works to create space for them to make decisions and grow.
- Confident communicator and active listener that can lead any room to trust your vision. Maintains strong relationships with collaborators and client stakeholders, even when challenged. Expert at change management.
- Sets the pace of velocity and efficiency through every step of the process, course correcting based on feedback and improving how we work together.
- Ability to succeed even in the face of complex, ambiguous projects. Comfortable working iteratively. Can step into this role with minimal training.
- Bonus: Content creation and editorial experience. Plus Figma skills 😎
Salary & Level
Upstatement is committed to helping our people grow and providing transparent salary benchmarks. This job fits three possible levels in our skill progression framework (something we’d love to share during the interview process). The level depends the candidate’s unique qualifications, to be determined during the interview process. The role is targeted at Levels 4-5 but we're open to promising candidates who might identify as a Level 3.
Level: 3 Official Title: Senior Designer Department: Design Salary Range: $100,000-$120,000
Official Title: Lead Designer
Salary Range: $120,000-$140,000
Official Title: Senior Lead Designer
Salary Range: $140,000-$160,000
- Competitive salary
- Health, dental, and vision insurance, and supplementary health benefits(FSA, IVF coverage, TalkSpace)
- A company-matched retirement plan
- $1,000 home office setup stipend
- $1,500 annual professional development budget
- Short/long term disability insurance
- 3 weeks vacation to start, plus company-wide closure between Christmas & New Year’s Day(fully paid)
- 12 weeks paid parental leave
- One Medical membership
- Internal events, workshops, and seminars(like ourFriday Talks)
- Hubs in New York City and Boston as well as a fully distributed workforce
FWIW:Worries of “what if I’m not the perfect fit” can sometimes hold us back from applying to jobs. We want to let you in on a secret: there is no perfect candidate. Sure, we’re interested in resumes, but also the narrative beyond that resume—unique backgrounds, experiences, points of views, etc. As such—there is no set of boxes to tick in order to be a good candidate. If this is a job that excites you, we hope you’ll apply.
Our goal is to get to know you in a low-pressure, friendly environment — and to give you ample opportunity to learn more about us, too.
Our typical process includes these types of experiences:
- A resume screen and introductory phone/video chat
- A take-home exercise where you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate your communication and problem-solving skills
- Additional conversations with potential future team members, the hiring manager, and leadership
Our goal is to create an environment where you can interview at your best. Our interview process is fully remote, conducted via Zoom calls. If we can provide any assistance or accommodations during your time with us, please let us know at [email protected]. All requests are treated as privately as possible and have no impact on candidate eligibility.
Interested in applying?
Send us a resume, cover letter, and anything else that helps us understand what makes you awesome.
Women, people of color, LGBTQIA2S+ individuals, and members of other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Upstatement is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against candidates on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status. Upstatement is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive workplace for everyone — you are welcome here.
FWIW: Worries of“what if I’m not the perfect fit” can sometimes hold us back from applying to jobs. We want to let you in on a secret: there is no perfect candidate. Sure, we’re interested in resumes, but also the narrative beyond that resume—unique backgrounds, experiences, points of views, etc. As such—there is no set of boxes to tick in order to be a good candidate. If this is a job that excites you, we hope you’ll apply.