Jonathan Alder

I’m a brand specialist. I help organisations to make an impact. To do this I work with business leaders and leadership teams, to help them understand how their brand can drive their success.


I really enjoy solving problems, and that’s essentially what I do. Our clients come to us with their challenges and opportunities. They bring us questions, we give them answers. This could be a brand identity – designing a new logo design. It could be a brand strategy – gaining some insight and bringing some clarity. Or it could be brand management – building stronger relationships with their customers. Whatever it is, I help them to make an impact.


To do this, I try to be a “trusted advisor”, someone who can offer practical, impartial advice. I think the key to building this kind of relationship is establishing trust. My approach is taking the time to understand an organisation, by asking the right questions and listening carefully to the answers.


I’ve been running Alder and Alder, with Charlie (my wife) since 2005. But I’ve been working in the design industry since 1989. The first 16 years were spent in London, first as a designer, then creative director. I had the opportunity to work with clients that included AXA, Ernst & Young, Regus, Land Registry, The National Trust, The British Library, The Early Learning Centre, Sainsbury’s and HSBC.


I grew up in London and moved back there to work when I graduated. So our move to Exeter in 2004 (where Charlie grew up), has been a breath of fresh air! I love the fact that we’re 20 minutes from the beach or 20 minutes from Dartmoor. And we have the river Exe about 50 meters from our doorstep.


It’s a great environment for family life. Our son is a teenager now, but when he was younger I really appreciated the flexibility I had to spend time with him. Being a “family business” was a great advantage for us!


I work with some really exciting clients at Alder and Alder; businesses, charities, social enterprises and local authorities. You can see the variety of you take a look at our portfolio. But the majority of our clients are small or medium-sized businesses. In my experience these companies often overlook or undervalue the potential of their brand. So in 2022 I published a book: Brand in the Boardroom. It shares advice on how brand can drive business success for these companies.


I always welcome the opportunity to stand in front of people and talk about brand. I enjoying speaking at events and conferences. Getting involved with students is also interesting. I’ve spoken at the University of Plymouth and Exeter College. In the summer I’m involved in the University of Exeter’s Professional Pathways programme. I run one of their workshops and offer an internship for a student.


As well as my role at Alder and Alder I also sit on the board at CoLab, a local charity. CoLab is a health and wellbeing hub. They provide services for people with complex needs. These are issues like housing and homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and involvement in the criminal justice system. I wanted to do something to support my local community and put my skills and experience to good use. This role seems like a great opportunity to do that.


Running a business it’s easy to spend all day at your laptop, so I try to get outside as often as I can. I go to a bootcamp-style fitness session a couple of times a week, which I find a great contrast to the office. I also try to start my working day with a run along the canal.


I’d like to spend more time being creative outside of the office. I’ve enjoyed printmaking in the past, so I’d like to give it another go. But that’s a work in progress…



Your brand strategy is a plan for how to change what people think, believe or understand about your organisation. We’ll work with you to create a brand strategy and bring a clear focus to your business. This will allow you to communicate more efficiently and effectively.


Your brand identity will help you to raise your profile and stand out from your rivals in a competitive environment. We’ll work with you to design a strong brand identity that is distinctive and memorable, so you can make an impact, in print, in person  and on screen.


Consistent brand management will drive your business success more efficiently and effectively. We’ll work with you to deliver your brand management strategy. With this in place you can build an on-going, long-term relationship with your customers.