Good branding is more than just a logo

Amanda Lieu, Director of Brand, Product Marketing, and Growth at SEON, a global fincrime and fraud prevention company, has tech flowing through her veins. A self-prescribed digital native, Amanda started her career in coding, launching websites, and apps through 360o digital marketing and customer engagement.

“I felt like I exhausted the digital space, and it sometimes frustrated me that despite delivering this fantastic digital experience, a brand and a business could still fail. That’s when I felt like there’s a disconnect between businesses and their brands.”


With a naturally curious mind and an aptitude for problem solving, Amanda soon realised that if a brand’s foundations and positioning aren’t aligned with their business strategy then any digital experience that is layered on top isn’t going to work because there’s no synergy between a company’s mission, values, branding, strategy, or rollout.

This led to a personal shift for Amanda, and she joined a strategic agency – a career she loved – working in the competitive field of fintech.

“Everybody is looking for that differentiator, including executing a 360o vision through to online and offline campaigns. Being able to pull the levers around the business to make it successful is super satisfying.”

All for the love of chaos

Startups are what Amanda loves, because they need that collaboration of complete 360o branding from conception through to delivery based on each stage of the startups growth.

“I love the fast pace of the startup world. It has really allowed me to invest all my energy and my 360o experiences into making a company as successful as it can be. Startups are about establishing those building blocks for growth, and I find that really fun and exciting.”

Why branding is important

“A brand is more than just a cool logo and some fancy images.  It is the identity of a business that represents its cultural heart as well as its people.”

Amanda understands that if your branding aligns with who the business is and who its people are, then it has the potential to be a timeless entity that can be instantly recognisable to consumers for generations to come. So, an external image is only a fraction of a company’s brand. It also ties together culture, values, and beliefs.

“Branding has the potential to win the hearts and minds of people from your consumers and buyers through to those that choose to build their career with you. Good brand management creates loyalty, fans, advocates, and champions. A strong brand also increases the perceived value of your product or service.

“Branding allows businesses to carve their own distinct space in very competitive markets. It influences revenue opportunities, and good brand management can also help a company through crisis – whether that’s internal or external.”

If a company’s branding is organic, it is not only fostering a culture of truth and transparency, it also means that it is gaining a distinct voice in a competitive market, and this unique voice is what sets a company apart from the competition.

“A lot of businesses exist because they want to change something. They want to disrupt the status quo. If you can capture the essence of that and communicate it externally, that’s how you can build a strong brand that’s distinct in the space you’re working in. In our space [fraud prevention and fincrime] there are lots of competitors, so we have to tell our distinct story. SEON use a lot of pre-fraud signals, we aim to stop fraud before it even happens – this is how we differentiate in the market.”

The secret to scaling?

Amanda helped SEON to rapidly scale operations across multiple continents – her secret?

“There is no secret recipe or magic source.” Amanda further explains that you need to take each new venture on its own merits and work with that. Every region is different, behaviours, influences, languages – they all affect how a business must be presented and how it will be perceived, but Amanda advocates that the most important thing for scaling is to identify where the revenue is.

“Look at sales cycles, acquisition costs, look at win rates and then buckle down on where the revenue is – then tailor this approach for every geographic area … Respecting the cultural and geographic nuances.

“If you’re a very lean startup and you can’t afford a blanket solution for the entire world just yet, buckle down and find the revenue.”

The challenges of building a team

There are numerous challenges in building a team, especially when you’re a startup. Two of the main contenders are: having little or no budget, and identifying and harvesting diverse talent.

SEON was built on the belief that all businesses should be able to protect themselves from cybercrime.

“SEON was built on the foundation that solutions don’t need to be expensive, where only certain types of businesses can afford anti-fraud and fincrime defences. This is 2023! We’ve got so much tech at our disposal. We purposely designed SEON in a way that scales with businesses as they grow. That means a lot of small businesses and e-commerce stores can start [and grow] with us.

“We also support businesses to grow by helping to see where their available customers are. So, it’s not just stopping fraud … by doing this, we also increase our customers’ revenue year-on-year. SEON also have a ‘forever free’ version of SEON because, like I said, not all solutions have to be expensive.”

However, good branding, good business, and a loyal customer base are only part of the puzzle. Another piece is finding and nurturing talent.

“Building a team is challenging, and it isn’t specific to cyber security, it’s across the board to all industries. Hiring great talent is always a challenge. Equally, spotting talent and being able to nurture and keep that talent is tough. Everyone has to begin somewhere – knowledge and skills can be taught, so it’s more about finding people with the right attitude and the right passion, and then equipping them with the knowhow.”

Although awareness of STEM careers and what they entail are steadily gaining traction, the lack of education and knowledge around industries, like cyber security, are still slow burning, and it’s possible that some of the best talent out there haven’t yet been exposed to the world of cyber security.

This is where being able to identify potential in someone who has the right aptitude is invaluable. So, putting the face of real and relatable role models at the forefront of campaigns is an important part of building a company and ensuring they can harvest real talent and diversity.

“Diversity is important in every single field. It’s those alternative viewpoints that expand possibilities and [fosters] healthy debate. It encourages people to be more open-minded, challenge assumptions and the status quo, and it enables the exploration of new perspectives.

“I love the digital space, it changes and evolves so fast and it is full of opportunities. The digital world is defining our culture, our way of working and thinking. Digital to me is a way of life, and by keeping our digital economies safe and secure, we can continue to grow what is an inherent part of our world and culture.”

Amanda leaves her parting thoughts that if you’re curious about entering the cyber security space, or any tech space, then “just do it. Feed that curiosity. Be brave, seek out your mentors, ask the big questions. This is a space where tech and innovation meet. It literally shapes what a future digital world looks like. You can push the boundaries of what is possible.”