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Branding for startups

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ESA BIC Noordwijk

Kapteynstraat 1

2201 BB Noordwijk


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Imagine that you choose a brand name or a logo that doesn’t communicate what you stand for. It happened to BackRub and Blue Ribbon Sports. They still exist, but both companies have decided to change their name and the logo in relatively early stages. Today, we know them as Google and Nike.

Branding matters for startups

Bad brand names and logos will lead to ineffective marketing efforts and even worse: confused customers.
We consider a brand name and logo as one of the most valuable assets of a company. It’s “free advertising”
and therefore helps promoting your brand at every touch point. Equally important, changing your brand name in later stage can be a very costly operation. So why not do it right, immediately at the start?

"A brand is not what you think it is, it is what your customers tell each other what it is": Scott Cook, eBay

What makes branding different for startups?

The most strategic decisions in branding should be taken at the starting point of a company. The company defines its market, selects its target audience and develop its positioning. This is a structured, step-by-step process that should not be left to ‘intuition’ or ‘coincidence’.

Often, little attention is given to strategically choosing brand elements like a brand name, logo or slogan. These elements communicate and should help to identify the brand, or not.

Many academics have studied the effectiveness of these brand elements in building a
strong brand and have arrived at six criteria:

  • Memorability, meaningfulness and likeability make or break the building
    of your brand.
  • Protectability, transferability and adaptability help defending your brand
    once it’s been established and starts to expand.

Having access to this knowledge and knowing how to apply it can make a big difference
in success or failure. That’s where we come in!

Why start with branding, now?

Our experience with startup branding shows that a strong brand positioning will strengthen your business proposition and will help you in acquiring the necessary financial resources. Don’t forget that there’s not only competition for strong business ideas, but also for financial and other resources. So your competition might be much broader than you think.

Secondly, positioning your business case more pronounced in the mind of your audience means they won’t forget about you. If your pitch is not top of mind it will be less memorable. And less memorable brands will find less people that buy them, and they do this less often. So help yourself achieving you next goal by building a memorable brand!

About the 2-hour workshop branding for startups

In this workshop we will share our knowledge of and experience with branding and apply it to your business. Topics are:

  • 30 min Why is branding important? Our fundamental understanding of what a brand is, how it can managed and how it helps you to be successful in the market place: investors and customers
  • 30 min The branding process: Branding is a process of Segmenting, Targeting and Positioning your business in the mind of your customer
  • 40 min Brand communication: The role and importance of brand elements as a means of brand communication and how to assess them
  • 20 min Monitoring your brand: Sharing some tools to start managing your brand

Workshop format

The workshop is highly interactive aimed at answering any questions related to branding. We will present branding theory and concepts and make them immediately applicable to your situation.

Your brand as input

If you sent us your brand materials like logo, brand name, url and slogan, we use that as input to see how well your brand is positioned and if anything could be improved. The result will be that you’ll have basic understanding of what a brand is, how your brands is performing and how to improve this performance.

What is in it for you?

After been at the workshop, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the core concepts of branding and how branding for startups is different
  • Take informed decisions on important branding issues, like targeting and positioning
  • Assess the quality of your brand elements based on scientific criteria
  • Assess and measure your own brand image
  • Decide whether branding can help your business and that could be done

Want to know more?

Talk to us after the workshop or contact us via M+31655828687 or E

About the trainer: Jorge Labadie

Jorge is fascinated by the interaction between brands and people: how do brands get people on their feet and how to make use of growth opportunities? He enjoys sharing with you his knowledge, experience and vision on this brand – people interaction by relating it to your business.

Jorge Labadie (1965) studied business economics at the UvA, and specialized in marketing. He also did a Master in Brand Management at Erasmus University (2009). Since 1992 he worked in several marketing positions for ZAO Zorgverzekeringen, Oxfam-Novib and Foster Parents Plan.

In 1998 he started his own brand consultancy 37ºCelsius. He worked for a number of beautiful brands, like Imperial Tobacco, FrieslandCampina, Bavaria, Heineken, Carlsberg (Ockocim), and Unilever (Croma, Blueband), Randstad, Chellomedia (Sport1, Film1), Delta Lloyd and ANWB.

Jorge is a guest lecturer on branding issues, among others for UvA Amsterdam Business School and the University of Nyenrode. Jorge will do his utmost to share his enthusiasm for and experience with branding with his audience, relating branding to their business.

Since 2008 Jorge is a guest lecturer at the Amsterdam School of Business (UvA) and has supervised many master theses on branding. His approach is therefore an interesting mix of science and practice. Moreover, in 2018 a Master elective course will start on branding for startups and entrepreneurs at UvA-ABS!

Both personally and professionally one of Jorge’s goals is to spread enthusiasm for the role that brands play in our lives and how we can use the underlying knowledge in achieving our goals. Since 2016 one of the main focuses is how startups can benefit of branding knowledge and experiences.

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ESA BIC Noordwijk

Kapteynstraat 1

2201 BB Noordwijk


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