• Date:


Workshop EPFL Innovation Park (Part 1)

Branding for Growing Businesses, Part 1 and 2 — by Sue Mizera and James Risch 

 Part 1: April 20th, 13h30-17h30 – Room Neptune, Building C, 1st floor

Part 2: April 27th, 13h30-17h30 – Room Neptune, Building C, 1st floor

Attention:
Attendance to BOTH Part 1 and Part 2 is mandatory for participating startups. Some basic preparation is required.

 

Branding Workshop 1
Discover how to make your brand a “secret weapon” in your growing company’s success.”

If you think a brand is just a logo or graphic identity; or that branding is just for consumer products with big advertising budgets; or that you’ll get to branding once you’ve sorted your R&D and hiring, think again!
A strong brand defines your unique reason for being. It captures your differentiation in relevant messaging to each of your audiences. It articulates the impact you want to make on your markets vs. competition. It offers a robust platform to build out powerful, integrated marketing and communications programs. It will be grounded in your product specs and technical expertise, but it is so much more!

  • The time to focus on your company’s branding is now.
  • It is never too soon. You are never too small.
  • Don’t let your great business ideas fail due under-valuation of your brand or lack of implementation.

Day 1 begins with the theory and values of branding, marketing and communications for SMEs. You are introduced to the Brand Octagon™, a robust, unique, tried-and-tested branding framework, derived from 20+ years of branding work with large multinationals. Relevant SME brand case studies are presented and discussed.

Day 1 then turns hands-on and interactive. You will complete three tried-and-true exercises designed to help you see the “bigger brand picture” and, specifically, define your brand’s key messages for your key target audiences. At the close, you will be able to introduce your own branding situation and propose specific challenges to be discussed on Day 2.

You will

  • Discover how to communicate your brand’s key messages with force, clarity and differentiation to all your audiences.
  • Learn how to promote the benefits and values of your offering to non-technical decision makers (not just your tech specs to tech specialists).
  • Take away valuable branding and communications tools to use with your teams over time.
  • See how branding is a critical, sine qua non component towards successful commercialization.
  • Avoid the most common branding and communications mistakes of start-ups.
  • Discover how your brand’s personality is a competitive advantage.

Branding Workshop 2
Drill down on your company’s specific branding issues. Begin to put your brand in motion.”

Based on the branding “deep dive” in the first workshop, Day 2 allows you to apply your new brand learning to your own branding needs and ambitions. You start to create your competitive edge through your brand. You work and exchange experiences in small groups and with other participants and receive valuable peer-to-peer feedback.

We have identified 30 branding, marketing and communications elements that a brand necessarily touches, defines and informs. Which are your top one or two priorities for your company?

In the week between workshops, you will confirm your top one or two branding priorities with your facilitators. On Day 2, we will equip you with proprietary aids and bespoke exercises that we have created to help you unpack and crack your key branding issues. You will work with your team on solutions and report back to the plenary group on your approach and lessons learned for peer feedback. Together, we will identify longer-term accountability of branding in SMEs, e.g., continuing opportunities for competitive differentiation and customer communication.

You will:

  • Address your priority branding needs with tangible solutions that are either completed in the session, or in process.
  • Identify the next level of your priority needs based on the comprehensive list.
  • Appreciate the wide range of communications activities branding affects, from sales materials and speeches to online promotion, community-building, investor pitches, etc.
  • Understand what your company is capable of creating internally, or what you may eventually need to reach out to others for in professional support.
  • Understand the transformative experience branding can have on your entire business.
  • Be able to contact your facilitators after the workshops with branding questions and issues for up to 6 months.

Bio of the Workshop leaders

Sue Mizera-
received a PhD from Princeton University. She is a 30-year veteran of Young & Rubicam –5 years in New York, 25 in Geneva– and creator and former managing director of Y&R Business Consultants, a strategic brand and business consultancy.
Clients include multinationals such as Microsoft Business Dynamics, Areva, DuPont and Medtronic as well as multiple
United Nations non-governmental organizations (UN/NGOs). New branding projects focus on start-ups and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in innovation accelerators, for whom a branding and messaging process is tailored to fit their size and needs. Sue has published and delivered papers on global branding — migrating brands globally and mastering cultural impact — as well as the challenges of branding UN/NGOs. She has won two WPP Atticus Awards. For more information, please see her LinkedIn.

James Risch-
received an MBA from the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University, New York, and has over 30 years
of experience in the areas of finance, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic development, primarily in banking and financial services. Prior to founding TorchFish, he was a managing director at J.P. Morgan based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Sue Mizera and James Risch are co-founders of TorchFish, a strategic brand consultancy that helps companies align their branding, marketing and communications programs with their overall business strategy.


  • Limited to 8 companies: CEO, CMO, Head Sales, Account Managers.
  • The workshop will be held in English.
  • Participation in Messaging Workshop 2 is contingent upon successful completion of Messaging Workshop 1. Attendance to both workshops is mandatory for all participants.
  • Companies are encouraged to bring up to three members maximum each, as exercises benefit from interactions.
  • Some basic preparation of standard questions and “thought starters” will be required.
  • Participants can contact the facilitators for up to 6 months with continuing, evolving branding questions.

RSVP: ignell@epfl-innovationpark.ch – Thanks to provide your company name and location, your function & your mobile phone number.

First come, first served !

Don’t wait too long to sign up, the places will go fast!

For any question, contact Björn Ignell, Marketing & Course Manager – Fast Track Training Programs