Branding for Beginners: A workshop and a book

This fall is all about the topic of branding for me. I had previously offered an online workshop, The No Time Guide to a Brand Style Guide, but I decided that I wanted to turn that online workshop into both an in-person workshop, as well as a book!

On 14 September 2018, from 10:00-noon, I will lead an in-person workshop called “Branding for Beginners” in Berlin, Germany. Full details can be found at this link. Continue reading

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For Event Promoters: A simple fix to prevent wasted time and energy

As part of my business, I also manage a blog for a client. To create new content for this blog, I often have to research events using websites and social media. A big waste of my time occurs when an event listing contains no information about whether there is an entrance price for the event.

IMG_7867When I need to find out whether or not there is an entrance fee, and if so, how much it costs, I usually have to contact the event organizers or the exhibition hosts. If I am doing my research during normal business hours, I can typically call them. If I am researching outside of normal business hours, I have to send an email, or message them on their Facebook page.

Either way, it takes time for me to contact them. On their end, the person answering the phone or responding to emails has to take the time to reply with the information I need. Continue reading

Should You Consider a Selfie Station to Promote Your Business?

I’m not usually a selfie-taker, but there have been some selfie stations that were just so funny, I couldn’t pass them up. There was the time I posed inside a reproduction Baker’s Dunk at an old Silesian castle (#torturemuseum). Perhaps you’ve been known to stick your head through a picture of a jouster at a Renaissance Festival (#renfair), or stand inside a large speech bubble in a major city (#BeBerlin) – or even to simply pose with a costumed mascot at a sports game (#GoNats). All of these are ways businesses and institutions use to get someone else to do the marketing for them.

Small business owners have limited resources when it comes to online marketing – limits both on staff hours and funding available to dedicate to promoting the business on social media. However, this doesn’t mean they have to resolve themselves to being hindered by these limits. Continue reading

“Do the Essential” – and other advice from Valley in Berlin 2017

Valley in Berlin 2017, hosted by Scout24, brought together close to 400 professionals in Berlin’s startup industry for a day of talks, pitches, and networking. There were many speakers whose words I found valuable and inspiring. One thread that connected several of the presentations was the importance of “fluid intelligence” in the new economy – the ability to use past experience to apply to new problems.

It’s not just a matter of individuals needing fluid intel to bring all of their experience and knowledge into the new economy. It’s a matter of vital importance to corporations that have been around for decades, and who must adapt to the new marketplace with either new products or new uses for the products they know how to make. Scout24 is an example of this, itself: it began as an online classified marketplace but has moved into creating a networked marketplace – “to inspire people’s best decisions.” Christian Bubenheim, Senior Vice President of AutoScout24, said in his remarks that this has come to include inspiring innovation not only within larger companies, but also from outside the companies, arising from the needs of the marketplace. Continue reading

Viva Tech in Berlin Panelists Talk European Startup Growth

From time to time, I report on business events I attend in Berlin, most of which focus on the startup community.

On 9 March 2017, Viva Technology hosted a panel at Factory Berlin to discuss Growth for European Startups. The panel was moderated by Tolgay Azman, editor-in-chief of Business Punk, and the panelists were

  • KATHARINA LÜTH (Weltsparen/Raisin)
  • JOHN FRIJTERS (ReWalk Robotics)
  • ANTON WAITZ (Project A)
  • JULIE RANTY (Viva Technology)
  • MAXIME BAFFERT (Viva Technology)

Much of the discussion revolved around differences between the major European cities with respect to startup culture, activities, and investment. According to Ranty, France expects 3 more unicorns to emerge from its ecosystem, which they anticipate will grow following the Brexit. However, Lüth concedes that London will need to lose a lot of startups to become weaker than Berlin or Paris. Continue reading

“Booming Berlin” Reports the Tip of the Iceberg for Berlin’s Startup Scene

On 6 April 2016, the Institut für Strategieentwicklung (IFSE) – which translates to Institute for Strategy Development – released “Booming Berlin: A closer look at Berlin’s startup scene,” published in partnership with Factory Berlin. The study examined the state of the internet-related startup scene in the city, as well as how it has grown and changed between 2012 and 2016.

BoomingBerlinThe study defined a “startup” as: no more than five years old; could not exist without the internet (no hardware-based companies were included); and has an independent management. Startups were categorized by their provided service:

  • Marketplace – provides a trade platform for suppliers and demanders without being traders themselves
  • Commission Business – channeling selected product offers to customer and customers to selected shops based on payment of a commission
  • E-Commerce – trade in physical or digital goods from their own, or foreign, production
  • Social – service consists of the creation of (social) contacts that are not directly aiming at the trade of goods
  • Content – creation, administration, and presentation of digital content
  • Services – provides services to other businesses or end customers

Regardless of your own personal opinion of businesses labeled as ‘startups’ or which exist only on the internet, the quantitative analysis of Berlin’s startup ecosystem provides some compelling numbers. Continue reading