Last month, we ran a workshop for the 2017 Climate-KIC Summer School Climate Journey #17 group, at the Imperial College in the Grantham Institute in South Kensington. The 40 or so team members taking part this year were from all over Europe, with London being the penultimate stop before their final presentation in Riga. The students spent time visiting various institutions such as South Bank London University, Chrysalix Tech and Key Gardens, learning about policy, finance, technology and even time management.
The six-week programme was organised by Climate KIC and funded by the EIT, an EU body. Our introduction to branding and marketing for sustainable start-ups ran in week three of the course.
We started our workshop with some games and an overview of branding for sustainable enterprises. This was followed by some brainstorming and the sharing of insights by the students to really understand the importance of branding for mission-based enterprise which focus on people, profit and purpose.
We studied several current, best practice case studies for excellent sustainable brands. Then it was time for group activities. The students got to the heart of the matter looking at the Why, How and What of their particular enterprise's brand.
The students were split into teams and worked together to build their brand canvases. We discussed their approaches and answered any questions that they might have so they could really take the time to think about what their start-ups stood for and how they should communicate with their target audiences.
The teams had some truly excellent ideas. These involved moss, human hair, boats, vegans, packaging and energy and were targeted to various business to business and business to consumer segments. They used the time wisely to work together to get to the core of their brand, think of a launch marketing plan and map it out on their own brand canvases.
In the end, the teams did a 3-minute pitch to their fellow students and explained their start-up brand and launch ideas. It was truly a dynamic exercise and everyone got very involved. The students received feedback both from their classmates and our team. It was truly inspirational to watch how it all came together and to feel the energy and excitement in the room. We received some lovely feedback from the education manager Kathy:
In London Imperial College this summer, we had 40 foreign students on our flagship programme the Journey – an intensive environmental challenge where young people (aged 22 – 28 years) are developing their entrepreneurial skills and developing a concept for a start-up business. As part of their development, we invited Miho in to assist with understanding what a brand is, how to think critically and looking at branding positioning and marketing strategies. A lot of the group are scientists, technologies and engineering and the session really opened their eyes to the importance of branding their business idea. By the end of the session teams that were less certain about their market positioning; who their audience were and how to reflect their branding accordingly felt much more confident and equipped to tackle this. Many had also started their marketing plan and the mediums to start with.
Students warmly thanked Miho for her inspirational and insightful talk.
Kathy Jowitt, Education Manager, Climate-KIC, UK&I
Congratulations to Climate KIC Journey 7 for completing their programme with their final pitches in Riga. A special thanks to Kathy Jowitt for helping to coordinate the event.
If anyone is interested in future workshops, please get in touch here.