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MOdern Office Startups finding ideas and communicating their brand

Frog Design's Ethan Imboden on Venture Design: "The Competition is intense"

"It is about launching companies, getting a business going and incorporate design thinking." Venture Design in a nutshell, explained by VP Creative and Head of Venture Design at Frog Design: Ethan Imboden. However, to him and frog design, founded by designer icon and inventor of th "form follows emotion"-position Hartmut Esslinger, venture design is not a tool for startups only. "Most big companies rely on their in-house teams to design the products, but do not really keep in mind, that the brand changes with every launch or that it should change. This is where creatives set in to give it a fresh innovative new business look."

More innovations, new businesses equals more succes? This idea doesn't pay off for most companies. This is one of the reasons Frog Design, amongst others, specialized in this field. The "frogVentures" are a registered trademark program that helps entrepreneurs and business leaders launch new ventures. "The competition is intense - now more than ever! More and more big companies with a traditional product array launch new businesses, like for example Ford bikes." The actual process of venture design is needed more than ever.

Frog Design works closely with its partners to quickly identify opportunities, develop solutions, and build the infrastructure required to launch new products, services and businesses into the market. The subject "brand design" is a key aspect here: "First, if we are convinced of the product and its innovative power, we develop a business plan and try to find out how to make it happen and work in a new void", says Imboden. "Then we have to really DESIGN the business with all there is - and the next step is really the brand design itself, of course!"

Good naming, which is one of the bigger secrets behind the success of Apple, is crucial for a company and brand. Everybody knows what an apple is and there is probably nobody in the world with a negative connotation.

The requirements of the clients differ very much. "Usually startups already have an innovative product or idea and they come to us to help them communicate exactly this idea." The main questions are, as Imboden recalls from a current project: "We have a great product - but for whom? What are the next steps in communication? How to market it? Do we have to re-brand it - new identity for the company and product?" 

Company and product naming is crucial in this process, since name = purpose. "Names take on new looks over the years, but it is important that there are no negative connotations and to maintain the good purpose over the years. So, good naming, which is one of the bigger secrets behind the success of Apple, is crucial for a company and brand", he says. "Everybody knows what an apple is and there is probably nobody in the world with a negative connotation."

Frog Design's Four Steps to a great Venture:

1) Build and Launch

frog’s designers, technologists, and strategists work side by side with partners to rapidly conceptualize, build and launch a new business. Co-located teams increase efficiency, foster ongoing alignment, and deepen relationships, ensuring no time is wasted on the path to launch.

2) Get the Green Light

Venture Design programs are oriented around driving business impact, with funding being a common measure of progress. frog drives intense development sprints that unite everyone around a common vision and strategy, and help secure support for the new venture’s next step.

3) Pivot and Re-Launch

With business impact as our focus and our guide, we evaluate and execute alternate routes to success. Our teams test, assess and reorient a venture as needed to leverage assets, redirect momentum, and get a running start on growth.

4) Nurture Innovation

We immerse our partners in our Venture Design approach from start to finish. frog provides hands-on training and support throughout so that teams can continue to build and sustain innovation from concept through launch and beyond.

Read more at Frog Design's Website here.