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Branding for Start Ups Weekend

Branding for Start Ups Weekend (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Marc Wood


Creating and developing an effective brand and brand strategy is critical to the early (and long-term) success of business start-ups and emerging businesses.

Whilst it is of course important for start-ups to focus on their business offering and sales channels, it is vital for a new product or service to build and leverage a strong and truly unique brand. Start-ups are in the advantageous situation of being able to strategically define and situate their brand in a unique, differentiating position, helping them to stand out from the (usually crowded and active) competition.

What will your new start-up company (product/service) be known for, and valued for, in the minds and hearts of your customers?

This short course aims to help start-ups and entrepreneurs build the foundations for an engaging and compelling brand that will not only differentiate their business and promote their offering within the marketplace, but will convey their new brand’s essence, its purpose and its promise, express its personality, values, mission and vision, to capture their customers’ minds and engage audiences.

This partly theoretical, partly practice-based course will guide participants to create their start-up ‘branding tool-kit’: combining aspects of brand strategy and brand identity design—as well as considering basic principles of customer experience and experiential branding.

Topics covered

This intensive weekend course is taught with a combination of individual branding project work, short lectures, creative mini-workshops and group exercises, quick practical demos, and tutor/peer group feedback.

  • Basics of branding & brand strategy for start-ups
  • Strategic brand positioning
  • Your brand proposition, your brand’s core values, brand personality and brand essence
  • Your brand promise, brand purpose, mission and vision
  • The importance of verbal branding, tone of voice, brand messages, and your brand story
  • Brand naming: finding a powerful, unique brand name for your business
  • Brand identity creation:
  • Logo creation & other basic visual brand identity elements (colour, typography, photographic/illustrative house style, iconography, etc.)
  • Graphic branding, adaptive & dynamic identities
  • Strategic brand expression through on-brand media touch-points
  • Basics principles of customer experience, brand experience, user experience
  • Basics principles of digital and social media strategic branding
  • Your start-up brand assets
  • Managing your start-up brand

Course outcomes

By the end of this short course you will:

  • Have acquired a better understanding about brand strategy principles, and the whole process of branding
  • Have built* the premises for a strong and effective brand for your start-up business
  • Have identified your brand’s core values and purpose (why you are in business),
    and have defined your brand’s personality, essence and brand story
  • Have defined your brand positioning, brand promise, mission and vision
  • Have found/invented* a brand name (and/or slogan) for your start-up
  • Designed a logo* and defined basic identity elements (colours, type, imagery style, etc.)
  • Investigate the power of words, verbal branding, brand storytelling and strategic messages to promote your business
  • Feel more confident about marketing your newly branded (or re-branded) business strategically
  • Begin to have ideas how to build effective brand communication and engaging content, and how to create compelling conversations, facilitate good customer experiences, and foster strong bonds with your audience—and grow your customer base/business as a result.

* Due to the relatively short time, and the difficulty of some tasks (e.g. brand naming), some students might not be able to completely finish the creation of their brand in the short timescale, but even if the branding is not completed by the end of the weekend, will have decided on, and laid out, strong creative directions to complete the branding after the weekend course.

Who should take this course?

Suitable for anyone launching, or growing, a start-up business. Anyone interested in branding their business: start-up entrepreneurs, graphic design students, BA/MA graduates, marketing students (junior level), business owners, junior-level professionals.

Level: Beginners

Entry requirements

A creative and open mind. Basic knowledge of Mac and Adobe CC software: especially Adobe Illustrator (also Photoshop and InDesign) would be very useful, but is not absolutely essential (as the basic operative functions will be taught in-class, and one-to-one if required).

Please note that all courses scheduled to start before 30 June 2020 will take place in an online classroom. Courses starting after this date will be held in our onsite classrooms.

For more information on Online Short Courses please see the below information.

All our Online Short Courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes
  • Lesson recordings, for review
  • Access to VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • Certificate upon completion

Further details about preparing for your online course, and the equipment you need, can be found here.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To check and compare times please click here.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

After graduating in 1988 from Central Saint Martins, Marc Wood worked at the UK’s top agencies and consultancies including: Gary Rowlands Associates, Lewis Moberly, Michael Peters Group, Coley Porter Bell, Peter Saville Associates, Pentagram, Conran Design, Luxon-Carra and Contra, where he was creative director of a 110 people-strong global integrated creative agency.

Since 2004, Marc Wood has been running a small boutique brand consultancy specialising in brand identity creation , implementation and brand management. In the course of his career, Marc Wood has designed and managed branding and design projects for a large variety of international clients, in various fields of industry—from commercial brands to cultural bodies and corporate institutions—including, to name just a few: Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Bosch-Siemens, Aer Lingus, EMI Classical, Marks & Spencers, Philips, Sega, Alessi, Bowers & Wilkins, Thermos, Smithkline-Beecham, Cummins, Wärtsilä, M-Real, Kone, Coopers & Lybrand, Pilcher Hershman, Strutt & Parker, Factory communications, (French) Ministère de la Culture, Storm Model Agency, Wagamama, Warner Chappell, Warner Music, Yohji Yamamoto, London Fashion Week, Jil Sander, SCP, London Designer Show, Native Design.

Marc Wood’s approach centres around the creation of unique brand languages, original brand realms which convey the essence, express the personality and communicate the values and vision of the clients’ brands, be they products or institutions. Marc Wood’s practice strives to discover new ways to communicate identity, applying branding concepts on an array of media and touch-points to engage audiences, and exploring the new interactive possibilities of new technology to keep the conversation going.

Marc Wood has also been a senior Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martin’s, University of the Arts London, since 1995. In his teaching, Marc’s focus lies in re-appraising and questioning the nature and experience of visual identity and branding, and in pushing the boundaries of branding beyond its current remits of practice.


Please bring the following with you to the first session:

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Rubber
  • Sketchbook or notebook
  • USB stick

A laptop with drawing software is recommended but not compulsory

Available dates