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Brand new ventures? Insights on start‐ups' branding practices

Sabrina Bresciani (Institute of Marketing and Communication Management (IMCA), University of Lugano (USI), Lugano, Switzerland)
Martin J. Eppler (Institute for Media and Communications Management, University of St Gallen (HSG), St Gallen, Switzerland)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 24 August 2010




This paper aims to shed light on the specificity of branding approaches for young companies for the reason that branding is a crucial activity for the survival and success of a newly established firm as it facilitates finding and maintain customers.


Adopting a case study methodology, mainly through in‐depth interviews with CEOs and communication managers, 15 of the largest and most successful start‐up companies of Switzerland were analyzed.


The paper establishes an overview on the current practices and rational of the brand building activities choices, and on the emblematic pitfalls regarding branding of new ventures. It suggests that young companies should not be forced to compare their branding strategies to multinational firms and proposes a framework and key guidelines for start‐up branding.

Research limitations/implications

Given that this study focuses specifically on Switzerland, the findings might not be fully applicable to different economic situations. Nevertheless analyzing the biggest start‐ups of a single country allows salient comparisons of the approaches towards branding within the same environment.

Practical implications

The proposed framework and guidelines can be relevant for future entrepreneurs and brand consultants, to orient and better motivate their decisions toward branding creations and development for new and young ventures.


This research investigates branding issues that are specific for newly created companies, in order to support them in making informed decisions on branding activities, a crucial activity for the survival of start‐ups, given their lack of resources and fundamental need to find and maintain clients.



Bresciani, S. and Eppler, M.J. (2010), "Brand new ventures? Insights on start‐ups' branding practices", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 356-366.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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