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|Articles - February 2013|
|Monday, January 28, 2013|
BY LINDA BAKER
Branding is a key part of any successful business enterprise. But for small companies, the process can be expensive and time consuming. So last year branding veteran Elicia Putnam decided to launch PrestoBox, a Portland startup that offers an online branding solution. The program, called Brand Genie, combines patent-pending technology with high-quality design — and so far it’s totally free. After answering a series of questions about their company, a process that takes 10 minutes, business owners land on a suitable brand platform. “Classic Beauty,” for example, offers an elegant look with a pink-and-gray color scheme and graceful serif types. “Everyday Joe” is more straightforward, with oranges and mustard browns and a simple sans serif. Most branding efforts focus on “left brain” questions such as “Do you consider yourself professional or casual?” Putnam says. Brand Genie engages the creative side by asking companies what they would look like if they were a body of water or an animal. Next on the PrestoBox agenda is a series of paid services based on the Brand Genie outcome, including a logo, website and business-card builder. Small businesses spend about $250 billion a year on branding, Putnam says, adding that figuring out how to hook that market is a daunting task. “Our biggest challenge is this idea of truly automating creativity.”
PRODUCT: Automated branding solution
CEO: Elicia Putnam
“We’re doing the bootstrapping thing so far. Nine employees; almost everyone is working for equity. A few freelancers. Mostly just sweat and remarkably few tears. We are going to apply to the Portland Seed Fund. We do have a venture capital group that might be interested.”
“We’ve had a lot of branding firms checking us out to see what we are doing. One of our jokes is our branding service is giving the branding-service business a run for its money. On marketing, we’re considering going vertical by vertical: medical services, small law firms. We may go broad. We have a potential strategic partner, so it depends what opportunities present themselves.”
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Remember the naysayers? Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle? Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Friday, June 06, 2014
BY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.
Monday, June 16, 2014
The Oregon economy could get a boost from a new trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE
I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.
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