The Finnish/Silicon Valley design company Idean’s event, UX Summit 2013, in Menlo Park, on Friday the 8th of February, inspired, and opened up for an interesting discussion about how we build a brand today in order to succeed. We had the opportunity to hear many of today’s game-changers: Thomas Gad, senior strategist and Founder at Brandflight, Richard Titus, Co-Founder, Razorfish; Co-Founder, Schematic; Co-Founder,, William Hsu, Co-Founder and partner at the LA Accelerator, Muckerlab, and Risto Lähdesmäki, Co-Founder and CEO at Idean.

Risto started the day with Idean’s motto: Life is too short for crappy UX. The User Experience is your brand, and it’s the conversation your customer has with your brand. Risto says that to build a brand, and a great UX today, there are four cornerstones: Insight, relationship, play, and success. You have to have insight about your customers, and there should also be a dialogue between your company and the customer. People need to interact with your brand. The feedback you get from your customer is important for a future relationship. Your brand also needs to be playful, bring up new ideas, and give inspiration. And success comes from discipline, and great execution.

Risto also talked about the constant fight between marketing and R&D. Both sides are of equal importance, and they need to start communicate with each other to create strong brands.

William Hsu, Co-Founder of MuckerLab spoke about the importance of finding your market. You often find your market by testing it a few times, and when you let people pay for a service you find what’s really working. Getting your product out on the right market fast is of high value today, and by testing the market it is easier to achieve.

Richard Titus, Co-Founder, Razorfish; Co-Founder, Schematic; Co-Founder,, inspired us with his Pecha Kucha. He spoke about friction and how entrepreneurs can eliminate that, and instead get efficiency in their company. It’s important to make sure that your incentives are in the right place. From two simple questions, within a company he worked with, Richard was able to remove the friction and get efficiency: “What is the thing that makes you happiest, and what is the thing that gives you the greatest pain in your work day?” The answers showed that the UX in their own computer program was what gave them the most pain. The company solved the problem and got a more efficient staff. He also spoke about how core focus on customers increase today. You should ask yourself, are you good for your customer? Do you communicate with them?

Tomas Gad, Founder at Brandflight, entered the floor after lunch and spoke about how to build your brand today. The challenge is to get users, and you need to acquire enough users fast. Your brand has to stand out, and it has to be what you say it is, all the way. From the design to what people experience when they meet with you, and interact with you, so a UX driven branding is a key to success.

We had the opportunity to participate in workshops at the end of the day. I entered the UX Ninja: Deathmatch, and our group of inspired entrepreneurs from different companies collaborated for a few hours. We found a problem that we wanted to solve just by listing our own daily battles in life. We created a new app for grocery shoppers where it is possible to find the best grocery store close to you from the items on your shopping list. It was fun using all the new input of how to build a brand today in the process.

The most important idea I take with me, is that the friction between marketing and R&D has to be removed, and made in to efficiency, and creativity for a business. Without the communication between those two it is hard to communicate well with your customers. Success today, in a world where at least three other startups are working on the same idea as you, is the way you communicate and interact with your customer. The new way of building a brand is having a great UX.


Nina Olsson

Viking reporter

Silicon Vikings

Nina Olsson