Alina Adt

How to build a revolutionary brand like SLUSh, Europe's leading startup conference.
Slush brand analysis

By Alina Adt, 25 November 2019

Last week, Slush, the largest annual start-up and tech event in Europe, took place in Helsinki. This time around, Slush brought together 25,000 people, including 3,500 startups and 2,000 investors. Slush was started only eleven years ago, has become world-famous and now also runs in Asia, in Tokyo and Shanghai.
But today I don't want to talk to you about the main news from the conference, its speakers or the cutting-edge technologies it featured because you can read about all that across the Internet. Let's talk about Slush's unique brand, which helped it become a clearly leading startup conference.

Brand personality is a set
of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand that form brand behavior, mission, name, design, comunication and etc. It is what makes each brand unique and brings empathy and engagement
to the target audience and encourages action.

The notion of brand includes everything that people feel and think about a business or an organization. A brand always has personality, similar to us, humans. A key study made by Deloitte a few years ago put it simply: "consumers view brands and companies as if they were humans- with purpose and personality, ethics and emotions".

Brand personality is never just a set of random qualities but rather a well-structured combination of emotional characteristics that work together to achieve the highest impact on others. That is why building a brand goes hand in hand with an understanding of psychology and human behavior.

Basically, if you'll take an abstract set of traits and combine them without knowing the rules you will not get a comprehensive brand identity.
Let's look at Slush's brand identity to understand
the impact it created and still creates today:

Core Idea: Slush is a student-driven, nonprofit movement originally created to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship.
⚡️ Brand Personality: the Slush conference has a rebellious spirit. It feels similar to how start-up founders feel: they are obsessed with changing the world with their disruptive ideas. A rebel is a brand personality that is used for products whose goal is to transform, disrupt and innovate in a revolutionary way.
⚡️ Naming: the actual meaning of "slush" is messy, melting snow. Isn't it provocative and sarcastic, ie the way you feel trying to conquer the world?
⚡️ Font of the logo: : the chosen font is typical of fonts used for the military. It was especially popular in the 80s, when it was used to warn about hazardous or dangerous materials or locations. The use of the Italics in the Slush logo increases the dynamics and creates a feeling of speed and even of a breakthrough.
Alphabet in army font
People demonstrating against climate change
Text: Ron Paul Revolution
⚡️Colour: a scarlet colour. It is the most eye-catching colour of all, with a direct association with blood.
The first Slush took place in 2006, and it was attended by less than 1,000 people. This year 25,000 people travelled from all over the world to spend two days in Helsinki. Would the Slush organisers have achieved the same level of success if they had chosen a typical techy logo with thin letters with and a blockchain web sign at the background? Or if the communication style was filled with complicated words and the whole spirit of the conference was characterized as "intellectual"? Of course not.

What lessons can we learn from Slush?

First of all, align your business goals and ambitions with the right brand personality. Second, choose the right name for your brand personality and design the right logo. If you "sell" a revolution, there is no better story than that of a rebel, reinforced by scarlet colours and warning hazard signs!
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by Alina Adt | November 2019

Alina Adt
branding strategist and designer at Liinea
Alina Adt is a branding strategist and identity designer at Liinea, a B2B sales growth agency for enterprise SaaS companies.She helps create the right business identity that will make your potential customers instantly understand the personality of your business.

Liinea analyses your business and your goals, translates complex concepts
into clear messages into a brand, a sales playbook and a sales process that delivers fast and efficient sales scaling.