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Working for the unknown.
Ten lessons from working with startups.

Erretres / Startups

Erretres for Startups

First of all, let’s start by thinking of a more conceptual definition of startup. A startup is a recently-created company that makes intensive use of technology to commercialise their products and services. Their origins are associated with the diversification and inclusion of the internet in every aspect of our traditional lives, and this is reflected in their sphere of action: travel, online shopping, takeaway, or even finding a partner.

Another key differential aspect is the way in which they operate with lower costs than a traditional company and with a financial model in which a large part of funding comes from private investors. The scalability of this business model allows for faster and more sustained growth, and its innovative capacity is a great disruptor within the market. Nowadays everything we do goes through a startup, a disruptive business model, and – of course – our smartphones.

The life cycle of traditional companies is shorter, with traditional business models substituted and replaced constantly. This happens thanks to the convergence of different factors, including the development and improvement of the processing capacity of mobile devices, the universalization of internet connections, and the construction of digital products that are mature enough to be accessible by anybody, no matter their ability, age, or training.

Nowadays, technology or access to capital is not just a differential value. It’s branding and design and a differential value proposition that guarantees the success of new ventures.

At Erretres we’re active collaborators and developers in projects that build and strengthen our future digital economy, with the help of these new companies. We have lived first-hand the evolution of the industry, from an initial lack of equity and sensibility up to the current day in which the investment in strategy, brand, and digital product have become a differential and reliable asset when it comes to releasing a product and ensuring the company’s survival. Thanks to our different roles as partners during this journey, not only have we contributed to a substantial and efficient change in the brand and business model, we have learnt a lot thanks to the people that lead these projects and initiatives, always with an admirable sense of commitment and purpose.

Key services include

1
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Agile
Branding.

2
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Design
systems.

3
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Digital
products.

4
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Brand
positioning.

5
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Storytelling and
Content.

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Marketing and
Communication.

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Growth
Strategies.

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Subscription
models.

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Talent
acquisition.

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Design capabilities
building.

Our expertise
with Startups

Playtomic
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Branding, subscription
model and digital product
for a sport unicorn.

ReturnlySan Francisco
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Building frictionless
e-commerce experiences
in San Francisco.

Bnext
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Creating a scalable
brand to enable
international expansion.

Seedtag
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Making growth
visible to activate
a new positioning.

Playtomic
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Branding, subscription
model and digital product
for a sport unicorn.

ReturnlySan Francisco
imagen slider-1imagen slider-1

Building frictionless
e-commerce experiences
in San Francisco.

Bnext
imagen slider-2imagen slider-2

Creating a scalable
brand to enable
international expansion.

Seedtag
imagen slider-3imagen slider-3

Making growth
visible to activate
a new positioning.

Playtomic
imagen slider-0imagen slider-0

Branding, subscription
model and digital product
for a sport unicorn.

ReturnlySan Francisco
imagen slider-1imagen slider-1

Building frictionless
e-commerce experiences
in San Francisco.

Bnext
imagen slider-2imagen slider-2

Creating a scalable
brand to enable
international expansion.

Seedtag
imagen slider-3imagen slider-3

Making growth
visible to activate
a new positioning.

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Nowadays, technology or access to capital is not just a differential value. It’s branding and design and a differential value proposition that guarantees the success of new ventures.

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Playtomic – From app to brand experience

Playtomic is one of the first Spanish sports scaleups and the first Spanish unicorn with a global impact on the industry and international presence in the Nordic, LatAm, and Middle East markets. We created a new digital product and its strategy and brand identity. The main insight to build the new Playtomic was building a movement from a ticket app to a whole ecosystem for immersion into racket sports. From the fingers of the user, to the merging of the physical and digital worlds. From playing, to living, loving, to enjoying. We followed a defiant but astonishing process to give the Playtomic brand the foundations it deserves, matching with their team to come up with a product we feel strongly proud of.

See case study

Civitatis – The importance of SEO

Civitatis is, to this day, a leading company in tourism, with a 100% digital business focussed on the sale of trips and tours. Erretres developed the strategy and branding for Civitatis, laying the foundations for their digital platform. Their strategy is based on the capture of internet traffic through content, and so Erretres planned a project with editorial focus inspired by big travel magazines, as well as an approach which builds trust in order to drive transactions. The results speak for themselves, from a tenfold multiplication of sales to their consolidation as a referential voice for B2B and B2C audiences in the industry.

See case study

Returnly – Building brand credibility

Returnly is a startup born in San Francisco, California. The success of their business model is based on the refinement of a frictionless experience throughout the entire e-commerce refund process. Erretres developed an analysis of their competitors and context, a new brand platform, visual identity, and corporate website. One of the biggest challenges we faced was fully understanding all of the figures involved, both partners and clients, as well as their competitive context to achieve a new referential status for Returnly within the industry and with enough credibility and solvency to access even more desirable clients.

See case study

Approximately 18 months after the rebranding and launch of the new website, Returnly was acquired by Affirm for 300 million US dollars.

Bkool – The challenge of growing a community

Bkool combines software and hardware across its platform to create a virtual experience which simulates road cycling and hyperrealistic higher-level spinning sessions, in contrast with other players whose proposal is more similar to that of video games (Zwift) or fitness (Peloton). In 2019, Erretres undertook a strategy and visual identity project which also built the foundation of the website and digital product. The challenge was to gradually reach a model in which subscription was the core instead of the sale of their hardware, a business that was left behind in 2020. The success of Bkool, partly in thanks to the pandemic, has been amazing, as they multiplied their sales after the change of brand.

See case study

After the product repositioning, moving from hardware to a subscription model, and thanks to to the pandemic, Bkool multiplied their sales 20X.

Yessing – Getting to know the market

Yessing is a sports brand originating in Shenzhen, China. The company wasn’t a startup per se, as their business model is quite traditional, but from their parent company NetEase (listed on Nasdaq), they have built an innovative approach for Yessing as opposed to the rest of their competitors. In 2018, Erretres accepted the challenge of launching a lifestyle sports brand within the Chinese market. Erretres was in charge of the development of its positioning and also the development of a renovated visual identity, as well as the application of the graphic style to their first collection of products (shoes, sportswear, etc.) and the development of their digital channels. One of the main lessons learned, this being our first project in the Chinese market, was the cultural gap and richness of the country, from a different perception of the market to varied references and visual ambitions.

See case study

Seedtag – The importance of AI in new businesses

Contextual advertising is the core of Seedtag’s business, a company with roots in Madrid but presence internationally. Seedtag manages to create a perfect connection between brands, media, and users via AI, offering the final user ads that are adapted to their interests and wishes, but most importantly whilst still respecting their privacy. Its history is one of great success, with constant and established growth. In 2020 the idea of ordering, reinventing, and updating the brand was proposed, including the development of a brand new website. Erretres undertook a project in which the main objective was simplifying and clarifying Seedtag’s story, and this new identity is helping to position Seedtag as a leader in its industry. Expertise was one of the key points in this project, being a source of inspiration and constant learning.

See case study

Canthynnus – Subscription and sustainability model

Canthynnus was born of the ambition of two consultants with authentic passion for disruption, with one coming from the online world and the other from a classic consultancy. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, they focused all their efforts on shaping a project based on their hobbies: gastronomy (in this case high-quality canned fish), with focus on the development of a subscription model. Among other goals, there is also a desire to promote a more emotional aspect, aspiring to approach the sea and the world of quality preserved foods. In doing so, they hope to reclaim this type of canned food as a gourmet object and to dignify a forgotten job which is traditionally undertaken by women.

At Erretres we took on an integral project that goes beyond just the branding and packaging, with e-commerce as the crown jewel, apart from the conception of packaging as a collection linked to quality illustrators, adding value to the product. We feel very grateful for being able to give the brand a sophisticated experience before, during, and after the consumption of the product, creating a final result in which every detail is taken care of, keeping sustainability in mind throughout the entire process.

Quantum Squares – From science to training

Quantum Squares was born in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, using caffeine in the development of their energy bars for athletes and the general public. What differentiates them is their combination of flavours with benefits. Quantum’s founder, Dan Medvene, approached Erretres with a packaged product that hadn’t been identified with the more orthodox codes within the industry, be them more conservative or more breakaway.

From an exhaustive analysis of the context executed by Erretres, but also of the different substitute products and the biggest trends in the industry (low carb, vegan protein, insect protein, etc.), we reached the definition of the different and potential target audiences and moments of consumption as well as the conceptualization and design of the whole line of packaging.

Currently this product is taking off across physical channels (Whole Foods, etc.) also in the digital space (their own e-commerce and Amazon). As an acquired insight by Erretres, it’s often the lack of hierarchy and chaos in their fitness and wellness categories that permits an interesting interrelation of different factors.

See case study

Witak – Physical channels resist for good

Witak is dedicated to the design and development of innovative fire extinguishing products. The interesting part of this project is that it’s not just the product itself but the focus that its founder, Toru Sasanuma, has given to it. These types of products have their main business window on TV shopping channels in Japan. At Erretres, we wanted to build a powerful and inspiring brand presence in every channel apart from the traditional ones. We first started with the conceptualization of the product, with an attractive and contemporary name that would facilitate its recognition in the local market as well as internationally, so that it would then be easier to build a system for the visual identity, with special care spent on the website and packaging. It’s interesting to highlight that Japan is one of the least digitized markets within certain fields such as department stores, with only 0.5% of their income coming from digital channels, something which represents a huge potential growth.

Woowbe – Aggregation as a success factor

Woowbe is the solution that simplifies and consolidates the reward management process for different businesses within a digital wallet. Woowbe is a relevant player in the definition of startups, as their business goal is to make users’ lives easier through the digitalization of an analog and messy process, offering a user experience that’s easy to use, attractive, and rewarding. The challenge Erretres faced was developing a positioning drawing from the differential visual identity that integrates all the brand’s digital contact points in an easily adaptable graphic system.

See Woowbe web site

Bnext – Recruitment, recruitment, recruitment

We’re finishing with the cherry on the cake: Bnext, a fintech that in 2020 reached the recruitment record in Spain. They have a clear ambition to differentiate from the traditional banking sectors, but also of being a unique and referential player within the field of neobanks and fintechs. At Erretres we’re already familiar with the fintech sector thanks to projects like Pibank and Virgin Lifestart, but the real challenge came in furthering the incredible growth that Bnext was experiencing while we accompanied them.

We started from an exhaustive competitive analysis process, studying everything from direct players to aspirational ones within a strongly segmented sector. This allowed us to then develop a brand strategy and platform that would adapt to the project and its renovated and powerful visual identity that represented the company across all its channels. The strategic concept that encapsulated the whole project was “KiSS”, Keep it Simple and Smart. This snowballing growth, accompanied by new investment rounds and constant recruitment processes enriched the project as well as constituting a problem for its development.

Let’s finish with a small appetizer of what we’re still working on at Erretres with a voracious hunger to contribute to the innovation of different markets, with projects that make us happy, inspire us, and make us learn, like Betribe or Playtomic, one of the first European unicorns which is building the future of sport. We’ll keep collaborating to build what’s yet to come.

See case study

A business entering a market that is already cluttered needs strategic design to help them stand out from the rest.

Startups exist to solve a particular problem, and so the experience should transmit the solution they offer.

An industry usually has well- established players, so for startups a unique brand can go a long way in establishing itself within a market.

Our expertise
with Startups

Bkool
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Transforming sports
into immersive
experiences.

Canthynnus
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Introducing a
collection flavours for
a gastronomy service.

Civitatis
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A strategic repositioning
and rebranding to
accelerate growth.

Brussels

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Hi! I’m Esther, let’s talk!

Account Manager

Rue de Commerce 31
1000 Brussels
Belgium
Parlons!

London

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Hi! I’m Ollie, let’s talk!

Design Director

30 Stamford Street
London SE1 9LQ
United Kingdom
Let’s chat!

Madrid

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Hi! I’m Rocío, let’s talk!

Account Manager

Eloy Gonzalo 27
28010 Madrid
Spain
¡Hablemos!

Tokyo

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