3 min read
Putting the Question: In conversation with Sven-Oliver Pink from Fond Of

Sven-Oliver Pink is co-founder of the successful start-up Fond of. Ten years ago, they developed their first ergonomic school backpack for children. Today they are the market leader. Episode 15 of the ndion Podcast with Saskia Diehl.

Brand management for start-ups. Moments of success and stumbling blocks.

Sven-Oliver Pink is one of the three founders of the Cologne-based start-up Fond of. The economics graduate is an entrepreneur with a passion: he founded his first company early on before coming up with the idea for Ergobag, now Fond of, in 2011 with two friends in their late 20s. The three friends wanted to develop school bags with which children no longer shoulder the load of books bent over, but instead shift it onto their hips like in mountain sports. Today, Fond of is the world market leader in the field of ergonomic school bags and has meanwhile built up six other brands.

In an interview with Saskia Diehl, we learn from Sven-Oliver Pink how a start-up can become a gamechanger in a market occupied by strong brands, what relevance brand communication has internally and why it can be an advantage to have no idea about a market. A conversation about successful brand management and the power of authenticity.

Please note: this podcast is in German.

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Fond of: Three interesting insights from this episode:

1) Cluelessness as a success factor: Since the three founders had no knowledge about the product segment and the market, quick iterations with the end customer were the only way they had. In doing so, they followed the principles of the lean start-up method.

2) One of the success factors of Fond of was that they were able to find answers to the questions of the time, while the leading brands were primarily concerned with maintaining their market position. In this way, they were able to change an entire market as a gamechanger, which had only a slow pace of innovation.

3) Agile brand management as a success factor: Those who move in the VUCA world must nevertheless remain flexible for changes in the market with clear brand positioning and consistent brand management, while always balancing the tension between adaptation and preservation of self-similarity. For new brands, this means: the USP of the unique needs consistency and perseverance, as the market’s visual habits do not accept the unique overnight.

In the ndion- Marken und Design podcast, the German Design Council invites interesting people from various industries and talks to them about topics from the field of tension between design, brand and innovation. They ask about the current challenges in transformation, about megatrends and micro-tools, about lessons learned and the most important dos and don’ts.

About Fond of

Visit the Visit the Fond Of homepage (in German)

Visit the Linkedin profile of Sven-Oliver Pink, Co-founder of Fond of GmbH in Cologne.

More on ndion

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