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Superunion’s new studio will build brands for startups and VC-backed disruptors


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

May 19, 2022 | 3 min read

WPP creative agency Superunion has launched a new studio targeting startups and firms backed by venture capital.


Superunion has launched a startup focused branding practice / Superunion

Superunion Ventures will offer early-stage businesses brand-building services that lend would-be disruptors a leg-up in the market, with services including brand positioning, naming, visual branding and experience design.

Holly Maguire, UK chief executive officer of Superunion, says the new studio would help to “unlock the creative potential of both talent and brands“.

“Superunion Ventures is an exciting and natural progression for the business as we look to nurture the next generation of revolutionary consumer brands and businesses. With the some of the sharpest brains in the business underpinning this offering, we are creating a new stream of growth that empowers investors, founders and their brands, cuts out the traditional financial and equity considerations and solidifies Superunion’s position as a creative powerhouse.”

Superunion Ventures will be led by chief experience officer Ian Wharton and chief strategy and innovation offier Matt Boffey, both of whom were entrepreneurs earlier in their careers.

Wharton says: “We know first-hand the challenges founders face early on in their business, in particular at pre-seed and seed stage investment. The skillset of Superunion is uniquely positioned to provide hands-on and entrepreneurial support to turn ideas into meaningful, high-growth brands.”

Given the sheer amount of investment funnelled towards the startup sector in recent years, few agencies have dedicated themselves to serving the space. Boffey says: “We live in an age of incredible opportunity for entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. Our job is to get them to market quickly, with a strong proposition that resonates with their audience.”

Wharton tells The Drum that WPP and Superunion planned to mine existing relationships to get the studio off the ground: “Alongside existing relationships Superunion and WPP have with European VC funds and angel syndicates, we will be working with the investment community to support their founders and pre-seed and seed stage investments.”

While Superunion Ventures will offer startup clients some of the services its larger clients already benefit from, Boffey explains that it plans to use a ”unique approach” dubbed ”Hype Hack” that involves the entire community of stakeholders surrounding a young business.

”We use Hype Hack to build an expectant and engaged audience around our clients’ business. We use this method, and the proprietary tools that underpin it, to create active communities around new propositions and concepts. We take these communities on the journey with us – consulting, co-creating and eventually transacting with them. We believe to stand a chance in a crowded market, you need a community to champion and be championed by – and this needs to be baked into your business from day one.”

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