ZeBrand Automated Brand Identity Development Startup Moves to New York

Upstart AI-driven Brand Development startup ZeBrand, a Japanese startup developed by a hundred-yea-rold type foundry, is relocating to New York. The company, which uses deep machine learning to simplify the branding process for new businesses, is aiming to expand into the global  English-speaking design market.

ZeBrand’s service is unique, offering users the ability to quickly and effectively construct a documented brand identity that can maintain conceptual continuity across a variety of mediums. These mediums might range from web sites and video ads to marketing circulars and business cards.

The service uses intuitive, user-driven development tools to create and preserve a brand identity unique to each particular business team. By answering a series of simple questions, people with nascent businesses can quickly craft a distinct visual vocabulary particular to their individual enterprise.

Easy access to simple brand-building tools are terribly important for the development of new businesses. A 2016 Entrepreneur article asserts that “for every five startups that are still around, more than double have failed due to lack of branding.” Investopedia, likewise, cites “strong brand identity” as a make-or-break factor for new businesses.

ZeBrand develops brands that encompass culture creation, mission and values, team building components, overall tone, symbolism and imagery, typeface, typography standards and, of course, a logo.

By making use of powerful machine learning, ZeBrand is able to offer most of its basic brand-building assistance for free. This compares quite favorably to the traditional agencies, which can charge anywhere from $50,000 up to even $200,000 for a complete branding package, according to recent articles in Forbes and TechCrunch.

You can try ZeBrand out for yourself by navigating to and filling out a 5-minute “business personality questionnaire” that provides a fun way to help you learn about your business’ culture. Questions like “would you describe your approach to business as ‘slow and steadfast’ or ‘fast and daring’?” will guide you towards a better understanding of your own ideas.

Once your questionnaire is complete, you will be presented with a downloadable branding style guide offering a matched collection of color schemes, creative imagery, brand phrasing, typefaces, logo ideas and other free IP designed to help your brand express itself to the world in a cohesive manner.

ZeBrand CEO Ryo Kikuchi explains that “ZeBrand allows startups to have brand identity at a cheaper rate, and with a self-narrated, yet guided, approach.” The site’s AI was trained on 25,000 other brand identities that had already been developed in the traditional manner.

Kikuchi was Chief Innovation Officer for ZeBrand’s parent company, Morisawa, a typography company headquartered in both San Francisco and Tokyo. Founded in 1924, Morisawa counts Adobe Systems, Fuji Film, Kodak and SoftBank Commerce & Service Corporation among its clients. ZeBrand also won the WeWork Japan Pitch Contest called “Let’s Make It Happen 2019” which was covered by Forbes – Forbes Japan Pitch Contest – prior to their U.S. launch.

“Right now, brand identity is a mostly two-dimensional proposition,” Kikuchi advises. “We plan to take our A.I. a massive step further in the near future, focusing on using our ever-evolving algorithm to create 3D and 4D brand identity experiences for businesses.”


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