Defining Lisbon’s innovation scene

Branding

With Lisbon City Hall

Challenge

Define and create a new brand, voice, and “space” that encapsulated the spirit of Lisbon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Outcome

A new brand, an online platform, and directory of everything and everyone in Lisbon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Client
Lisbon City Hall
Service
Branding
Location
Portugal
Duration
7 months
fields
Strategy, Research
team
Tiago Nunes, Rui Quinta, Francisco Dias,

João Joaquim

,

Raquel Félix

,

Inês Martins

,

Klemen Vadnjal

,

João Casaca

,

Matilde Horta

,

Catarina Varela

CONTEXT

“Lisbon is the new Berlin, the new Amsterdam, the next Silicon Valley, the next this, the new that.” Around the time when Web Summit announced Lisbon as its new home, the city was being referred to as Europe’s hottest tech hub, but it was also constantly being compared to other cities. We knew the Lisbon brand wasn’t living up to its full potential, and Lisbon’s City Hall knew it too. After hearing enough of these comparisons, we went on a long journey looking for the essence of Lisbon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem with the help of the most important players — the community itself. This special space — “the ecosystem” — needed a real identity and useful digital tools to align itself with what the future held for the city of Lisbon.

We started with a small but relevant detail;
Entrepreneurial — the word that described this particular ecosystem and is so hard to pronounce, needed a breath of fresh air. 

From the very beginning, we were aware that this initiative was about the city and its people. We were aware that they were the real community connectors, so we knew we needed to get close to them. We did live streaming sessions, visited different players, and gave them the opportunity to present themselves and to have their say in defining their community.

our role

01

Bring together the community of entrepreneurs in Lisbon to help define and position the city.

02

Create a new brand and online platform for Lisbon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

How could we create a place where investors, startups, employees, foreigners, big and small companies, students, and entrepreneurs could identify themselves in an inclusive way?

defining the problem

We didn’t want to make any assumptions or take anything for granted, so our starting point was to ask why everybody was comparing Lisbon to other cities. Why couldn’t Lisbon just be Lisbon?

Involving the community

From the very beginning, we were aware that this initiative was about the city and its people. We were aware that they were the real community connectors, so we knew we needed to get close to them. We did live streaming sessions, visited different players, and gave them the opportunity to present themselves and to have their say in defining their community.

63

People interviewed

31

Tools & Resources

26

Methods

16

Field observations &
Immersive Experiences

12h

Super sprint session

2

Surveys &
Statistical analysis

Tailoring a new research tool

We were researching, co-creating, and prototyping almost at the same time, checking and rechecking, confirming and rejecting assumptions. We were constantly seeking validation from the community, so… we created a new tool tailored to this community.

This digital participatory design tool, Define Lisboa, allowed us to collect data in a faster, different, democratic, funny, longitudinal, and co-creative way. We had more than 1.000 answers! It gave us the opportunity to choose the best features, colours, shapes, moods, voices, names, everything.

Defining Lisboa

We went on a long journey to define this new Lisbon and to stop it from being compared to other cities. However, to provoke the city, we decided to do the very same thing. We presented these statements on the Define Lisboa Platform, but in an ironic sense, adding amusing and intentional answers to each statement that each person could pick and contribute with a thought — “Lisbon is the new Berlin… And I’m Santa Claus // Ja, Prost”, “Lisbon is the next Silicon Valley… We got potential // Never”. 

After more than 60 different interviews and collecting so many different opinions on Define Lisboa, we realised the city itself was the constant. When we asked why Lisbon and not some other place instead, the community would always answer, “because Lisbon is unique, and there’s a unique way of doing business over here”. The city itself has a major influence on the projects and businesses that are created in it. More than being made in Lisbon, startups are made of Lisbon. Maravilha!

design & voice exploration

Naming & Typography

It took us 300 different names until we landed on Made of Lisboa. It was the proper allegory for this new Lisbon, where businesses are “made of” everything that involves this bustling city. We even created a specific font drawn from Rubik. On the logo, the word “Lisboa” sits as if on top of three of the city’s seven hills (São Roque, São Jorge, and São Vicente) and the letters are slightly warped, symbolising the steep slope of the hills. In the end, Made of Lisboa is colourful, iconic, expressive, and made of the city itself. It’s also the perfect metaphor for an entrepreneurial life: the ups and downs of the hills can compare to the ups and downs of business.

Platform design & layouts

Through our findings, we understood that the main purpose of this platform was to organise, attract, connect, and inform the community. We built the first mockups and tested them with the community.

Brand voice & vision

The entrepreneurial ecosystem couldn’t live without the city itself, so the brand’s own voice had to reflect it, too. The diversity of spaces, people, and businesses are the perfect alliance between the city and its individuals because Lisbon is Made of People, Made of Startups, Made of Innovators, Made of Pastéis de Nata, Made of Seven Hills, Made of Desenrascansos, Made of Diversity, Made of Inclusion, Made of the Future… Made of Lisboa’s vision and voice are made of Portuguese sayings mixed with good English (because we speak good English!). Its mood is informal, inclusive, relaxed.

results

Seeing as Made of Lisboa was made for the community, with the community, it was welcomed with open arms. Hundreds of entrepreneurs and companies joined the directory. The community and Lisbon will continue to grow and to change, and so must Made of Lisboa.

887

Users registered

611

Events uploaded

564

Companies registered

71

Spots registered

We’re proud to announce the Made of Lisboa platform was named
an Official Webby Awards Honoree of 2017!

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